Is Houston Nutt Lane Kiffin's Successor On Rocky Top?

William RamseyContributor IIJanuary 13, 2010

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 02:  Head coach Houston Nutt of the Mississippi Rebels during the AT&T Cotton Bowl on January 2, 2010 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The rumor mill has already started swirling on Rocky Top.  Who takes over what Lane Kiffin left in shambles after turning UT on its ear this past year?

A name that has been associated with this topic from the beginning is Houston Nutt.  Although he is currently the head coach at Ole Miss, would leaving be the best thing he can do now?

To answer that, first let us evaluate his talent now.  18 of his 22 starters this year were recruited by Ed Orgeron when he was head coach of the Rebels.  Houston Nutt is a brilliant motivator with mediocre recruiting skills.

The first way to elevate your skills in this area would be with a high profile name with state of the art facilities.  Tennessee has this along with the grandeur that is Neyland Stadium as she stands majestic on the banks of the Tennessee River.

Who wouldnt want to coach here and become general of the Big Orange Army?

One would think Houston Nutt would be interested after middle tier coaching stints in the SEC West with Ole Miss and Arkansas.  These two teams have not been able to reach their glory days of old.

On the other hand, Tennessee was on the cusp before Kiffin left in the middle of the night to run off to sunny Los Angeles.  Houston Nutt might inherit a whole lot of talent.

When you add talent to coaching know-how, you get a winner. 

Not only is he an excellent motivator, his record speaks volumes for him in the ever powerful SEC.  He has won 3 SEC West titles with Arkansas and so far with Ole Miss is 18-8 in two full seasons.  Not too shabby considering Kiffin amassed six losses in just one season at the helm of the Vols.

Is Houston Nutt Lane Kiffin's successor on Rocky Top?  It would be hard for a Vol fan to complain if it was so.  Only time will tell.