Surprise Visitor Comes to Shoot The Bull With Tubs

Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville had a very surprising visitor to his weekly press conference.

Auburn, Ala.--Jackie Sherrill, the black sheep of the SEC coaching fraternity before being forced out at Mississippi State following the 2003 season, was a surprise visitor to the Auburn football complex on Tuesday.

Sherrill wandered the halls of the football building looking for his old coaching rival, Tommy Tuberville, and talked to the Auburn head coach for about 10 minutes after Tuberville conducted his regular weekly press conference.

Sherrill said he was driving from the Atlanta airport to a speaking engagement in Selma on Tuesday night and decided he would stop and say hello to Tuberville. It was widely known that the Auburn head coach and Sherrill did not have a good relationship, particularly when Tuberville was the head man at Ole Miss and objected to Sherrill's recruiting practices at Mississippi State. There was no evidence that the relationship improved after Tuberville moved to Auburn starting with the 1999 season.

Jackie Sherrill

The controversial former coach said that he was traveling between speaking engagements and wanted to talk football with Tuberville, whose Tigers are 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the Southeastern Conference. On Saturday night, the Tigers can clinch the SEC West divisional title and earn a spot in the Dec. 4th SEC Championship Game with a victory at Ole Miss.

Sherrill said he and Tuberville discussed the particulars of how well the Auburn team has played and how the Tigers have been successful playing a lot of different players with second and third stringers seeing significant playing time this season.

At his press conference, Tuberville said he believes his team will be ready to play well in Oxford. "Normally at this time of year you feel like your guys would be mentally and physically drained, but that is not what is going on with this team this week. They are fired up about the game this week and they are looking forward to playing. It is an important game for us for a lot of different reasons."

Tuberville said he is excited about getting ready for the Rebels after meeting with defensive coordinator Gene Chizik and his staff and offensive coordinator Al Borges and his staff. "We feel like we have a great game plan together," the head coach said. "I am still amazed each week to listen to both the offensive and defensive coaches about the different things we will do each week to attack a different team. It is fun to listen to them. I know it makes it more interesting for our coaches and our players."

Tuberville said he is expecting a great atmosphere for Saturday night's nationally televised game (ESPN) at soldout Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on the campus of Ole Miss.

Football Notes: Tuberville said center Jeremy Ingle's ankle sprain is still swollen and he will not play vs. Ole Miss. He is expected to be back for the Georgia game two weeks from Saturday. Junior Steven Ross will start at center and senior Danny Lindsey, a starting guard who has extensive experience starting at center, will be available as a backup as needed and so will walk-on Joe Cope. Tuberville predicted that Ross will do a good job at center vs. the Rebels...Freshman safety Tony Bell is listed as 80 percent as he continues to try to recover from a hamstring problem. Bell, who plays on special teams, is questionable for the Ole Miss game...Tuberville said that his Tigers have their "hands full" with game nine because the Rebels have homefield advantage and two weeks of preparation time for the Tigers.

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