You know it's the coaching silly season when a retired coach has to deny he's a candidate for a job that isn't even currently open. And yet, here we are with former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops. 

Some backstory: There's a growing rumbling that Auburn coach Gus Malzahn isn't nearly as safe as one would think a coach who just this year signed a seven-year, $49 million contract with an outrageous $32 million-plus buyout would be. The Tigers are coming off of a 7-5 season that included a 52-21 loss to Alabama and a woeful offensive unit that finished near the bottom of the SEC in most major categories. Though Auburn just went through coaching drama with Malzahn a season ago, he agreed to a new deal last December as he took the Tigers to the SEC Championship Game. 

But with Auburn underperforming again, the powers that be reportedly want Malzahn out; how that would happen -- whether Malzahn would be fired or leave for another job -- or if it happens at all remains to be seen. In any case, both Football Scoop and Josh Moon noted on Monday that "people representing Auburn met with Bob Stoops a few weeks back," to which Stoops responded to USA Today in kind: 

That's a strong statement, but of course there's an obvious caveat: Malzahn still has a job. Maybe Stoops, who retired last summer after 18 years, really isn't interested in getting back into coaching. However, no coach, active or otherwise, is going to give credence to a rumor when the job in question is still filled. And conspiracy theorists will point out it wasn't technically a denial that he would take the job later. 

So call it a denial, call it something short of one, but those are stern words. Whether it's Malzahn, Stoops or someone else coaching Auburn in 2019, if we've learned one thing about that job it's that it's never short on drama.