News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

Tuberville says coaches erred overlooking Cox
AU coach feels his quarterback is underrated

DAPHNE (AP) — Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville says there was an omission on the preseason All-SEC team voted by the coaches — his quarterback, Brandon Cox.

Cox was the MVP of the Southeastern Conference last year in Tuberville's eyes, and the coach said the senior should have been on the all-league team voted on by coaches and released by the SEC office.

"I think Brandon is one of those type of guys who never gets a lot of exposure, but he's what, 19-5, something like that, since he's been at Auburn (as a starter)," Tuberville said. "That's pretty good, better than the other quarterbacks they voted on."

Tuberville's comments came at the Baldwin County Auburn Club on Thursday.

Coaches voted Kentucky's André Woodson as the first-team quarterback on the preseason All-SEC list. Tennessee's Eric Ainge was on the second team and Vanderbilt's Chris Nickson was on the third team.

"It's a popularity contest," Tuberville said. "Brandon, last year, he was the MVP of the league in my eyes the way he persevered after injury. He played in three or four games he probably shouldn't have. But because he played, we won them."

Auburn placed eight players — six of them on the defensive side — on the preseason All-SEC team, which was third behind LSU and Arkansas with 12 each.

Defensive end Quentin Groves was the only Auburn player voted to the first team and defensive back Jonathan Wilhite was the only Tiger on the second team.

Most of the state's attention throughout offseason has been generated by the arrival of new Alabama coach Nick Saban, and that's just fine with Tuberville as he enters his ninth season at Auburn.

"That's great, isn't it? I love it," he said.

"We like to be quiet. We have low expectations from the media this year. We always have high expectations as coaches and a team. Not a lot of people counting us in this year, but we'll see what happens."

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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