Mike Dubose 1997 - 2000
Gene Stallings decided in 1996 that given who he worked for in Tuscaloosa, he preferred an exit from coaching. Alabama football insiders of the time voiced rumors that former Alabama assistant coach, Bill Oliver and Stallings' DC, Mike Dubose supported the group which made the Alabama football environment unpleasant for Stallings. Apparently, Oliver believed the head job would be his if Stallings left. Instead former Crimson Tide player, Mike Dubose was chosen.
Under Dubose, Alabama was 4-7 in 1997, losing to Louisiana Tech and every SEC team except Vanderbilt and Ole Miss, and 7-5 in 1998. The 1998 season ended in an embarrassing loss to Virginia Tech in the Music City Bowl, 38-7. After losing to Louisiana Tech again in Sept. 1999, it was rumored Dubose would not last the season. He and the Tide rallied to a 10-3 season and an SEC Championship. Dubose made it through the 2000 season with a 3-8 record, but after losing to UCF at home in October, it was commonly known he would not be retained. His head coaching record was 24-23.
Dennis Franchione 2001 - 2002
The two seasons Franchione was the Tide's head coach were not historically bad. The record was 17-8, with 10 wins in the 2002 season. Three of those 2002 wins came against ranked SEC teams. One was a 31-0 butt-kicking in Baton Rouge, over Nick Saban's third LSU team. The following season Saban and LSU won a National Championship.
Franchione left Alabama after two seasons, sprinting to College Station, perhaps because he feared NCAA sanctions would cripple Alabama. Later it was learned Coach Fran claimed that when he was negotiating to become Alabama's coach, the full severity of the NCAA threat was hidden from him. After Alabama was given a 5-year probation in February 2002, Franchione urged his players to 'hold the rope' and help the Crimson Tide survive the probation seasons. Many of them did hold the rope, but 10 months later, Franchione did not, bolting for Texas A&M. After the abrupt exit Franchione gained a new nickname from Alabama fans - The Weasel.