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Disparate Treatment?

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Embattled Alabama head football coach Mike Shula is now under intense heat not just in the local media but also in the national press. Actually he was facing intense pressure from the national press even before heading into the Iron Bowl. Even ESPN has gotten into the act fisking a coach's record who like Dorrell also won 10 games last season:

Former Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle once said that Mike Shula had a quiet confidence about him that was infectious.

Try telling that to the Crimson Tide fans right now. Their confidence in the 41-year-old Shula is quickly eroding, and there's nothing quiet about it.

Shula, who was given the dreaded vote of confidence by Alabama athletic director Mal Moore prior to the inexplicable home loss to Mississippi State, has been pillaged on radio talk shows and Internet message boards by those convinced he's in over his head as Alabama's head football coach. The Crimson Tide (6-5, 2-5) have tumbled back into the bottom half of the Southeastern Conference this season after winning 10 games a year ago.

The unrest will only grow louder if Shula loses his fourth straight Iron Bowl this weekend to Auburn. [...]

There are some telling numbers that clearly don't help Shula's case.

He's just 2-15 against Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, LSU and Tennessee; 3-15 against SEC teams with winning records and 4-13 against nationally ranked teams.

Against all teams with winning records, he's 8-19. Against all teams with losing records, he's 18-2.

Since Shula returned to the Capstone, Alabama has yet to come back and win a game in which it was trailing heading into the fourth quarter.

And in games decided by seven points or less, Shula's record is 5-12.

Of course, all those numbers wouldn't look nearly as ugly if the Crimson Tide can figure out a way to win the one that counts double (maybe even triple) this weekend.
HT to Alabama of course went on to lose its fourth straight Iron Bowl to it's arch rival which bumped Shula's gruesome numbers to look ... well ... even more Dorrellian:
  • 2-18 vs. AU, ARK, LSU, UT, UF and UGA
  • 3-17 vs. SEC teams with winning records
  • 4-15 vs. Ranked teams
  • 8-21 vs. All Teams with Winning Records
  • 18-2 vs. Teams with losing records
  • 0-20 when trailing in the fourth quarter
This led to noted Georgia blogger paulwesterdawg (who also identified himself as a 'Bama fan) to reach this conclusion:
Why would you keep a guy like that? Is he ever going to be able to manage a game successfully? Are Bama fans forever doomed to watch Shula bumble decisions like whether or not to kick a field goal on 4th and 15 with 5 minutes left and two timeouts. Or whether or not to go for two down 14-9 in the first half.
Now someone please tell me why aren't we seeing those kinds analysis on a coach like Mike Shula who is also coming off a so called "10 win" season, while nothing on Karl Dorrell except here on BN and DD?  Why is the traditional media (referring to the article in ESPN, not Paul) are completely silent on Dorrell's ugly resume after four years in Westwood which is almost identical to Mike Shula's mediocre resume compiled at Tuscaloosa:
  • 0-3 against Southern Cal.
  • 1-10 on the road against teams with a winning record (that lone win may be wiped off if ASU loses to Arizona)
  • 3-11 against ranked teams
  • 1-7 against top 10 teams
  • 7-16 against teams with a winning record
  • 9 losses to unranked teams
  • Only 4 conference wins against teams over .500
  • 0 Pac-10 Championships
  • 0 BCS Bowl Games
[Source Petition to Dump Dorrell]

What is worse in this case unlike Shula, Dorrell did not inherited a program coming off NCAA sanctions. He took over a program which was already stocked with talent (second only to Southern Cal in the Pac-10) and was coming off an 8 win season.

So what's the deal? Why is Shula being treated differently than Karl Dorrell?

No matter how much folks try to dismiss the intense heat on Shula as local pressure, the article looking beyond the shallow "10 win" gloss came from ESPN.

So what gives? Can someone tell me why are we seeing articles in the traditional media generating intense heat and scrutiny of Mike Shula while Karl Dorrell is getting a pass?

Why is no one writing articles about why Karl Dorrell should not only think about resigning should he fail to beat Southern Cal, but he should probably stay away from trumpeting any win over the Trojans as a sign of some kind of turnaround for the worst football program in the history of UCLA since WW2?

Are we going to see any fact and reality based articles in both the local and the national traditional media about a coach who should be on a scorching hot seat for accomplishing nothing after four years in Westwood or are we continue to see bullsh!t puff pieces such as this one talking up "the Thinker" of Westwood?

We are going to find out the answers next week. However, I am certainly not optimistic that the media will actually do it's job and tell the real story behind Dorrell's performance (or lack thereof) as a head football coach. The chances are the media for some reason will continue to give him a pass. For some reason they will continue to treat him with kid gloves and avoid asking him questions based on numbers and facts on why he hasn't been able restore the tradition of Bruin football.

The question is why the media is treating him differently compared to other similar situated head coaches around the country who have also compiled similar less than impressive resume, but are being subjected to intense scrutiny.

Why are folks so afraid to write about the facts re. Karl Dorrell?