I tended to think it would be smarter to fire SL than keep him after the bowl (and even moreso did so when NT was 1-6) but when getting to 6-6 thought that keeping him rather than tear it all down and build from the ground up was at least worth some sort of argument. With all the transfers that argument has disappeared, as it is all torn to the ground anyway. This actually should always have been seen as a real possibility given the new rules.
SL might have really turned a corner in the old world because of the 3 years of good HS recruiting prior to this. But he failed completely to adapt to the new transfer portal and rules a. And that appears to be true for both recruiting outside players and rerecruiting his own, which has now become a very important skill. That failure has made any work he did evaporate.
I also think this again shows that for G5s in the future, it is more important to funnel donor/outside money into NIL than into coaching salaries. Imagine if the folks writing the checks for SL had forced him into taking 500 k less and had put that money in a smart way towards the teams NIL. I promise you the portal score would be much better.