Auburn provides good storylines, offensive worries for Hogs
Editor’s Note: The Arkansas Razorbacks will face one of the toughest football schedules in the nation in 2008. The sports staff of the Northwest Arkansas Times ranked Arkansas’12 upcoming games from least important to most important based on fan fervor, storylines and the effect a win or loss would have on the Razorbacks’season. This is the Hogs’sixth most important game and part 7 of a 12-part series profiling the Razorbacks’2008 opponents. The consistent winning trend of Tommy Tuberville in his 10 seasons at Auburn has become as expected as his tendency to replace offensive and defensive coordinators.
Tuberville has won more conference games this century than any other SEC coach, and enters his 10 th season with the Tigers with his ninth and 10 th coordinators at the school. Offensive inconsistency last season prompted Tuberville to hire Spread offense guru Tony Franklin from Troy in the offseason. And Will Muschamp’s departure to Texas brought more change with the hiring of Paul Rhoads as defensive coordinator.
As often as there is change with the Tigers, it was just a matter of time before Tuberville was forced to face off against one of his former employees. Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino, who served as Auburn’s offensive coordinator under in 2002, will take his Razorbacks into Auburn with a lot of history and drama. In November 2003, in his first season at Louisville, Petrino met secretly with Auburn officials at an airport near Louisville. The topic of discussion was the possibility of replacing Tuberville as head coach at the Alabama school. The meetings were made public, discussions ended and Tuberville remained at Auburn, where he pushed the Tigers to a 13-0 record the next season. Both coaches have gone on record to say that any bad vibes between the two have been quelled, but that won’t soften the desire to beat each other on the Plains Oct. 11.