Tommy Tuberville has recovered from his recent surgery and is back with a passion. During a visit to the Baldwin County Auburn Club at the Daphne Civic Center, Tuberville attempted to light a fire under both his Quarterback and the entire program.
“I think Brandon is one of those type of guys who never gets a lot of exposure, but he’s what, 19-5, something like that, since he’s been at Auburn (as a starter),”… “It’s a popularity contest,” Tuberville said. “Brandon, last year, he was the MVP of the league in my eyes the way he persevered after injury. He played in three or four games he probably shouldn’t have. But because he played, we won them.
Most of the attention throughout the state in the offseason has been generated by the arrival of new Alabama coach Nick Saban and that’s just fine with Tuberville as he enters his ninth season at Auburn.
“That’s great, isn’t it? I love it,” he said. “We like to be quiet. We have low expectations from the media this year. We always have high expectations as coaches and a team. Not a lot of people counting us in this year, but we’ll see what happens.
“You only do what you can control. That’s what we do. We worry about ourselves and try to make ourselves stronger as a team and a school and I think we’ve done a pretty good job of it. We recruit hard and we’ve got a good coaching staff and that’s what it’s all about. We’ve got a lot of competition in this conference and we just want to do the best we can.”
I understand part of what he is saying here.But, you have to admit that he is bending what is being said about Auburn in order to fire up his team. When a majority of “experts” not named Phil Steele are picking you to be somewhere between 11th-22th with a 9 win season, I don’t see how that equals low expectations.
Tuberville is simply doing what he normally does; he’s attempting to push some buttons on his team and coaching staff. He does this to not only give his team inspiration and the ability to focus, but to also give them a chip on their shoulders for the 2007 season. He is just doing what he does best if you ask me.
Plus, I’m sure somewhere in the back of his mind he is wanting another 2005 Iron Bowl when Saban and company make the trip to Auburn. If you remember during the 2005 season, Travis Williams said after the game “We really wanted them to be undefeated coming into this game so we could really make them look bad.” He knows what a fired up team in Jordan-Hare can do to an Alabama program still trying to get both feet on the ground. Plus, this way he can soak up all the glory of a 6 game win streak over Alabama.
Tuberville is a coach that can do great things with a team that feels under appreciated. He knows this, so he will use any opportunity he can to do so. Of course, once they start to receive all of the praise and attention they desire, he usually forgets what he was saying and ends up dropping a game or two he shouldn’t.
For now, keep an eye out for Auburn. I don’t think they will win the West, but they can certainly make some noise if running on all cylinders.