winner: Paul Finebaum. Finebaum urged firing Mike Shula and it happened. He said for weeks Saban was on top of the list and it turned out to be true.
Loser:Tommy Tuberville and Phil Fulmer. Alabama's two biggest rivals finally must face a competent coach at the helm of Alabama. Watch the pressure grow on Fulmer in Tennessee. He's already under fire for last season and then this season's horrible performance in the bowl game. Expect that pressure to mount if next season is subpar and he gets hit with a loss to Alabama under Saban.
Winner: Mal Moore. With his bumbling style, somehow Moore got the job done. He mishandled the firing of Shula, got jilted by Rich Rodriguez, but ended up landing the biggest prize of all. Moore's fourth quarter victory cements his legacy as a capable athletic director.
Loser: National media. So Alabama was the job nobody wanted. Well, it seemsmany coaches wanted it and at least two thought long and hard about it. Alabama ended up with its first choice, Nick Saban despite a muddled and sometimes confusing search. The national media, who said Alabama football wasn't important, dedicated hours of coverage to the Saban Alabama decision. Yeah, Alabama is important and the media proved it.
Winner: Nick Saban. He gets out of Miami, becomes the highest paid coach in college football and gets a chance to make history by adding to Alabama's 21 SEC championships.
Loser: Shula supporters. A faction of Alabama fans said Shula was the best Alabama could do. Their self-loathing posts on message boards predicted we'd end up with a Grobe or lesser coach.
Winner: Alabama fans. We can get back to normal. Well, back to normal soon anyway. There will still be lots of interesting things to follow. But optimism returns to UA. Recruiting should be fun and so will the spring practice."
¶ 10:05 AM