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Conversation At Auburn Centers on Bowl Talk and Coaching Moves

By Jay Coulter

The dust is starting to settle on the 72nd Iron Bowl. Talk now centers on what bowl Auburn will be heading to and whether or not Tommy Tuberville will be packing for Texas A&M, Arkansas or Nebraska.

All indications are that Texas A&M is moving in another direction in its search for a new head coach. It appears likely the Aggies will end up with Houston Texans assistant Mike Sherman. On Sunday, Tuberville said that Texas A&M still had not contacted him or athletic director Jay Jacobs about the position.

Tuberville is scheduled to meet today with school president Jay Gogue and Jacobs. Talks will likely center around a contract extension for Tuberville, plus raises for the assistants and possibly a new indoor practice facility.

Just as Tuberville’s candidacy was dying down in College Station, it picked up steam in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Houston Nutt has yet to be fired, but that still hasn’t stopped the media in the state from speculating on a Tuberville move. Being an Arkansas native, it’s only natural that his name should come up with the Hogs.

Don’t expect Arkansas to come up with the money necessary to lure Tuberville. Besides, he turned the job down back in 1999 before coming to Auburn. Tuberville’s name has also been mentioned in connection with Nebraska.

A name that’s being thrown around at Ole Miss is Will Muschamp. He’ll likely be a candidate at several schools during the off-season. Whether the Rebels will take a chance on another assistant is not known.

Those close to the search have indicated they would rather hire an experienced head coach. They could do a lot worse than Will Muschamp. It’s believed that Auburn will have to come up with a sizable raise to keep him around for a third season.

Something else to watch in the coming days will be the status of offensive coordinator Al Borges. Rumors have been floating around for weeks that Tuberville might go another direction next year.

With Kodi Burns expected to get the quarterbacking job, now is the time to make a change. Borges has seen his offense’s production deteriorate steadily since the championship season of 2004.

Auburn’s bowl prospects have changed somewhat since the Razorback’s win over LSU. Had the Purple Tigers made it to the BCS Championship Game it appeared that Auburn was headed to the Outback Bowl.

Now the likely destination is Atlanta and the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. The ACC opponent will probably be Clemson.

Tennessee looks like the leading candidate for either the Capital One or Outback Bowl should it lose to LSU. It will be Sunday before Auburn knows for sure where it’s headed.