Houston Nutt: The Ghost of Mississippi
by Sam Houstan
(At large Arky)
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Razorback football has definitely taken a turn for the worse this year. That is, unless not having Houston Nutt on the sideline is a plus, and rooters for the Razorbacks are surely looking for any plus they can find at this point.
Two narrow come from behind wins (from two not on the radar teams) was the start of the schedule,- and Hog fans began to lament, somewhat accredited lamenting I might add, and the ghost of Houston Nutt began to take shape,-in call in radio sports at least.
Then came the losses. 14 to 49 man handling from Alabama, and a 10 to 52 complete butt whipping from Texas. Call in radio participants who favored Nutt finally had the chance to extract their revenge and did without much fan-fare. Nutts ghost became clearer, but not on the sideline- in the roster instead.
The sideline never seemed in disarray, clock management was exceptional, and play calling was creative for the first time in years, but it was clear that this was the least talented team to take the field in recent memory,- the talent was just not there.
Danny Ford came and went through Razorback football in the blink of a proverbial football eye and no one would praise him now, except for maybe Houstan Nutt. Danny Ford had recruited well, and one more year may have made the difference for him, but it appears that Nutt bore the fruit of D-Fords labors with never as much as even a 'thank you'. Good ol' boys are that way.
Houstan Nutt exceeded most expectations for 'a rebuilding year', Razorback football confidence was at an all time high, and the rest is history.
Today the Hogs got it taken to them 7 to 38 by a hungry Florida Gator team, the same team that Razorbacks former leader and new Ole Miss coach Houstan Nutt surprised the
previous week 31 to 30.
Houston Nutt's ghost became more vivid as
Ole Miss was beaten today 31 to 24 by South Carolina in what had to be deemed by Mississippi fans as somewhat of an upset after last weeks strong showing against the Gators. The old 'win one you shouldn't,- lose one you shouldn't'- the roller coaster ride that we as Razorbacks became accustomed to over the last few years showed itself with vengeance as the ghost reared its ugly head in Oxford.
The Razorbacks however, seemed to have improved against Florida,- the defense was more aggressive with more critical stops, but allowing the long ball on more than one occasion. The offense does well between the twenties but can kill a drive anywhere on the field with one bad play, and struggles tempestiously to finish a drive on a positive note. One important thing to note is that Casey Dick (Ark QB) is number 3 in SEC passing yards (969 yds-4 INT- 14 sacks prior to today).
Who would have guessed that last year? But the bottom line is,- no one expected Arkansas to beat Florida today. In fact, most were surprised we played with them as well as we did, and that may say something about the true strength of the Gators.
Now the moral of the story - There is going to be a lot of bad vibes for a few years to come among Ole Miss and the Razorbacks after the 'golden handcuffs' fiasco. Paying Nutt to leave, leaving before a bowl game, and allowing him to go to a conference team are the things that true rivalries are made of, and both teams need that excitement at this time.
The Razorbacks have nothing better to root for than Houston Nutt losing the game he should win and waiting for the Razor-holy-good-ol-boy-ghost to fade into a Mississippi memory.
Until then, Petrino has a Mulligan.
A Casual Observer