Thursday, November 18, 2010

Alabama-Georgia State: Bill Curry Returns To Tuscaloosa (UPDATED With Curry Interview)

The AJC's Jeff Schultz has a piece on Georgia State Head Coach Bill Curry who will be taking his first year football program to face the defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide on Thursday night.

Besides the epic beat down that will take place at Bryant-Denny Stadium, the other main storyline is the history Curry has at Alabama having coached there in the 80's leading the Tide to an SEC title. But he was also at Alabama the same time Bo Jackson was at Auburn and those three losses to the Tigers essentially got him fired.

Schultz continues...

A similar scene wasn’t going to happen in Tuscaloosa. Whereas Curry is celebrated at Georgia State, he often was vilified at Alabama.

Losing to Auburn three straight years didn’t help his cause. But he always was going to be viewed as an outsider there — a non-Bama guy from Georgia Tech. Even an SEC championship and two SEC coach of the year awards weren’t going to change that. So he left.

School officials made it clear they didn’t want him. The contract Curry was offered after the 1989 SEC title season did not include a raise and it stripped him of power to hire and fire assistants.

Curry: “The contract said, ‘We’d rather have somebody else as the football coach.’”

Curry came to Alabama from then rival Georgia Tech after resurrecting the Yellow Jacket program at death's door step in the early 80s. Tide fans never accepted him being an outsider and some Tech fans have never forgiven him for leaving Atlanta for Tuscaloosa. But Curry was told by his mentor and former coach Bobby Dodd that he had to leave if he ever wanted to win a national title.

FWIW, Alabama is a -52.5 point favorite, but that is down from opening at -57!

Update: Bill Curry talks to Barnhart & Durham about the game and Georgia State football (audio)

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