Bob Stoops’ name hasn’t stopped circulating in coaching rumors since he stepped down from the Oklahoma job last summer. But after a few quiet months, Stoops’ name has surfaced again for a job that isn’t currently open: Auburn.
Gus Malzahn was thought to be safe at Auburn a year after signing a seven-year, $49 million extension with the Tigers. But following a 7-5 season, Malzahn is back on the hot seat despite his own athletic director saying he’s safe.
First, there was this from The Alabama Reporter’s Josh Moon:
Here’s where Stoops’ name comes up. According to FootballScoop, Auburn officials met with the former Sooners’ coach recently to discuss interest should the Tigers part ways with Malzahn.
“For what it is worth, FootballScoop was told that people representing Auburn met with Bob Stoops a few weeks back,” the report says.
When asked by USA Today’s George Schroeder Monday night, Stoops denied being contacted by Auburn reps:
“I didn’t know Auburn had a job open,” Stoops told Schroeder. “I haven’t talked to anybody from Auburn.”
It seems highly unlikely that Stoops would return to college football at all, let alone for this job in particular. Auburn has a high ceiling, but also a low floor, extremely high expectations and a pair of rivalry problems in Tuscaloosa and Athens.
If Stoops wanted to come back to college football — which would go contrary to everything he’s publicly said since retiring — Auburn would be a weird choice. Especially with his hometown Cleveland Browns job opening up and with rumors surrounding Urban Meyer at Ohio State.
Still, the rumors persist. Here’s a flight tracker that shows a flight going between Norman, Okla. and Montgomery, Ala.
It’s worth noting that Stoops lives in Chicago for a good chunk of the year, and wouldn’t necessarily be in Norman this week.
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