After a couple of wobbly seasons, Ole Miss officials announced today that this year will be the last one with Houston Nutt as head football coach.
“Our goal is to compete for championships, and we are not making progress in that regard,” said University of Mississippi Athletic Director Boone at a press conference on Monday afternon. “It’s time for our team to have new leadership and a new direction.”
Nutt coached at the University of Arkansas for 10 seasons and was hired by Ole Miss in 2008. In 2008 and 2009, Ole Miss finished each season with an 8-4 record and victories in the Cotton Bowl. The team went into decline from there, ending 2010 with a 4-8 record (1-7 in the Southeastern Conference (SEC)) and struggling to a 2-7 record (0-6 in the SEC). Ole Miss has dropped 14 of its last 15 SEC games over the past two seasons.
After Kentucky got its first SEC win of the season on Saturday by beating Ole Miss 30-13, the blogsphere was full of rumors stating that the university would announce it was done with Nutt. Those rumors proved true on Monday. Nutt will be gone after this season and Boone announced that he will also step down within the year.
Back in 2007, Arkansas fans were downright vilified for being highly critical of Nutt and blamed for running him out of his job. We were told we expected too much, were characterized as insane and guilty of running off a good coach.
Nutt did at Ole Miss pretty much what he did at the University of Arkansas — he raised fans’ hopes with a couple of good seasons and didn’t quite deliver. Apparently, his sunshine-and-rainbows tactics played about as well as Ole Miss as they did with the Razorbacks.
Ah, but there’s good news for Ole Miss fans. Bobby Petrino has turned the Razorbacks’ mediocre ways around, finishing 10-2 (6-2 in the SEC) in the regular season last year and leading the Hogs to the Sugar Bowl — the first Bowl Championship Series (BCS) appearance for Arkansas. The Razorbacks are 8-1 (4-1 in the SEC) this year, are ranked in the top 10 and have their eyes on another quality bowl.
So, have hope, Ole Miss fans. The damage Nutt inflicts on programs can be repaired with the right people in charge and the right recruits.
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.