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2006 Independence Bowl

2006 Independence Bowl

by Steve on December 31, 2006

Alabama ends up with a 6-7 season after a loss in the final seconds to Oklahoma State, 34-31. It looked like it was all over in the third quarter but a run-back for a touchdown followed by recovered fumble on the ensuing kick return turned the game around. It looked like it might even go into overtime with the score 31-31 but OK State was pushing toward the end-zone as the clock ticked down. With 13 seconds left, the Cowboys set up to kick the game-winning field goal. Not so fast, boys. Alabama interim head coach Joe Kines still had 3 time-outs remaining, and he burned all 3 in an attempt to ice the kicker. It appeared to be working. You could see the frustration on the field for Oklahoma State. The first time-out was standard expected fare – everybody does it. OK State lines up again but just before everyone is set, Kines calls his second. I started grinning. “He’s going to do it again!” I said to my wife. At that point, the camera panned by Kines and he was almost laughing. Sure enough as the teams got set for the third time, Kines called his final time-out. Everyone was laughing, the fans, the players, everyone but the poor kicker. Alas, it didn’t work. Oklahoma went ahead by three with less than ten seconds left. The only hope for Alabama was to run the coming kick all the way down the field for a touchdown. What happened next had not been seen for a long time in Alabama football: when the runner got hit he pitched the ball to keep the play alive, and then it happened again, and a few more times before OK State fell on it and ended the game.

Joe Kines… fired up, enthusiastic, into the game, and not afraid to pull some tricks out of his sleeve. If Alabama would quit trying to buy a coach that really doesn’t want to be there and hire a man that clearly does, they just might come up with a winning combination. That one game showcased the energy that Joe Kines would bring to the program as head coach. Did he win? No, but he showed that he was clearly trying right up to the last second and then some. You can’t understand him when he gets on-camera at half-time but then he had been yelling for thirty minutes and he was just a bit keyed up. The women will miss the pretty boy on the sidelines but I like what I saw at the Independence Bowl.

Contrast and compare:

shula2.jpg

kines.jpg

“I would give anything to be the head coach at Alabama,” Kines said. “This isn’t an election. I don’t know where to go from here. This is the greatest job in America, and I hope to stay in some capacity.”

More here.

Sounds like the right man for the job to me.

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