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Friday, December 12, 2008
Auburn's coach search has become a circus

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

Coach search or coach search circus?

And to be fair, maybe a media circus as well.

It's getting to the point with the Auburn coach search that it's easier to list the names of those coaches who haven't interviewed or been connected to the search in some form or fashion than it is to list the names of those who actually have interviewed, been contacted or linked to the search.

A few coaches who've gone through that process are now starting to wonder privately who's making the call.

TCU's Gary Patterson is no longer interested after interviewing on Thursday. Auburn is supposed to talk to Wake Forest's Jim Grobe on Friday, and there are also rumblings that Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson and East Carolina's Skip Holtz could be targets.

There was chatter that Auburn boosters might have reached out to South Carolina's Steve Spurrier to gauge his interest, although Spurrier said Thursday there's nothing to it and he's not going anywhere. A Montgomery, Ala., television station even reported that Auburn may be close to offering its job to Spurrier.

Will Muschamp, the Texas defensive coordinator and coach-in-waiting for the Longhorns, shot down television reports Friday that he was returning to Auburn to be the Tigers' head coach. Muschamp said he has no interest in the job.

There was all the Jimbo Fisher talk earlier this week, but Fisher said he's remaining loyal to Florida State, where he's been designated as Bobby Bowden's future replacement. There's also a multi-million dollar buyout that Fisher would have to deal with if he leaves for another job.

Ole Miss' Houston Nutt got a $1 million raise (to around $2.8 million per year) when word leaked out that Auburn representatives were gauging his interest last week.

Of course, none of this includes the processional of coaches Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs has interviewed, many of whom in New York City. Some of the names: Buffalo coach Turner Gill, Louisiana Tech coach Derek Dooley, Ball State coach Brady Hoke, Tulsa coach Todd Graham, Georgia assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner and Miami offensive coordinator Patrick Nix.

Where does it all end?

Who knows?

Rumor has it that Tommy Tuberville is available.