To know where you are in the present, sometimes you have to look into your past.
For some, that can be a fun, healthy endeavor. For others, well, not so much.
Still, we're paying homage to the past and how it's affected the present in the SEC this week by taking a look at where each program was 10 years ago and where it currently stands. Some programs have made big leaps, some have steadied the course, and others, well, they're yearning for the days of old.
We're kicking our next series off with Alabama:
2006 record: 6-7 (six wins later vacated by NCAA ruling)
2006 coach: Mike Shula
Notable: Coming off a 10-2 season in Shula's third year as Alabama's head coach, the Crimson Tide finished with an underwhelming 6-7 record, including consecutive losses to Mississippi State, LSU, Auburn and Oklahoma State to close out the 2006 season. Shula was fired after Alabama's 22-15 loss to Auburn. During Shula's four years with the Tide, he was a combined 0-8 against LSU and Auburn and is the only Alabama coach to lose four straight to Auburn. There was more disappointment to come for the Shula era, as the NCAA ruled in 2009 that the football program, along with 15 other Alabama sports programs, would be penalized for their involvement in improperly obtaining free textbooks for students. The NCAA found that seven football players had intentionally obtained textbooks improperly. The NCAA put the program on three years probation and vacated 21 wins from the start of the 2005 season to the middle of the 2007 season.
Trending: A program known for stacking titles hit a lull in the years prior to Shula's arrival. After winning the SEC in 1999, Alabama didn't hit double-digit wins again until 2002, a year before Shula's hiring. During that span, Alabama's football program was coached by by Mike DuBose and Dennis Franchione. DuBose was fired after a 3-8 season in 2000. Franchione replaced DuBose, and quickly won 17 games in his first two seasons, including 10 in 2002. However, he left for Texas A&M after his second season. Alabama then hired former Washington State coach Mike Price, who lasted only four months. He was fired for inappropriate behavior during a trip to Florida for a pro-am golf tournament that included him reportedly spending hundreds of dollars at a topless bar and a woman ordering around $1,000 of room service and charging it to his hotel bill. Shula went 20-17 in his three seasons before 2006.
What’s happened since: Well, I guess you could say that things have sort of worked out for Alabama. Nick Saban was hired in 2007, and he's won four national titles (2009, 2011, 2012, 2015), including a thrilling 45-40 win over Clemson in last season's national championship. In the past eight seasons, Alabama has gone 98-12 (.891), including a stellar 56-8 (.875) in regular-season conference play. The Tide also has four SEC titles and two Heisman Trophy winners since 2007. You can't have dominance without adding the right building blocks, and Saban has done that in Tuscaloosa by signing four No. 1 recruiting classes (all in a row from 2012-15) and eight top-five classes during his Alabama tenure. Thanks to the arrival of Saban, Alabama has essentially claimed dynasty status over the better part of the last decade and is currently the premier program in college football.