Three Cheers for Houston Nutt

NuttWell at least one?

After having to resign (before fired) from Arkansas before even going to the Cotton Bowl, Nutt was hired as the new coach at Ole Miss. Having gone 5-6 and 4-7 in ’04 and ’05, Nutt’s Arkansas teams rebounded to go 10-4 and 8-4 in ’06 and ’07 lead mostly by Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. Arkansas beat eventual-champion LSU in triple overtime last year and went to eight bowl games in his ten years, winning two, including the ’99 Cotton Bowl. His Arkansas teams went 75-48.

This season, Ole Miss already had three wins including last weekend’s upset of Florida in Gainesville and just barely lost at Wake Forest. Last season the Rebels were 3-9 and only beat Memphis, Louisiana Tech and Northwestern State. In 2006 they were 4-8, 3-8 in 2005, 4-7 in 2004. In other words, Ole Miss has been terrible since Eli Manning graduated after the 2004 Cotton Bowl victory over Oklahoma State.

In 2008, Arkansas is 2-2 so far with extremely close victories over Western Illinois and Louisiana Monroe. The two losses have been 49-14 to Alabama and 52-10 at Texas. Granted, Texas and ‘Bama appear to be class teams, but those are two terrible blowouts.

The difference between the two teams this year? Houston Nutt. Arkansas hired traitor/bastard/idiot Bobby Petrino from the Atlanta Falcons over the winter and essentially everything has gone wrong since. Meanwhile, Ole Miss brings in Nutt, a 10-year veteran of the SEC West and immediately their fortunes turn around. I think Houston Nutt deserves some credit, not just for being a better person and coach than Bobby Petrino, but for being generally underrated all this time in Fayetteville and now in Oxford.

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