At halftime of today’s Alabama-Texas A&M game, former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville’s name was trending on Twitter. The long time college football coach is currently running for the U.S. Senate in Alabama against incumbent Doug Jones. Jones, a Democrat looking to hang on to a seat in one of the reddest states in the country, definitely spent some serious money to air an anti-Tuberville attack ad on national television during the CBS broadcast, as an appeal to all the Crimson Tide fans out there.
Tuberville was the head coach at Auburn from 1999-2008. That wasn’t a particularly great era for Alabama football, and Tuberville’s Tigers took advantage, going 7-3 in his tenure in the Iron Bowl, including a six-game win streak from 2002-07.
The ad that Jones ran is focused on Tuberville’s history as a coach on the move. His record in that regard isn’t all that different from other careerist coaches in the field, but as a new politician, there isn’t much else to go on.
The video brands Tuberville as a “quitter,” using the famous “They’ll have to carry me out of here in a pine box” quote he had a week before leaving Ole Miss for Auburn. It goes on to detail his Auburn buyout, his quick departure from Texas Tech, and the really ugly end of his Cincinnati tenure, in which he bickered with Bearcats fans while leaving the field after his final game.
The anti-Tommy Tuberville political ad that ran on CBS calling him a quitter is loooooool pic.twitter.com/27ExWzvtY0
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) October 3, 2020
While we’re all used to being inundated with political ads every election season, you usually don’t get them for a state election aired on national television. The Jones campaign is making an aggressive bid to get back into the race.
At the very least, it caught the college football world’s attention.
Damn, a Tommy Tuberville smear ad on national CBS at halftime of the Alabama game. That's gotta be expensive.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) October 3, 2020
I might move to Alabama just to vote against Tommy Tuberville by Nov. 3… pic.twitter.com/C5hDKySf8R
— Jim Weber (@JimMWeber) October 3, 2020
Tommy Tuberville political ad at halftime of the main SEC game. Buddy, that's placement.
— Adam Kramer (@KegsnEggs) October 3, 2020
Doug Jones airing a one-minute long national attack ad on Tommy Tuberville during Bama/A&M >>>>>
— Patrick Daugherty (@RotoPat) October 3, 2020
It will be an uphill battle based on the polls. Tommy Tuberville has also been endorsed by President Donald Trump, and the GOP needs to flip that seat back badly. If Doug Jones loses, he’s going to go down swinging, and reminding the many college football fans in Alabama and everywhere else of how Tuberville’s career in the sport wound up.