Good news, bad news

* My stock is wobbly and slipping. BOO!
* Met my niece, a wee slip of a thing in a baby burrito blanket. She is adorable. YAY!
* The Tide game is not on Sirius. BOO!
* I had the BEST STEAK OF MY LIFE last night in Pismo Beach. YAY!
* Motel 6 bed = solid asphalt. BOO!
* Heated seat VW Rabbit = eases back pain. YAY!

Happy first birthday… in, the very first, as in she is one day old today.
Zoe Catherine Hahn Smith was born just after noon on the 12th, earlier than expected but just in time for Christmas. At last check, baby and mommy are breathing normally without help; hopefully daddy is too by now. =)
My first niece. This is a new development after 7 years of nephews…

well, here we are again…

I feel really bad for Mike Shula. He did exactly what he needed to do under very adverse circumstances – hold the rope and not embarrass the program, and he did that. However, he also managed to only break even in wins, with the exception of last year’s hot run (which was accomplished with the aid of a soft non-con schedule and a down year for the SEC). And Alabama expects better than six wins a year and doesn’t apologize for those expectations – nor, in my opinion, should they. I do think Shula should have been given a chance to add a new offensive coordinator and try one more year, but reports are that he rejected that option…so it’s sad all around, but it’s time to move on.
Thing is, though, it’s not that Alabama is some sort of trap door for coaches – Shula is the first coach to be dismissed by the school for his on-field performance since Ears Whitworth was fired at the end of 1957. Every other coach who left short of retirement did so of his own volition, although some were pushed harder than others (Mike Dubose’s NCAA issues and public marital indiscretions did him in, and Mike Price was just stupid for not signing a contract before getting into an embarrassing scrape). And Dennis Franchione had the enthusiastic support of the entire Alabama community before deciding that Texas A&M was easier than working through probation at Alabama – but then, he’s an ass, so never mind.
Meanwhile, there’s nothing wrong with the BCS system that couldn’t be fixed by blowing it up and going back to the way things were in 1990. Although if they insist on keeping it, there should be some minimum standards for not playing 1-AA opponents and having a minimum number of non-conference games against BCS conference foes (I would say that at least 10 of your opponents should be from a BCS conference and at least 5 of them be road games every year).
I don’t think Vandy’s ever going to see a winning season again, by the way…