He was loved by everyone here on campus. We thought of him almost as a saviour, taking a 3-8 team and turning them around to being the best in the SEC in no time at all. People were fans of Coach Fran for being Fran, not just for being part of the Crimson Tide. All he had to do was stick around a few more years, and he would have "entered the pantheon", as my brother so eloquently put it. By the time his contract expired in 2007, he would have been up there with the Bear himself...well, not quite, but he would have been neck and neck with Stallings for certain. A few more victories against Tennessee and Auburn, or a single National Championship, and Dennis Franchione would have became the next Bama Legend.
However, he sold out. As a result? Just look at the reaction from those who were behind him just a few short days ago. (Links provided courtesy of the Crimson White, UA's student paper):