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ksdtrojan
12-12-2007, 07:25 AM
Troy football coach could bring up-tempo spread to Auburn


Wednesday, December 12, 2007 CHARLES GOLDBERG

News staff writer
AUBURN - Tony Franklin has taken the gospel of his up-tempo spread offense to colleges and high schools across the South.
Now the businessman, consultant, author and assistant coach may be just days away from bringing that upbeat style to Auburn University on a permanent basis.
Franklin has emerged as the leading candidate to replace Al Borges as Auburn's offensive coordinator, and could be named to that job by the end of the week, The Birmingham News has learned. Franklin wouldn't have far to go to get the job. He has been the offensive coordinator at Troy University the last two years. Troy head coach Larry Blakeney confirmed Tuesday that Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville has met with Franklin about the offensive coordinator position.
Franklin is known for his no-huddle spread offense that seems to always produce points. His offense at Troy is ranked 17th nationally.
Tuberville has been considering making the move to the spread offense, a move that would try to mix the spread's quick passes out of multiple receiver sets with a desire to have a physical running game.
Auburn formally announced it had accepted Borges' resignation Tuesday, which had been reported earlier by The News.
Tuberville is working to have his new offensive coordinator on the job before Auburn begins practice for the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Friday.
Borges, whose offense led the SEC in scoring in 2004 and 2005 but had slipped to 101st in total offense this year, said in a statement that "after speaking with Coach Tuberville for the better part of 20 minutes, it became increasingly clear that Auburn needed a new offensive coordinator."
Defensive coordinator Will Muschamp was on a list of candidates for the head coaching job at Arkansas until Bobby Petrino resigned from the Atlanta Falcons to become the Razorbacks' head coach late Tuesday.
Franklin turned his knowledge of the game, which included four years at Kentucky with Hal Mumme, into a busy consulting business. A USA Today story in 2005 said Franklin was a consultant to 70 schools in a business that grossed approximately $170,000. His Web site, tonyfranklinfootball.com, extols the virtues of an offense that spreads the field with skilled players.
Blakeney said schools such as Appalachian State, West Virginia and Oregon run a version of Franklin's spread offense.
"I don't know if a version totally like this is run in the SEC, but it's been field-tested against the SEC," Blakeney said.
Troy scored 34 on Georgia this season, the second most points scored against the Bulldogs. Troy also scored 31 on Florida, the third-most points the Gators allowed this year. Troy also scored 26 on Arkansas. Those 91 points tops the 49 points Auburn scored against the same three opponents.
Troy's quarterback, Omar Haugabook, passed for 2,975 yards and 18 touchdowns and rushed for 631 yards and 11 more scores this season.
Franklin coached at Kentucky from 1997 to 2000, including three seasons as the running backs coach. He was named offensive coordinator for the 2000 season when he helped the Wildcats to several school records. Kentucky finished second in the nation in passing and 11th in total offense that year. Kentucky's quarterbacks during his tenure were Tim Couch, Dusty Bonner and Jared Lorenzen.
This year, Troy is 17th in the nation in total offense, 30th in passing offense and 35th in rushing offense.
Franklin has written two books - "Fourth Down and Life To Go," which chronicles the experiences of his college football journey, and "Victor's Victory," a story of the life and death of Hoover High School football player Victor Dionte Hill, who died from cardiac arrest during one of Franklin's consulting sessions. News staff writer Mike Perrin contributed to this story. cgoldberg@bhamnews.com