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Wednesday
Mar092005

Tuberville Watch

I can't believe it's come to this.

More and more idiotic Tommy Tuberville quotes and news items continue to come to my attention.  Hopefully this is a one-time deal but I have my doubts.

So, where to begin? How about...this

"Before you go and play Georgia and Alabama, do you want to go play at Michigan? I don't"-Tommy Tuberville

Wow.  Tommy, this quote is typical of your fraudulent and broken logic about Auburn's schedule.  The reason you were left out of the Orange Bowl last year and not Oklahoma, was exactly because you didn't come close to scheduling anyone competitive out of conference.  In addition, your conference was way down last year, and you coasted in on a light in-conference slate.

So, how do you go about planning to make a run at the title game?  You continue scheduling cupcakes!  How stupid.  The reason you were rightly excluded is you didn't give your team a chance to lose like so many other D-1 teams are willing to do, in the name of proving themselves.  Solid out-of-conference games are college football's weeding system.  When an overhyped team meets a legit OOC opponent and loses, they are weeded out of the title hunt.  It's a great system, keeping the Auburns of the world from ever coming close to a title game when they barely have a top 5 squad.

So how does Auburn, and others of its ilk, cheat a good and meaningful system?  They build a cupcake highway on which to declare themselves rightful Orange Bowl participants.  It's wrong, its fraudulent.  I'm not sure Auburn would have survived a normal OOC slate so early in the season last year.  They were tripped up by lowly Georgia Tech just the year before.  The system did its job there.  So auburn responded by avoiding the system altogether.

It's a horrible aspect of the game, and we've already devoted way too many words to it on here already.  Check our archives for plenty more.

Unfortunately, the Auburn athletic department and its fiat-in-chief Tuberville have made with the wayward crowd populated by half the SEC and Kansas State.  Auburn gets some credit for taking on USC, but OOC schedules are often made many years in advance, and at the time USC was a rare big-name program that happened to be dragging along rock-bottom, perfect pray for a midlevel SEC team hoping to grab and coattail as a solid OOC conquest.  Unfortunately for Auburn, USC got good just as they appeared on the schedule.

Here are some more great Tuberville quotes-

"I'm not going to put our guys in a situation where they have to play a very tough conference game, then go out and play a very tough road non-conference game," he said. "I'm not going to do it. It's not fair to them. Our conference is hard enough."

Um, Tommy, lately your conference hasn't been hard enough. Your most difficult game last year was in the Sugar Bowl, an ugly win over a lower-ranked, 1-dimensional Virginia Tech. Nobody from within the SEC (at least, anyone who appeared on your schedule, since SEC teams don't play a complete slate) came close. Yet a fringe top 10 team took you to the ropes. Right.
More-
"We don't have to apologize for the schedule we play," Tuberville said. "We've got Georgia Tech. You want to put yourself in a scenario where you can have a competitive schedule, but you want to win the SEC. That's your goal."

Hubris. Hubris. Hubris. Just when I was going to ask myself where are all the outraged college football writers taking the Auburn coach to task, one came along to at least give Tommy a few wags of the finger. Sort of.
Here's TSN's Matt Hayes-
First, the good stuff-
The e-mails came pouring in from the Plains the day after Southern California disposed of Oklahoma and secured the national title. Auburn was robbed. Auburn would've given the Trojans a better game. Auburn this, Auburn that. Auburn, Auburn, Auburn.

At this point, I'll introduce Pat Hill. You know him as Fresno State's brash and bold coach, a guy who has built a program from the scrap heap and will play anyone, any time, any place to gain respect. So I placed a call to Hill last week and told him Auburn just added a home game against Division I-AA Western Kentucky to complete its 2005 schedule. And before I could ask the question, he gave the answer.

"We called them," Hill interrupted. "We wanted to play them. I guess their schedule was already filled."

No, it wasn't. Fresno officials called before Auburn added Western Kentucky, and Hill is speaking with a politically correct tone because, well, he'd love a shot at Auburn somewhere down the road. Yeah, good luck with that. Auburn has bigger fish to flop.

Like The Citadel. Or Western Kentucky. Or big, bad Ball State.

This is why Auburn wasn't one of two teams playing in the Orange Bowl national title game last season, why the Tigers were stuck in the Sugar Bowl politicking for respect. Respect? Play someone with a pulse outside your conference, then we'll talk.

Wait, I take that back. Aubie played USC in the 2002 and '03 seasons and lost by a combined 47-17. The Tigers also played Georgia Tech in 2003 and lost 17-3. Hence, the reason for last year's brutal nonconference slate of Louisiana-Monroe, The Citadel and Louisiana Tech. And the reason the Tigers weren't playing USC in the Orange Bowl.

Excellent! Up to this point, Hayes is dead-on. Simple, logical. But his underlying logic is wrong.
Look, Auburn shouldn't have to apologize for its schedule; it plays in the SEC, the toughest conference in college football. But like it or not, teams must prove themselves outside of their conferences to earn style points. It's as much a beauty pageant as it is a demolition derby.

WHAT?! Auburn definitely has to apologize for its schedule. And be sincere about it. The OOC scheduling game is definitely not a beauty pageant. It's the last "weeder" process left in the game, since so many conferences are going the way of the 12-team, 2-division format that helps the major in-conference powers avoid playing each other, maximizing the conference's total of good records in the "beauty pageant" that is the end-of-year record's dance with the college polls.
There's more-
Auburn was put in this predicament after Southern Miss bailed out of a game because of conflicts with the new Conference USA schedule. But here's the hitch: Southern Miss informed Auburn last September. University officials knew for five months -- through a magical unbeaten season, through the controversy of not being able to play for the national title because of a pathetic nonconference schedule -- that they needed a nonconference game for 2005, yet they chose to continue down the same path.

Basically, Auburn neglected a five month window of opportunity to get someone real on their schedule, including the aforementioned Fresno State. Instead, USC grabbed the Bulldogs a few weeks back. The same USC team that played in the Orange Bowl despite a ton of close wins this last season, including an opener against the same Virginia Tech that almost beat Auburn, and the same USC team that got into that game after learning the previous season's lessons---don't lose, and continue to beef up the OOC schedule because the in-conference slate let them down when it came time for the BCS computers to choose between USC, Oklahoma and LSU. Clearly Auburn and USC have taken two vastly divergent paths in their pursuit of championships, one honorable and competitive, the other fraudulent and anticompetitive, if not arrogant. Luckily for college football, the honorable team and its coach, Pete Carroll, have gone on to win two titles. The Auburn Tigers have been left panting in USC's dust, and they have only themselves to blame.
Believe it or not, it gets worse for Auburn-
A university spokeswoman says Auburn needs seven home games per season to make budget. Fresno State didn't want a game in return -- "We usually play on the road; we know that," Hill says -- but Auburn steered clear of a team that is 10-8 against BCS teams since 2000.

So, this quote basically catches Auburn's spokespeople in a lie. Nice. Actually, two lies. The first being that an OOC game against an opponent like Fresno State would be on the road. Well, Fresno's coach said they end up on the road against elite BCS teams all the time. Lie.

Then another potential lie-Auburn needs 7 home games to make budget. Auburn is one of the most popular teams in college football, and with an incredible season like last year, they are now flush with additional cash and BCS game revenue that comes with success. They more than likely have enough money to make budget this year without a seventh home game.  I'm not buying what they're selling.

Sigh.

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Reader Comments (6)

Lee Becton is a name I have not heard in nearly 10 years.
March 9, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterStephen Kim
That's why we're CollegeFootballResource, we remember these things. He went for around 100 yards against FSU in 1993's "Game of the Century" between ND and FSU.
March 9, 2005 | Registered CommenterCFR
Solid post.

There's a lot you say that I don't agree with, but let's face it--when SC didn't make the Sugar, they sacked up and added VT to their schedule for the next year, which paid off big-time when the Hokies won the lot in the ACC. The trick is, even if VT hadn't turned out to be very good, you'd have to have given SC credit for "trying" to beef up the schedule.

Auburn (apparently) had a shot to step up and do the same this season, and they chose not to do so. The truth is, I don't blame Tommy T, since they'll probably already lose a non-conference game to a GT team that has a killer D.

March 11, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterSolon
You might be the dumbest man alive. According to the NCAA rankings, Auburn played the 5th toughest schedule in the nation, and neither of the Orange Bowl competitors were in the top 4.

We beat a Tennessee team twice, once on the road and once on a neutral field, the same Tennessee team who DESTROYED Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl, the same Texas A&M team that came within a touchdown of beating Oklahoma.

Cal showed how good they were when they struggled with Southern Miss, than were killed by Texas Tech.

The SEC had 3 teams in the top 10 all season with Auburn, UGA and Tennessee. Auburn had 5 wins over 9-win teams, more than any of the Orange Bowl competitors.

So now.. Auburn had the toughest schedule of the Undefeated teams... played more 9-win teams (i.e. played more tough opponents) than anyone else, and also set a record in the SEC for most wins by 18 points or more in conference play. We weren't like the 2002 Ohio State team that squeaked by every game they played, we destroyed every opponent up until Virginia Tech. Keep in mind, VaTech was on an 8 game winning streak and had just beaten Miami @ Miami. Bryan Randall was ACC player of the year and they had one of the top defenses in the nation.

You are dumb. So is Matt Hayes. Just cause some ignorant sports writer agrees with your tunnel visioned opinion doesn't make it right. Look into the stats a little more and you will realize this. The Media picked their favorite teams and you jumped on the bandwagon.
April 8, 2005 | Unregistered CommenterGreg
This is why I love Auburn fans, so friendly. Of many points, there are serious flaws with the NCAA strength of schedule rankings. In case you missed it, the SEC was down this year, and in fact hurt Auburn's schedule. Also, using comparative scores (Tennesee crushed Texas Tech who almost beat Oklahoma) is futile and wholly inaccurate. We recognize the inherent matchup value of each game played, teams run different styles, and while one team may often be better, its opponent often runs an offense or defense or both that can more than compensate for talent differences, record differences, etc. Such was the case with the Cal-Texas Tech game, for starters. The Auburn argument has consistently been shot down, and in fact the Auburn fans are misfiring when they use strength of schedule as their support. In theory, AP and the Coaches ballots are about voting for the "best" team, and each subsequent team after that one. In practice, this rarely happens, as the voters often passively and meekly slot teams by record/losses, instead of actual aptitude and relative strength. Anyway, in our view, Auburn was at best the 5th best team in the country last year, PERIOD. They deserved to play in the Sugar Bowl as the SEC's lead representative, which they did. And then, playing in a fairly home stadium, against a banged-up, 1-dimensional team with their own healthy, hard-charging end-of-year team (when championship teams are usually at their very best, see 55-19), the Tigers snuck by Va Tech. It proved our point. The game was a tossup, at best, if not a slight edge to Va Tech. In other words, two fairly even teams played each other that evening, and the score and outcome more or less bore that out. On the other hand, two superior teams, one significantly superior, played in Miami, and the outcome also bore out our expectations. We hope you continue to read Resource and grasp some of our message, and understand the context in which we say the things we say. If you do, and aren't all aflush with anger as you read, and take the time to really grasp the bright things we say, you will come away enlightened and a better college football fan. Please do not follow the lead of your silly coach, and take a step towards the light with us here at CollegeFootballResource. We promise you will be all the wiser.
April 8, 2005 | Registered CommenterCFR
Nearly 4 years removed, It's obvious Auburn was the most talented team in college football that year and neither OU or USC could have made it through an SEC schedule. AU's draft class from the 2004 season are still alive and well in the NFL, whereas the two teams in the national championship game are hardly represented. I'm a USC fan, but let's be honest. NY Giant super bowl champion Brandon Jacobs was a 3rd stringer playing behind Brown and Williams. AU deserves respect.
October 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTrojanMan04

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