October 20, 2008
Did somebody say Tommy Tuberville had a stroke during Auburn's bye week? I didn't hear it and can't find any record of anyone putting it out there, but somebody, somewhere must have have thought consecutive losses to Vanderbilt and Arkansas and the intervening termination of offensive coordinator Tony Franklin was a sign of a lack of blood to Tuberville's brain, because the boss was compelled to issue a very specific bill of health at his Monday press conference -- physically and professionally:
"I've been here 10 years. I plan on being here 10 more," Tuberville said. "I'm looking forward to it. All these rumors get started. I'm 10 years an Auburn man and I'm 10 years more of an Auburn man than most because I put my heart and soul in this thing and we ain't going to stop now.
"I just want to let everybody know that everything is going good," Tuberville said. "I did not have a stroke. I am completely healthy. As a matter of fact, about three months ago I had a full physical."
Good to know, I guess, although a lot has happened in the last three months that might alter Tuberville's mental and physical condition. I did get a call late last week from another blogger wondering I'd "heard anything" about Tuberville, which I hadn't, other than the general rumbling coming from the Plains over a 3-3 start and a rudderless, rock-bottom offense. I assumed he meant rumors of Tubs' demise, professionally speaking, which obviously are rampant but almost certainly just as overheated (more so, even, than the ones about Mike Sherman).
No, Tuberville should be plenty safe for now, and if he's feeling good, more power to him -- unless, of course, the Tigers lose Thursday at equally struggling West Virginia and fall below .500 in October for the first time in his tenure. Getting outmaneuvered by Bill Stewart on national television will be good for an ulcer, a few gray hairs and more prominent crow's feet, at least, and a nasty depression across half the state (although, strangely, jubilation in the other half).