Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The SEC goes Nutts

Hump day. I posted that on a blog one day and somebody asked me what that meant. Maybe I am dating myself a bit, but good grief.

Just so all you Mississippi State fans out there don't get confused, hump day doesn't have anything to do with your gym. It means "over the hump", as in heading on the down side of the week. Just kidding.

Moving right along, there are understandably lots and lots of blogs and news items and what have you about Houston Nutt and his trip down I-40 to Oxford. I have to admit, I wasn't surprised Arkansas and Nutt parted ways. I was surprised that they spun it as an amicable parting when nobody is going to believe it. All I can say is, Nutt came out waaaayyy ahead in this deal money-wise, and all his recruits appear to be fleeing their vows to Fayetteville like rats deserting a sinking ship. Is this karma, Razorback fans?

HogBlogger writing for RazorBloggers has the explanation of why Houston Nutt had to go. Basically he cites a number of weird email exchanges that is just to complex for me to get my mind around, but sums it up this way:

It’s easy to say that the real issue was that a small group of fans were simply out to get Houston Dale…but that is a total cop-out. The things I’ve mentioned above are part of the public record today and have been so for quite a while. These things alone are enough to justify why Houston Dale had to go. No fan caused his, or his wife, or his coaches, or their wives, involvement in the e-mails. Houston and Diana Nutt did this to themselves.

Interesting. I think maybe you had to be there. Scott at the Hog Source says Nutt will be missed:

As you all know by now, Houston Nutt has “resigned” from the head coaching job at Arkansas. Not alot of resignations come with a payout of 2.4-3.5 million bucks, sounds more like a buyout where they let him go out on a high note. They are alot of people out there who dislike Houston Nutt, and those are the ones that really made it public. The unfortunate thing is that it wasnt public how many people really did like him. Love him or hate him there is one thing for sure, he will be missed.

He, along with his brother Danny Nutt helped bring in 2 of the best players that have ever played Arkansas Razorback football. We, over the last 10 years, have had one of the best running games in the country.

Sunday Morning Quarterback decides to skewer the Hog fans a bit:

Actually, I think Nutt did a fine job at Arkansas: three division titles, two ten-win seasons, however many bowl games, etc. He was 18-8 there the last two years with wins over Alabama, Auburn, LSU, and Tennessee, and was a few minutes away in three very close losses this season from finishing the regular season 11-1, almost entirely with one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in the country (Marcus Monk) on the bench. At Arkansas, that's a solid record on the field.

It's not necessarily his fault that the crazy underbelly of his Ozarkan fan base gave the impression the program was careening out of control and helped drive away possibly the program's most significant recruiting class in decades while specializing in vicious personal attacks, lawsuits, and melodramatic amateur sleuthing.

Heh. Funny, that. What isn't funny is the whole recruiting class thing. As a Kentucky fan, though, I can't be too upset that Nutt's departure drove the best player in the state of Kentucky to decommit from the Hogs and become a Wildcat. So hey, I'm feeling a little sympathetic towards Nutt. For sure, though, he doesn't need it. Will Collier writing for From The Bleachers has this observation:
That's mind-boggling. Here we have a middling, just run off from his own alma mater coach who'd be the biggest clown in the SEC if not for Les Miles and Ed Orgeron (and I guess now I should limit that to Miles)... and Sexton's got two founding members of the conference firing their coaches and upping the ante to hire the guy. Yeah, they're founding members who ain't what they used to be by a long shot, but still.
Hey, that's mister 3.5 million-buyout+2.4million/year middling, just run off from his own alma mater coach to you, bub. Houston may be a Nutt-case, but his banker just don't care.

I have to give it to the Arkasas Athletic Administration -- they really know how to generate publicity for themselves. First they go through the whole Heath/Altman/Gillispie soap opera in basketball, and now this. The bad news is that it doesn't look as likely to work out well for the football team. But who knows, maybe I'm wrong about that.


mlmintampa said...

Does Arkansas think they are a national powerhouse? Because I don't think anyone else does.

BestofSEC said...

You gotta wonder.

Well, I think Ole Miss is pretty happy, and many Arkansas fans as well, at least for the nonce.

Next season promises to be interesting when Nutt leads the Rebels in to Fayetteville.