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Names emerge in Auburn search

Auburn's coaching search to replace Tommy Tuberville is starting to take shape.

Tulsa's Todd Graham and Ball State's Brady
Hoke have interviewed with Auburn athletic
director Jay Jacobs about the Tigers' vacant head coaching
position.

TCU coach Gary Patterson is scheduled to meet with Auburn on Thursday, a person briefed on the meeting told ESPN's Joe Schad. Patterson spoke with Clemson and Tennessee previously.

Hoke also is scheduled to interview at San Diego State on Thursday, a person briefed on the process told Schad.

Other head coaches Jacobs has reportedly interviewed include
Buffalo's Turner Gill and Louisiana Tech's Derek Dooley. Georgia
assistant Rodney Garner and Miami offensive coordinator Patrick
Nix, both former Auburn players, also have interviewed for the
post.

Reports from televisions stations in New Orleans and Mobile, Ala., indicated that Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp would be named as the Tigers' head coach. On Friday, Muschamp issued a statement, saying: "I have not interviewed for any jobs. I'm not interested in any jobs. I'm
happy here, my family loves Austin and I'm going to be at Texas."

When asked about his conversations with Auburn, Hoke didn't go into detail.

"We had discussions, but I think there's been a lot of
discussions," Hoke told the Mobile Press-Register on Wednesday.

"If you're any kind of competitor, the challenges are out
there, so there's always a high interest," Hoke said.

Graham said that to be mentioned in connection with a job such as Auburn's
is "flattering," but declined to comment further.

"I'm happy where I am," he said. "I love being at Tulsa. It's
a great place. We have a lot of momentum."

Jacobs was not available for comment on Thursday, a spokesman
said. The Birmingham News reported that he is expected to interview
other coaches who have some experience in the Southeastern
Conference.

The Tigers are seeking a replacement for Tuberville, who
resigned on Dec. 3 after 10 seasons.

Hoke led Ball State to a 12-1 record in his sixth season,
marred only by a loss to Gill's Buffalo team in the Mid-American
Conference championship game.

Graham has led Tulsa to two straight 10-win seasons after
spending one year as Rice's head coach.

Gill is a former Nebraska quarterback who was a Heisman Trophy
finalist in 1983. He has turned around a program that was 10-69 in
its first seven seasons in the MAC before he took over. Buffalo is
8-5 and set to face Connecticut on Jan. 3 in the International
Bowl.

Buffalo athletic director Warde Manuel confirmed on Wednesday
that he gave both Auburn and Syracuse permission to discuss their
openings with Gill.

"Maybe my work is done [in Buffalo], I don't know that," Gill said Thursday at a news conference to promote the International Bowl in Toronto. "There's some things that are probably going to happen, but I don't know when."

"If he does go, then he's left us in a much better position,"
Manuel said.

Earlier this week, Dooley confirmed in a statement that he was
"one of the many" coaches who have spoken with Auburn. Dooley
led Tech to a 7-5 record and the program's first bowl berth since
2001 in his second season, facing Northern Illinois in the
Independence Bowl on Dec. 28.

He is the son of former Georgia coach and Auburn player Vince
Dooley.

Information from ESPN's Joe Schad and The Associated Press was used in this report.