Former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville says he's making plans to attend Saturday's 78th Iron Bowl at Jordan-Hare Stadium. It will be his first Auburn game since he left the Tigers at the end of the 2008 season.
Tuberville, who currently coaches the Cincinnati Bearcats, confirmed his intentions Monday during the weekly teleconference for the ACC. His schedule will allow for the trip because the Bearcats have a bye week.
"Gus Malzahn, he's come in and revamped everything that's there," Tuberville said. "That game needed to come back to the forefront to make college football even that much more exciting."
Tuberville coached the Auburn Tigers in ten Iron Bowls, winning seven of them. The six wins between 2002-2007 set an Auburn record for number of consecutive wins over in-state rival Alabama.
Looking back over the decade of football he coached on the Plains, Tuberville said he felt the pressure, "of the entire Auburn family. "Hey, you've got to win this game for us. We need bragging rights..."," Tuberville explained, adding he said he was always, "anxious to get that game over with..."
The former coach says both Malzahn and Alabama's Nick Saban will feel that same pressure, regardless of the record. Tuberville admitted, though, that "this year is extra significant" for both teams.
The winner of the 78th Iron Bowl will be the SEC West champion, something the Iron Bowl has never decided. It will also mean one advances to the SEC Championship game and even possibly to the BCS National Championship game.
"I'm excited for all of them," Tuberville said. He has a personal stake in Auburn and it's not related to his years there. His son, Tucker, who used to stand on the sideline while his father worked, now wears an Auburn uniform.
Tucker won't be able to play this year, but that doesn't stop his father from being excited. "Coming back as a father, Thanksgiving weekend. I haven't seen my son all year, 7 or 8 weeks."
Tuberville coached for Texas Tech for three years following his time in Auburn. He left Tech for Cincinnati where he's currently 9-2 this season.
The Bearcats take on Louisville the Thursday after Thanksgiving.
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