Tuberville Looks at Team's National Title Hopes

Comments from Auburn's head football coach are featured.

Auburn, Ala.--With Auburn one of only five unbeaten teams from Bowl Championship Series conferences that are still unbeaten, Coach Tommy Tuberville discussed possible scenarios for his Tigers advancing to the national title game if Auburn keeps winning football games.

On Saturday the Tigers moved to 8-0 following their 42-10 win over the Kentucky Wildcats. Auburn joins Southern California, Oklahoma, Miami (Fla.) and Wisconsin as the only undefeated BCS-conference teams without a loss.

"I'd be shocked if a team ever goes through their schedule in the SEC, win the SEC Championship Game to be 12-0 and not have an opportunity to win the national championship," Tuberville says of the prospect of winning out and not playing for the title.

"If you look at the teams in our league and the crossovers (teams from the SEC East) we have played each year, it's tough," he adds. "It's very demanding. LSU won the national championship last year and had a loss in the conference at home. If we were to have the opportunity to win all the way through, I don't think that there would be any doubt that we would have the opportunity."

The top two teams at the end of the season as determined by the BCS formula will meet for the national championship at the Orange Bowl in Miami. There is still a chance that if Auburn won its remaining games it might not make the Orange Bowl. Auburn will likely be favored in its remaining games against Ole Miss, Georgia, Alabama and a possible SEC Championship Game, but could still end up in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 3.

"I think you'd want to play the highest ranked opponent (in that situation)," Tuberville says. "If you're undefeated that's all you can ask for--to get an opportunity to show people how good you are.

"I was at Miami when we had a split national champion (in 1991 with Washington), but now with the way it's all set up we basically pick one national champion," he adds. "It's hard to conceive that if you run the table in the scenario we're in that you wouldn't have that chance. But again, we're talking about computers."

Tuberville says that the bowl system is a ‘wait and see' scenario, especially with the Tigers four wins away from an undefeated regular season and an SEC Championship Game victory.

"I think you'll probably see some politickin' going on in the middle of November (if there are still several unbeaten teams)," he says. "I've told our team that we can only control what we can control. Hopefully, the coaches in the coaches poll look at the schedules and don't look at scenarios where they vote teams in their conference."

"Hopefully, people are fair about it," Tuberville adds. "You've got to accept what you get at the end of the year. It's just one of those things that happens. I'm sure that there's politickin' going on in November. I have not been to that scenario. I haven't been in that situation so we'll have to wait and see."

Auburn Football Notes: Starting center Jeremy Ingle, who sprained his ankle in the first quarter of Auburn's 42-10 victory over Kentucky, was on crutches Sunday. "He had very little swelling in his ankle," Tuberville says. "It's not a real bad ankle sprain. Hopefully, he can come back to practice this week. Steven Ross did a great job of taking his place so we feel good about the situation. We expect Jeremy to be back and practice this week some."...Defensive end Bret Eddins was also injured in the game with wrist sprain. X-Rays were negative, and Eddins should be ready to play against the Ole Miss Rebels...Carnell Williams was named Auburn's Offensive Player of the Week by the coaching staff after carrying 17 times for 149 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman end Quentin Groves won the defensive honors after collecting four sacks, making six total tackles and forcing two fumbles, both which were recovered by his teammates. Philip Yost won the award on special teams after six of his seven kickoffs were downed for a touchback...The seniors called a team meeting on Sunday prior to practice to discuss the need to focus on the final three games of the regular season to keep alive the team's dreams of playing for a national title.


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