Will Tuberville be Razorbacks Next Head Coach?
The hot topic on Razorback message boards for months has been who the next head coach at the UA will be. Although many names have been discussed, one name is starting to stand out from the others. Arkansas native, Tommy Tuberville.
When Houston Nutt was hired in 1997, the man Frank Broyles actually wanted was then Ole Miss head coach, Tommy Tuberville. After the 98 season, Tuberville ended up leaving the Rebels for the plains of Auburn where he won 5 division championships and one outright SEC championship.
When Nutt left in 2007, the first name to pop up as a potential replacement was Tuberville who had just resigned at Auburn stating he needed to take a year off to "step back and reflect". Bobby Petrino was named Arkansas' next head coach and Tuberville ended up at Texas Tech after sitting out the 2008 season.
Within hours of Petrino's firing this past April, Tuberville's name was once again brought up as a potential replacement. Although his name has been low on the list of possibilities until recently. Now, more and more people are claiming their "inside sources" are confirming Tommy's the man and I'm starting to think that they may be right.
Tuberville has his Red Raider team sitting at 6-2 with 4 games left in the regular season which, considering the mess he inherited three years ago, that's a pretty big feat. The Texas Tech defense has improved leaps and bounds since 2008. Mike Leach's last season in Lubbock, the Red Raiders defense ranked 80th in total defense. This year, the Red Raiders have the 12th best defense in the country. What a difference three seasons make.
The downside, is how many penalties Tech racks up each week. They're one of the most penalized teams in the country right now and have been the past few years. Tuberville's Auburn teams were more disciplined than that. Wonder if he's getting a little soft?
I never have been a big fan of Tommy Tuberville, because he comes off kinda smug and arrogant (and I will never forget his "nothing smells worse than a wet hog" comment prior to the 98 Ole Miss game), but I do like that he coaches fundamentals. He doesn't bring some gimmick offense with him nor does he live or die by trick plays (although, he does gamble a lot during the course of the season and you never know what his teams will do on fourth down). He's very detail oriented and has his teams ready to play every week.
I think Tuberville could actually take Arkansas to the promise land. It may take a few years because, like Texas Tech, Arkansas' defense is miles from where it needs to be to seriously compete for a championship. But, if he can do it at a school like Texas Tech, I think he could definitely do it at Arkansas.
We shall see. Less than 30 days before Jeff Long ends the suspense and names a new head coach! One thing I know for sure, it won't be John L. Smith.