Tuberville to stay 'as long as they want us here'
AUBURN, Ala. -- Tigers coach Tommy Tuberville tried to clear up one issue ahead of Saturday's game against Alabama (No. 25 AP) , saying he planned to stay put "as long as they want us here."
Tuberville said Monday that he has no plans to leave for another job despite reports linking him to a potential job opening at Texas A&M to replace embattled coach Dennis Franchione.
Tuberville said he hasn't met with athletic director Jay Jacobs yet to discuss a contract extension, but plans to do so next week after the Iron Bowl.
"As I told them, I love Auburn. I love Auburn people," Tuberville said. "They've done a lot for me, and I hope we've done a lot for them. We're going to be at Auburn as long as they want us here. We're fired up about that."
He has been asked several times in recent weeks about the reports indicating that he would be targeted by the Aggies if Franchione is fired, but he declined to address them. Tuberville said he meets with Jacobs weekly but they didn't have contract talks during the Tigers' open date last week.
Texas A&M and Franchione have both denied the reports indicating that they were negotiating a contract buyout. Tuberville spent the 1994 season as the Aggies' defensive coordinator.
The Tigers (7-4, 4-3 Southeastern Conference) have other worries heading into Saturday's matchup against the Crimson Tide (6-4, 4-3). Auburn will be trying for its sixth consecutive win against its rival.
The biggest worry: rebounding from a 45-20 loss at Georgia (No. 7 BCS, No. 6 AP) before heading into an open date. The loss wasn't as big a shocker as Alabama's loss to Louisiana-Monroe last weekend, but it stung nonetheless.
"It's two teams that are not coming off great games and trying to improve," Tuberville said. "I've seen it all in football. You're going to have a lot of those if you stay in it long enough.
"These kids are a lot more resilient than we are as coaches and fans. They tend to get over things a little bit quicker."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press