If there's anyone who knows what it's like to be the Auburn Gus Malzahn coach this week, it's Tommy Tuberville.
Reports Auburn "powerbrokers" met with former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, first reported by Josh Moon, bring back memories of the infamous JetGate.
The year was 2003, and after losing three consecutive SEC games, Auburn booster Bobby Lowder, Auburn President William Walker and athletic director David Housel traveled to Louisville to assess the interest of Cardinals coach Bobby Petrino. at the Auburn booth. The meeting took place before the 2003 Alabama game, which Auburn won.
Advance to 2018 and now reports claim that the representatives have approached Stoops, which the former Sooners coach denies.
Tuberville joined me and Lee Shirvanian during "The Opening Kickoff" on WNSP-FM 105.5 to discuss the headlines of the last 24 hours at Auburn.
"Incredible, is not it?" Tuberville asked.
He said he had heard three weeks ago that "there was someone" visiting Stoops, but said he was not a credible source. "It was just a kind of rumor."
That does not mean I'll fire him.
"There are problems at Auburn," said Tuberville, who led the Tigers to an undefeated season in 2004. "There have always been problems at Auburn and, for some reason, they will still have problems at Auburn.
"That said, what I hear from Auburn is that if they pay Gus Malzahn $ 32 million (for a purchase), they want to have someone in the place that can liquidate the troops."
"It's a complete disaster, to be honest, there are too many people there trying to make a decision, obviously they have no idea what they are doing."
Tuberville is not necessarily bitter "He survived the storm", as he said, and took six straight victories against Alabama. Still, the week before the 2003 Iron Bowl was not easy. He has a very good idea of what Malzahn is going through this week.
"You feel like you're on an island," he explained. "There's no boat, there's no lifeguard to get to a safe place, you're just there, nobody's talking to you, you have your assistants, but they're on the road, I probably do not have anybody, really talking to you.
"When I had my JetGate it was during the Iron Bowl week. I could not get the people I spoke with 24 hours earlier by phone or in their office. … You're closed. "
Tuberville made it clear that he has no idea what the future holds for Auburn's head coach position. He can simply relate. In addition, he is not sure who wants to enter the current situation in the Plains.
"I do not know anyone who wants to get into this mess," Tuberville said. "Do you think Bob Stoops wants to get into this mess? He left a better job than this one.
"Jeff Brohm would be my first choice, he could do the job, is he good enough to take the train out of control in Georgia and Alabama? No, because no one is going to catch them."
Tuberville insists that he does not necessarily have to compete with Saban and Smart, he just has to make Auburn as good as possible.
"You want someone to come and drive Auburn as if it were necessary," he explained. "Put people on your side, help raise money, make Auburn the best you can, and if you can beat the people you need to beat, then you will defeat them.
"You can not beat them with everyone who tries to add their own ingredient to how they think things should work." You can not do it ".
Mark Heim is a sports reporter for The Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @Mark_Heim.