DESTIN, Florida — UAB wants to play Auburn and the feeling is mutual.
Auburn is interested in hosting the Blazers for a non-conference game in the future, but no plans have been set, athletics director Jay Jacobs confirmed Wednesday at the SEC’s annual spring meetings.
“We’re still trying to work that out,” Jacobs said. “We’d love to play UAB. We’ve played them before. We’d love to play them again. If it works out for them and if it’s a day we could play, we’d love to play them.”
Auburn is booked through 2017, the season UAB will return to the field after its program was disbanded following the 2014 season.
Jacobs reached out to UAB athletics director Mark Ingram about scheduling a non-conference game in the future two days before the school announce the resurrection of the program.
“I’ve had good conversations with Auburn,” Ingram said at the Associated Press Editors’ southeast regional meeting on the UAB campus in April. “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.”
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.
Ingram likes the benefits of playing the in-state school.
“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 non-conference games