‘We’re running out of players’

By Shane from Centerpoint
Tommy Tuberville told the truth. As he sat before the Birmingham News writers and the rest of the media after Saturday night’s disaster, at the hands of the Vanderbilt Commodores, Tuberville made the weakest statement of his career. “We’re running out of players,” Tuberville said. Tubby sounded like Custer on the hill top right before the Indians finished him off. Do you hear the familiar sound of a jet on the horizon?

Tuberville pulled another first when he told The News, “I apologized to the team for not giving them a chance in the second half – we didn’t make very good adjustments.” How many times in his career has Tommy Tuberville apologized to his team in the locker room after a loss? Not many, if any.

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Another interesting post-game admission Tubs made to The News involved an almost Bryant-like statement, which doesn’t fit his normally evasive conversation with the press after a loss. He said, “This one is my fault and we’re going back to work tomorrow.”

What has happened to the swaggering, laid-back southern gentleman who wins almost every time he rolls the dice? Did the “riverboat gambler” play his last card when he hired Tony Fanklin to run the spread?

Most of the quotes and comments after the devastating loss came from the players, leaving Tuberville as a man with few words. How does the head coach of Auburn University explain a loss to SEC whipping boy, Vanderbilt? He doesn’t!

The men who call the offensive and defensive plays had no chance to explain what happened in the game, because neither talked to the media. Sounds like Tubby stuffed a sock in Tony Franklin’s mouth. Rhoads hasn’t said much all year. He hasn’t had to. Why would he want to after Vandy ripped his defense?

The quarterbacks produced minus 17 yards rushing in 10 attempts, while completing only 10 of 22 passes for a mere 98 total yards. Very few teams will ever win a football game with that type of production at the quarterback position. Tubby doesn’t have a controversy – he just doesn’t have a playmaker in Burns or Todd.

Tuberville has made a living with great defense and an offense that plays to his team’s strength. The Tiger defenders have kept Auburn in every game this year. Last Saturday night in Nashville, they couldn’t hold on any longer. With the recent offensive failures it’s been more than obvious that it was only a matter of time.

Tommy’s demeanor after the game seemed resolved to some degree, like he has come to terms with the imminent collapse of an idea gone bad. How will he sell the news to the players, recruits, fans, and men who pay him that the spread is dead?

Teflon Tommy has been bullet proof for as long as any coach in modern SEC history, but the “big” boys may be out buying armor piercing shells as we speak.

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