Arkansas Fans Should Cheer, Not Boo Houston Nutt

Derek StephensSenior Analyst IOctober 22, 2008

"Ain't Nuttin' Better Than 0-3 In the SEC".

This was a slogan Arkansas donors chose to fly over Reynolds Razorback Stadium during the Razorback's loss vs. Auburn on October 13th, 2007.  Don't donate to the athletic fund.  Don't support your coach when things aren't going your way, send a big ol' flyer across the stadium everybody can get a good kick out of.

Do Arkansas fans feel ashamed?  As a majority, no, they feel justified. 

Arkansas, needless to say, eventually went 8-4 and then Houston Nutt departed to Ole Miss. 

When I ask Arkansas fans why they don't like Houston Nutt, it's like asking one of the most offensive questions on the face of this earth, according to their viewpoint.

Arkansas fans have passion of hate towards Houston Nutt, that no other team's fans around the world can concept. 

First, I hear about all the "scandals" and "controversies" he was involved in while at Arkansas, but when asked for a link, 99% of the time I'm given an Arkansas newspaper website link.

Here's a question: If the majority of Arkansas fans don't like Houston Nutt, do you not realistically think some of these hatred fans could be reporters or writers in the state of Arkansas?  And if these reporters or writers didn't like Houston Nutt, do you not think they would use their ability to bash him in the public eye to their advantage?

Here's another question: Why did most of these allegations never make the public eye?  Some of the rumors I heard about Houston Nutt were worthy enough to see the bottomline of ESPN if they had any legs to it.  Why were these not publicized?  There's my point.  Allegations are just that.  Allegations, not true statements.

Arkansas fans need to realize that most of these were not proven.  Yes, they'll send you that letter off the internet that "shows" you the truth, but who's to say some rich donor didn't write it up?  Did Houston Nutt or anybody ever release a public statement admitting such allegations?  Mmmhmm.

Let's just say I'll go on the internet, get on every Arkansas message board, create a username (such as: PigSooie2008), subscribe to every premium content, and post a huge "rumor" about Petrino.  It'll probably be shot down at first.  Next, I'm going to add visual evidence and upload it onto the internet and post it.  Some people would actually believe that wouldn't they?  Maybe they wouldn't.  I see a lot of sigs such as "In Petrino We Trust".  Really?  What other school outside of Arkansas would actually trust Bobby Petrino? 

Am I saying all the alleged scandals of Houston Nutt was false?  No, but I'm willing to bet the majority of them were.

Okay, let's go to another reason.  Houston Nutt didn't succeed well enough at Arkansas.  He was only four games over .500 while he was at Arkansas. 

I hear this one a lot. 

Okay, well let's be fair.  Let's take a look at 1990-1998.  Eight years before Houston Nutt arrived on campus.  The years after Ken Hatfield. 

From 1990-1998, Arkansas's record was 38-51-2.  Houston Nutt arrives in 1998.  Record from 1998-2007: 75-48.  Really?

Okay, so Houston Nutt absolutely drug your program into the ground?  Alright, I get the ol' "The recruiting drag that has put us in this hole now".  I can at least see that, but the result of that was early draftees. 

You're right, no Arkansas fan wants to walk into the stadium every game and say, "Hey, we got a 61% chance to win this game."  So, would they rather live in the 1990-1998 era where they could've walked into the stadium and said, "Hey, we got a 41% chance to win this game."?

I understand, though.  Arkansas was tired of occasional rebuilding years, occasional average 6-8 win seasons, and occasional SEC West Champions.  They took a chance on a guy that has the potential to totally take their program to a new level.  It's a chance Arkansas will be proud of forever or highly regret.  Only time will tell. 

That, however, has nothing to do with Houston Nutt, despite whatever Arkansas fans are willing to say.  Houston Nutt cares about Arkansas enough where he's still not let Ole Miss wear their red jerseys for 2008 because it resembles too much of his past.  Nutt even stated that it was time for him to go.  He still says he loved Arkansas.

So, the choice is yours, Arkansas fans. 

Boo the man, get your pride shot in, and boo the man who gave you 10 exciting years of football and that none before him besides three coaches, Frank Broyles, Ken Hatfield, and Lou Holtz, had as much success on the field as he has in the modern era. 

Or, cheer the man.  Cheer the man that put Arkansas back to at least respectability nationally.  Cheer the man that was the hometown coach who loved his team more than anything.  Cheer the man who was the ultimate motivator and did more with less than any coach in the nation. 

The choice is yours.