I make it no secret I graduated from Auburn - journalism 1997. I also make it no secret that I am objective on all matters and I’m not the sort of SEC grad who thinks my alma mater can do no wrong. When Auburn does wrong, as it often does, I can and do bury them just as easily as any other team.
Many people view me as a one trick pony anti-Alabama guy because of my thoughts on Nick Saban, but when I was working in Auburn at the tail-end of the Terry Bowden era I was widely considered anti-Auburn because I called out the University when no one else would for the insane relationship its board of trustees had with the athletic department.
With that in mind, let me say the murmurs of Tommy Tuberville’s job being in jeopardy at Auburn are nuts.
I’ve seen recent columns in the Birmingham News and Sporting News Magazine mention how Tuberville should be looking over his shoulder. Flat out B.S. from columnists too stupid or lazy to write about anything other than the cheap and easy, “coach on the hot seat.”
Auburn’s season has been a disaster, clearly, and with road trips to Florida, LSU and Georgia still on the schedule, things don’t look to be getting all that much better.
There is also no question that Tuberville has some enemies in high places, most notably despotic Auburn Board of Trustee member Bobby Lowder and his bought-and-paid-for flunkies on the Board.
Lowder, if you’ll recall, was the one who orchestrated Auburn’s version of the Bay of Pigs, the botched attempt to lure Bobby Petrino away from Louisville a few years back. Lowder is richer than god and had run Auburn’s athletic department like a fantasy football team, but he came out of the Petrino fiasco as the biggest loser because he was finally exposed, in a very public and embarrassing manner, as the meddlesome, megalomaniacal, bitter, little man that he is.
Lowder still has considerable stroke, however, and the thought is that with cracks finally showing in Tuberville’s armor, he may again try to have him ousted.
I hope not, and I call on all Auburn fans and people not to allow it. Tommy Tuberville has been the best thing to happen to Auburn football in 20 years. He has run a consistently successful and clean program which all Auburn people can be proud of and he represents the University, and the state of Alabama, in a highly dignified manner.
Auburn isn’t Texas or USC or Florida or Ohio State where it should never expect a down year. They’re going to happen periodically, so a broader perspective is required. The past three seasons have been among the best – if not the best – in Auburn history. An SEC Championship, two major bowl victories, an undefeated season, three straight wins over Alabama, countless memories, wonderful star players who went on to the NFL, all of that shouldn’t be thrown out because of one stinker.
Tuberville does have tough questions to answer about this season. Why wasn’t running back Brad Lester’s academic situation resolved earlier? How could the offensive line be allowed to degrade to such an extreme? How could the team go through an entire spring and fall camp and not know quarterback Brandon Cox was a shot player?
Those matters aside, in the big picture, the job Tuberville has done at Auburn deserves a solid “A” and anyone who thinks Tuberville isn’t the right man for the Tigers isn’t a true Auburn person – whatever that means.