BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — UAB is just restarting its football program and the Blazers say there is mutual interest with Auburn to play a game in 2019 or beyond, UAB athletics director Mark Ingram said Monday.
No deal is finalized and discussions are in preliminary stages, but UAB and Auburn started discussing a game as far back as two days before UAB football was officially reinstated in June 2015, Ingram said.
“I’ve had good conversations with Auburn,” Ingram said Monday at the Associated Press Editors’ southeast regional meeting on the UAB campus. “Jay Jacobs, their athletics director, is a dear friend of mine and he and I talked about it. It’s just about trying to get the right year when they’re looking for somebody.”
Auburn’s schedule is booked through 2017 and UAB is scheduled to return to the field the same year. The two programs have played once on the football field: a 29-0 Auburn victory in 1996.
“They’re interested and we’re interested, so it’s just a matter of getting the guarantee (money) right and getting the match-up right,” Ingram said.
Auburn is interested in playing one game at Jordan-Hare Stadium, Ingram said.
“A team like Auburn would pay us to come over there one time and play. Auburn wants to do that, just candidly, because they think can beat us,” Ingram said. “So they basically are buying a win. That’s the way they view that. So, would you rather play Virginia, who is a good team and Virginia pays $800,000, or would rather play Auburn and they’re going to pay you $1.5 million? What’s the difference, really? I guess Auburn is a better team in theory — depends on the year, right? — than say Virginia, but you don’t know that when you set it up. So if you’re going to play one, you might as well get paid. You might as well get what you can get and that’s been our view on it.”
Eight to 10 schools contacted UAB in June for possible games in the future, Ingram said.
Auburn has not immediately returned messages from SEC Country concerning the game proposal.
Auburn non-conference games
SEC Country will update this story.