Team preview: Alabama

Blue Ribbon Yearbook previews the 2005 college football season, exclusively on Insider.

Originally Published: July 30, 2005
Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook
Editor's Note: ESPN Insider has teamed with Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook to provide a comprehensive look at all 119 Division I-A teams. To order the complete 2005 edition of Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook, visit www.blueribbonyearbook.com or call 1-866-805-BALL (2255).

(All information as of July 1, 2005)

COACH AND PROGRAM

The honeymoon is over for Mike Shula.

Or is it?

Shula, entering his third season at Alabama, still doesn't have a signature win on his resume and he has yet to win the confidence of Alabama fans hungry for a return to the glory days. However, he has steadied a program rocked by NCAA sanctions, Dennis Franchione's defection to Texas A&M and Mike Price's indiscretions that fateful night in Pensacola, Fla.

As it stands, Shula isn't on the hot seat this season, but Alabama fans are antsy. Alabama has lost to Auburn three consecutive years, has beaten Tennessee once in the last decade and is no longer considered one of the elite programs in the SEC.

Still, Shula has the makings of a Western Division championship team this season if quarterback Brodie Croyle can remain healthy and the Tide can catch a break or two. Shula insists he doesn't listen to talk radio or read newspapers. It's just as well.