"A Good Luck Rub"

We are tired of discussing Houston Nutt, but one South Regional message board decided to put up a forum with a poll asking which coach you would choose after one year: Bobby Petrino or Houston Nutt. When a Razorback fan (who mentioned the poll to us via e-mail) chose to discuss the subject, he was met with much debate from SEC fans.

Yes we realize that we are breaking a "rule" discussing this topic by going in and rehashing a subject that some of you will not care to read about, but we thought that the love affair that SEC fans have with Houston and how little that they know about the coach deserved it one last look. After this, hopefully, we will never have to discuss the coach unless it is Ole Miss week - or unless he does something worth mentioning.

[Questions and statements posed are in red followed up by the response. The questions were listed and their answer follows. The original post by the Hog fan defended you, the fans,' reasoning for wanting Houston Nutt out at the University of Arkansas. This is not a back and forth debate, just one post to multiple questions.]

Here we go:


I will try to respond to all of you in this one post, forgive me if I miss something, please.

The Poo, it's not hogwash, you've not seen Saturday after Saturday of this man's offensive scheme, especially after he has "his" players in place. Even at Arkansas we knew how poor of a coach he was in comparison to the rest of the SEC. His talent (five of his big names admitted that they would have played at Arkansas no matter who the coach was - including McFadden, Andrews, and Matt Jones - who saved Nutt's job years ago and who admitted publicly and to the media that he came to Arkansas because he wanted to be a RAZORBACK and that Nutt told him that he could play basketball IF he came here. Jones' desire to play basketball mixed with his love for the RAZORBACKS is what made him sign with the UofA after OU told him that he would not be allowed to play basketball there) carried and saved Nutt on multiple occasions.

I disagree strongly with that. While I don't think that Nutt is on level of the upper tier coaches in the SEC, he's still a pretty darn good coach. You'll never get me to believe that Arkansas didn't do him wrong by forcing him out the door. He might have been the best thing going for that program. Maybe I'll be proven wrong after Petrino gets a few years under his belt, but I doubt it.
Hogpuddin I take it you're in that Northeastern group of Razorback fans?

Is Nutt a good coach? Yeah, he has the ability to coach, otherwise he would not have been in the position to coach at Boise State and at Murray State. But do me a favor, please look up his records while at those two colleges. He did have some great games, and even one good season at Boise State (who, by and large, is not a shabby school even now years later so it is hard to debate that Nutt's coaching could account for that), but he had lousy numbers. Was he done a favor by his buddy Frank Broyles when Nutt was hired at Arkansas? It looks like it. So this is all debatable.

Do his offenses usually perform poorly? Absolutely. Is his first season at a new school usually impressive? Absolutely. Look at what he did at Arkansas with Danny Ford's players. A recruited class that was ranked in the Top 5 in the Nation. Look at what he did when their backs were the last thing that he saw; not so impressive.

Did we show him the door? Yes we did. Did he deserve it? Yes he did. It was ten years of frustration by fans that caused the souring. Years of calling Nutt's beloved "Smoke Draw" on third and long only to see a tackle made at the line of scrimmage. Years of offensive players being frustrated (ask Peyton Hillis) due to their plays being called out by the opposing defense's players prior to the snap time and time again. Years of RRS Section 125 who listened to a ten-year-old boy (younger than that when he started doing it) accurately call out Houston's next play before the players even broke the huddle; and do you not think that well-paid, knowledgeable SEC defensive coordinators could not figure out his strategy if a young child could?

That's just for starters. Were you close enough to the situation to understand how poorly he treated some of his players? How he ran off players (and a coach) that drew more attention than he did? One who was the recipient of High School Player of the year from several National publications. Were you close enough to the situation when, after a National sports magazine did an article on Freshman Quarterback Mitch Mustain, Offensive Coordinator Gus Malzahn, and Co-coordinator/QB Coach Alex Woods, Nutt (reported by several inside the program - some of which I am trusted friends with) said over the headset communications system at the start of the next game, "I am taking over the play calling today and from now on fellas." Arkansas was 9 -1 at that point. They won over lowly Mississippi State. How did they finish the season after Nutt took offensive control? With three straight losses. Three straight losses with Darren McFadden, Felix Jones, and Chris Houston (who came to Arkansas due to an assistant coach).

I am at the tip of the iceburg; the details, agendas, and innuendos behind the scenes would only make my friends (the fans) at Ole Miss shiver. We will not go into the poor treatment of Gus Malzahn including Houston's stabbing him in the back publicly without mentioning it to Coach Malzahn. I do not have enough time to type it. However, I will mention that the "WildRebel" that Ole Miss fans love was originally (this is well-known) called the "Wildcat" and then changed to the "WildHog." Why is this significant? Because the scheme and plays that come with this formation are not, as Houston has stated, Nutt's idea. No, it came from a high school team - a team coached by Gus Malzahn. A scheme brought to the University of Arkansas by Coach Malzahn. Houston just could not be outdone again so the math is there to be done by you, the reader. In fact, just within the past few weeks one ESPN play-by-play even stressed this on the air of a game that had nothing to do with Arkansas, Tulsa, or even Ole Miss.

No, I am from a completely different direction than the "Northeast." I actually supported and defended Houston for a lot longer than many of the other fans did.

You got to be kidding right? Beating Florida wasn't spectacular? I don't have any delusions of grandeur in thinking that Ole Miss is better than Florida, we were just a very opportunistic team that day. We took advantages of a few Florida mistakes, but I certainly think coaching is what made that possible. You can talk all you want about personnel but as Orgeron showed, talent alone will not win, they have to be coached. I also think that anyone who has watched any college football in their lifetime can agree with that "HEART" and "MOTIVATION" can beat talent anytime. The problem with Heisman worthy talent is that they tend to think of themselves more than the team. I will exclude Tebow from that last statement because he is about the best team playing Heisman winner I have ever seen.

And of course guys, this is just IMHO. So what I seem to have taken a novel to explain. Nutt definitely gets my vote for 1st year coach of the year. HOUSTON NUTT

Beating Florida was spectacular and impressive. I congratulated you guys on doing it. Florida's downfall in that game was when they decided that their best way to score on a particular drive was to have Tebow run it in on multiple tries. This particular strategy failed on that day resulting in an Ole Miss stop and a Florida loss.

You mentioned "heart" and "motivation." If you want motivation at Ole Miss then you got it. Houston could pump up a group of daycare kids to eat twenty pounds of broccoli. His pregame speeches and rah-rah are among the best. But his former players will admit that the speeches only work for so long and get you so far.

In fact, while we're on the topic of former players, I will briefly mention/summarize a few of the former HOGS Coach's former players' sentiments:

Wide Receiver Richard Smith: Says that Nutt ruined his college career and any chance that he had of being effective in the NFL. Smith was drafted, but he said that Nutt had not prepared him to play in the NFL.

Clint Stoerner in a radio interview: Coach Nutt could have done a better job. That was all that Clint wanted to say on the subject.

Tony Bua: Tony did not go so far on a radio show as to insult Coach Nutt, but you could tell that his opinions of his coaching, separate from liking him as a person, were less than complimentary, basically repeating that Houston did a great job as a motivator, leaving to deduct his poor ability to coach on a high level.

Peyton Hillis: Too much to talk about here. However, it must be stated that Arkansas' coaching staff put Hillis on a gag order more than once and kept him away from the media each time following comments about, you guessed it, Houston Nutt. The shocker: Hillis is a good, polite young man, so it leaves to wonder what Nutt could be doing to cause this young man to be silenced by him and his staff.

This was just a few of the comments made, there are several more. Also, Smith was one of many players that Nutt "threw under the bus." Houston loves to "throw people under the bus" unless HE wins. Please note and stress the word 'HE.'

And a comment on Clint Stoerner and Matt Jones: both were well-known to not run the plays that Houston sent into the huddle. Both would often call their own plays much to Houston's angst. Both stayed on the field despite this. And for a particular example, if you can remember the pass play that Stoerner used to beat Tennessee his Senior Year, you may or may not know that that play was not anywhere near the play that Houston sent in. In fact, several players have been quoted as saying that Stoerner knew that the play that Houston had sent in would not work, therefore the quarterback called a play that he knew that would. The result, a long pass play and a victory for Arkansas.

TO AN OLE MISS POSTER: It's hard to argue that coaching isn't the difference at Ole Miss after the one year turnaround from Orgeron to Nutt, especially given the two teams were essentially made up of the same players. And you guys played your hearts out against us in Gainesville. Y'all deserved that win.

No offense to Ole Miss, but Orgeron was and is definitely one of the worst college head coaches that I have ever seen. If not for him, Houston would have been even lower on the SEC Coaches Depth Chart. But man, that guy could recruit; Houston should be thankful.

It is Sunday, and I do not have any more time to type and discuss this and other matters on the practices of Houston Dale Nutt, but if you need more clarification, please visit message boards like http://www.hogville.net/, http://www.hogsportstalk.com/, a place called Woopig, as well as several others and ask them what their honest opinions are....

Would you and do you agree with these statements? Is there more to add?

The post closes respectively and the message is one that could be a toss-up. Are other SEC fans blind to the Houston Nutt shenanigans, or did we at Arkansas actually run off a good coach? Ole Miss is bowl eligible this year, but I think that the decision in the minds of most Hog fans has been made.

Feel free to comment above and to e-mail me at haydenhodges34@gmail.com. Thank you.
Arkansas Razorbacks