I was waiting all seaon for him to return to form, and it appears he's back.
Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville, at a "Quarterback Club" meeting this week railed against the BCS and ESPN. He kind of gets it right, but in the end, doesn't, in typical Tuberville provincialism and paranoia.
"It's done," Tuberville said. "The national media, led by ESPN, wants to see Vince Young vs. Matt Leinart in the championship game. It's going to be those two teams unless Texas or USC get upset.
"Last year, they wanted to see the two Heisman Trophy quarterbacks, Jason White and Leinart. After six or seven games, we were out of it.
"If four teams are undefeated at the end of the season, there should be a playoff. There should've been one last year. But it's decided already. I don't like it."
"ESPN has gotten so much power lately, it's kinda scary," Tuberville said. "And most of their analysts are coaches who haven't won any games. That's why they're there. I think you know who I'm talking about.
"And Lou Holtz gets on there and talks about what a team has to do win that game, and the guy couldn't beat anybody in our conference. These guys will come talk to you and look you straight in the eye and tell you something, then they'll get on the air and say something else.
"ESPN, I'll tell you, I don't have much to do with them anymore."
Is the BCS unfair? Sure. Texas is #1 this week, what does that tell you? But so what. The sooner it's dismissed by the coaches, the sooner it becomes irrelevant. Look at how USC handled the situation in 2003. They were #1 in both polls and still got left out of the championship game. They knew they were still #1 and went on to play in the Rose Bowl, didn't suffer a letdown, won the game and claimed a share of the championship. They moved on and nobody challenges their claim to a title.
As usual it comes off as misguided sour grapes from Tubby. His team was never #1 in the polls, not just the media poll, but the coaches poll. His fellow coaches didn't think his team was worthy, so when he says the media wanted USC/Oklahoma, well then why did the coaches for the most part go with Oklahoma? I guess his argument is that ESPN had enough influence to brainwash the coaches, or at least make it impossible to publicly switch from Auburn to Oklahoma. That's conjecture, and he's out there in booster meetings taking it as fact that his assertions are true.
Now, I'm not a huge fan of ESPN and I do think 1)they exercise undue influence over the game and 2)appear to try to influence outcomes (think their ridiculous campaign for Larry Fitzgerald for Heisman), but to deal with their sins in such abstraction makes one look absolutely paranoid and feeble.
Lastly, I don't get the jab at Holtz. In fact, Holtz did win games in the SEC, taking on a job at the second worst job in the entire conference and taking them out of a 20-year run in the dregs. The guy can coach. And he beat SEC teams when he was the coach at Notre Dame. The guy won a national championship and was hired for NFL jobs. Can Tuberville make the same claims? He's never strayed far from the SEC (other than as an intermediate assistant at Miami and DC at Texas A&M), and could probably use some of the exposure to less dusty football thought. Its kind of worrisome that he actually pays attention to the shows and talking heads to begin with.
There are only so many hours in the week, and for a coach to be so worried about things beyond his control reflects that perhaps he's not applying himself in his job as much as necessary. Perhaps that's why Auburn has lost to the two decent teams they've played this year and probably should have beaten? Baby steps, Tommy, baby steps. Get to the top and then start the command-on-high routine.