Is Houston Nutt Really Interested in the Kansas Job?

Roger Gowens@RazorsEdge56Correspondent IDecember 8, 2009

OXFORD, MS - OCTOBER 10:  Coach Houston Nutt of the Mississippi Rebels yells instructions in the second half of a 22-3 loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide during their college football game at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on October 10, 2009 in Oxford, Mississippi. At right is special teams coordinator James Shibest. (Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images)
Dave Martin/Getty Images

For Arkansas Razorback fans, the recent rumors of Houston Nutt leaving Oxford, Miss., for the open Kansas job brings to mind the Barenaked Ladies song "It's All Been Done."

I have no idea if Nutt is already seriously considering leaving Ole Miss for greener pastures, emphasis on green, but this move has superagent/flesh peddler Jimmy Sexton's fingerprints all over it.

In Nutt's last five years at Arkansas, Nebraska supposedly had a plane waiting for him and wife Diana to fly to Lincoln for a presser.

Nutt, whose relationship with former Boss Hog Frank Broyles brought to mind Mr. Roarke and Tattoo of the '70s TV show Fantasy Island (da plane Boss, da plane!) used what was a fantasy according to the Nebraska AD to weasel a new contract and the promise of a two-year free pass out of the deal. 

Just a year later, in 2004, when Nick Saban left LSU for the Miami Dolphins, lo and behold, whose name popped up yet again for another job? Houston Nutt.

In 2007, when some UA fan requested and got Nutt's phone records from late 2006, it was revealed that Nutt had placed numerous calls to North Carolina State right after their job opened up.

When that job was filled, calls were made to an Associate AD and a prominent booster at Miami.

Nutt, who was a close friend of the fired coach (I've already forgotten his name) and claims Jimmy Johnson as a mentor clearly could have used those connections to know whom to call.

When Miami hired Randy Shannon and the FOI records were released, Nutt reiterated his intention of being at Arkansas, denied interest in those jobs and delivered one of his patented "love that helmet" Jimmy Swaggart-style sermonettes.

Tired of the constant drama surrounding this man after 10 years of this stuff, most Hog fans were relieved when Nutt was relieved of his duties.

Ole Miss AD Pete Boone, a man Nutt reportedly doesn't get along with, had just issued a statement in which he stated that Mr. Ed Orgeron would get one more year to turn things around.

Then a funny thing happened. Nutt's agent apparently called Boone or someone at Ole Miss, told them of Nutt's interest in their job, and the rest is history. Or is it? Is the Houston Nutt traveling tent revival/soap opera history at Ole Miss after only two years?

Granted, with Sexton involved, this could be just another ploy to get Hootie yet another raise and contract extension after a disappointing season.

While 8-4 is far better than anything Orgeron managed, when your team starts in the preseason Top 10 and ends up in the "others receiving votes" category after a thrashing at the hands of an instate rival with a losing's a disappointment.

Any Ole Miss fan who says otherwise must not have heard those boos at halftime against 'Bama. I can guarantee the rabbit-eared Nutt did.

So why would a man leave an SEC school for Kansas, a school whose football program mostly serves as a warmup for the roundballers?

As anyone familiar with Nutt's record knows, his coaching career has been marked by two good seasons followed by two bad ones.

Don't believe me? 1998-99: 9-3/8-4, 2000-01: 6-6/7-5, '02-03 9-5/9-4, '04-05: 5-6/4-7, '06-07:10-4/8-4. Guess which cycle Ole Miss is headed for after a 17-8 record in Nuttrageous' first two years?

KU basketball coach, Bill Self, is a friend of Nutt from their days at Oklahoma State. I was surprised to learn that Mark Mangino was paid $2.3 million a year there, only slightly less than Nutt makes. Kansas has made major improvements in their football facilities.

In the mediocre Big 12 North, winning seven or eight games a year would be much easier than in the SEC West. That and getting to a bowl, any bowl, seems to be all Nutt aspires to besides lining his pockets and winning the fans' adulation the first couple of years.

With Dexter McCluster and Shay Hodge, roughly 80 percent-90 percent of the Rebels' offense this season (other than erratic Jevan Snead) leaving along with numerous other seniors, the next two years could be rough in Oxford.

Hmmm. Same as UA going into 2008 with Darren McFadden and Felix Jones leaving early and many seniors such as Peyton Hillis and Marcus Monk and not much experienced talent left behind.

That's Nutt's MO, Ole Miss. You should know that after the Yellafella rumors about Auburn last season. How you got the idea you know this guy better than UA fans in his short time there is laughable.

Whether he's using you to get a raise or really serious about Kansas, this has to be an embarrassment for Ole Miss. Get used to it for however long he's there.

And, oh yeah. I can hear it now. "We couldn't recruit to Ole Miss because of that chant and the Klan protest." The guy never runs out of excuses.

Kale Pick is the heir apparent as the Kansas QB. Pick was committed to Arkansas before Nutt's departure. You can bet before the calculating Nutt would make this leap that he would be sure Mangino had left the cupboard full and had a quarterback.

Following verbally abusive old school coaches is what Nutt does. Danny Ford at UA, Orgeron at Ole Miss and Mangino all had a rep for haranguing players.

Then the smooth-talking Nutt comes along with his "players' coach" spiel and gets talented players to drink the Kool-Aid and voila! The team starts winning and Nutt hears his name chanted as he does his Harry High School routine after victories.

I don't really care whether Nutt goes to Kansas. Mostly, I would like for him to stay at Ole Miss long enough to run their program into the ground.

I'm still not sure if there's any fire to go with all this smoke, but it sure will be fun to sit back and watch though, knowing that Nutty Buddy is some other fan base's problem.

It's all been done before....


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