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Pssst! On the Next Episode of SEC Coach Swap...

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Multiple sources confirm it. A friend of mine who is a big Auburn fan just texted me and said Tuberville is headed to Arkansas and Orgeron is going to be his defensive coordinator. Book it, fans.

Ongoing joke of the day on Southern Miss boards: if you can dream it, there's a South Carolina TV station that can confirm it. Probably an Arkansas TV station, too.

Who has confirmed Tuberville is bolting the Plains for Razorbackistan: the unstoppable train of rumormongering on every message board in the South. He's already bolted, in fact, for those vaults of sweet, sweet Wal-Mart coin. Who has not, even after an evening and night of complete certainty on the Web: any single mainstream print news outlet in the states of Alabama or Arkansas.

The instinct in `Bama, apparently, is to reassure: the Huntsville Times soothes anxious readers by reminding them Tuberville recorded a statement for his radio show saying, "I'm not looking to go anywhere," and assuring them Auburn AD Jay Jacobs denies Arkansas reports on Tuberville, while the Mobile Press-Register writes the Hogs haven't asked about Tubbie. Less assuredly, the Birmingham News reports Tuberville skipped a scheduled contract meeting Wednesday and is in no rush to sign a new deal.

The Northwest Arkansas Times, hearing the TV and Web rumors (and there is very little difference, I'd say), getting indications from its own sources that the deal was done or going to be done, hunted down Arkansas AD-to-be Jeff Long at the Arkansas-Memphis basketball game Wednesday, where he said this:

"I will say that many reports about an SEC West coach are extremely premature, not only premature but fantasy, " Long said Wednesday night.
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(emphasis added)
That was Wednesday, of course, and things change very quickly these days in 24 hours - the "done deal" rumors heated up well after Long compared Tubs in Fayetteville to Gandolf in Middle Earth or whatever. Publicly, though, one athletic director says, "I know nothing, and if there was more than nothing, I'd know," and the other says "It's fantasy," and no reliable mainstream outlets (TV=not reliable, especially when "there is still a chance the situation can change") or Brian Cook types (which do not exist in Southern blogdome) have come up with anything solid to the contrary after a good 36 hours of intense gossip. So we'll see.

Why god why?
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This is tidier, if that's possible, than what's going at Southern Miss, which according to boards interviewed South Carolina and ex-USM defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix Wednesday, then offered him Thursday (per the now-notorious South Carolina TV station), then convincingly denied either of these events had occurred; the Carolina station quickly pulled its offer story from the Web, though there is still one up this morning, weirdly, from a station in Wisconsin. Nix is the most obvious of the many, many, many possible candidates being bandied about, and as such appears to have at least informally talked with AD Richard Giannini this week. But Giannini insists some of his targets are coaching this weekend and no formal interviews will be conducted until next week. Southern Miss Web partisans - united about 10 to 1 against Nix, at least - are momentarily relieved but still forced into action to downplay Nix's candidacy every hour or so from South Carolina fans dropping by to insist our boy is coming home. Both factions appear to be operating primarily on wish fulfillment.

In the meantime, more popular names - Jimbo Fisher, Will Muschamp, Georgia Southern head coach Chris Hatcher - gain traction, along with, ridiculously, Terry Bowden. Terry Bowden? Please, folks. It's a name, an old, mostly discredited name after the heap he left in Auburn - recall why Tuberville's such a commodity these days - and even if USM was shortsighted enough to stoop for a recognizable but extremely out of practice SEC retread, he's got a cushy booth job where he can jabber on about his daddy and would never be interes...what? He is interested? Oh shit.

He's on campus with Will Muschamp, man! Swear ta gawd!

Update [2007-11-30 11:21:25 by SMQ]: Michigan, by contrast, being upright and stolid Midwesterners content to watch the fracas with disapproval from its office window, is keeping things simple: the Wolverines beckon to Les Miles, and the old charge dutifilly relents, according to MGoBlog, which, undeterred by the collapse of last week's initial Ferentz rumors, has it on good authority – well, "authority" - that Miles has told his players goodbye and will accept the Michigan job after Saturday's SEC Championship game.

That leaves an opening at LSU, which fortunately for the Internet has the potential to redefine 'wild.' If I can have your ear for a second, Tigers, I'd like to put in a good word for a certain ex-Auburn coach...