Tuberville: Texas A&M hasn't called regarding coaching vacancy

Updated: November 25, 2007, 10:26 PM ET
Associated Press

AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville said Sunday he has not been contacted by Texas A&M officials seeking to hire a new coach, and doesn't expect them to come calling.

Tuberville said he would meet with athletic director Jay Jacobs on Monday to begin talks that could lead to a contract extension. In the meantime, he was savoring the 24th-ranked Tigers' 17-10 victory over Alabama and conducting other important business.

"It's been a long year, and it's kind of the day after,'' Tuberville said in a conference call with reporters. "You're wore out and your mind's going in different directions. I'm in a toy store, trying to buy a new game for [son] Troy's PlayStation.''

Tuberville's future at Auburn remained a hot topic a day after the Tigers (8-4, 5-3 SEC) beat the Crimson Tide (6-6, 4-4) for a school-record sixth consecutive year. The Aggies are seeking a replacement for Dennis Franchione, who stepped down on Friday.

Tuberville's name had been mentioned prominently in various reports over the past several weeks as a possible successor, but he indicated last week he planned to remain at Auburn.

He said Monday's meeting with Jacobs would "just be talking about the season.'' It's standard practice at Auburn for coaches to meet with the AD and university president, Jay Gogue, after each season.

"The president will evaluate our performance and what we did and how we did it and what he thinks,'' said Tuberville, whose contract pays him $2.8 million next season and runs through 2011. "I'll make some recommendations and we'll go from there.''

He said no representative of Texas A&M has contacted him or agent Jimmy Sexton, who negotiated Alabama's record eight-year, $32 million deal with Nick Saban earlier this year. Signed in 2005, Tuberville's deal includes a $6 million buyout for perspective suitors, a clause Jacobs said Saturday night he believed to be "ironclad.''

If the contract is changed, Tuberville said it would probably be close to a month before it is completed and made public.

"There's a process that you have to go through,'' he said.

Tuberville and the Tigers survived an up-and-down season that began with a 1-2 start and now appears destined to end in either the Chik-fil-A Bowl or the Outback Bowl.

He thinks the Cotton Bowl will select Arkansas, which has a Heisman Trophy candidate in tailback Darren McFadden and is fresh from an upset of then-No. 1 LSU. That leaves the other two bowls as the likeliest destinations.

"It really doesn't make any difference,'' Tuberville said. "Both are good games. I've never coached in the Outback Bowl. That would be a good game for our team.

"The Chik-fil-A Bowl was great the last time we played there. We didn't play very well, but they do a good job.''

Auburn lost to North Carolina in the 2001 Peach Bowl, now the Chik-fil-A Bowl.

The Tigers have more attractive credentials after the latest Iron Bowl win.

Brandon Cox's 1-yard quarterback sneak with 3:58 left supplied the decisive points after staking Auburn to a 17-7 lead. Alabama drove for Leigh Tiffin's 49-yard field goal with 2:11 to play but couldn't recover the onside kick.

Even Tuberville wasn't calling the game pretty.

"It was a hard-fought game, I'm not going to say well-played,'' he said. "It was definitely a defensive battle. We played as consistent as we've played in awhile.''

They kept it simple, too. Cox handed it off to Brad Lester 22 times and Ben Tate 11, supplementing the runs with mostly short, safe passes. Tate and Lester piled it on a bit after the game, too.

"We were just running hard and being physical,'' Tate said. "We out-physicalled them for four quarters and that won us the game. We wanted to show them that we were men and they weren't. We went out there from the start to be more physical than them and win this game.''

Added Lester: "We had a lot of confidence coming into this game and we knew it was going to come down to the team that pushed through at the end was going to win. We've done that six years in a row.''


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE