Q&A: Feisty Rebels Talk

Razorback ExpatsSenior Analyst IOctober 24, 2008

If you have read the Ole Miss blog The Red Solo Cup this week, you will know that the guys over there have been having quite the time ragging on the Hogs and their fans. Those without thin skins will have to admit that the week-long Razorback-bash-a-thon has been pretty funny. The Cup is one of the more entertaining and feistier SEC blogs, and we knew its authors were just the ones to provide the scoop on all things Rebel before Saturday night’s big dust-up. So read on to find out how Ole Miss fans are responding to you know who, which Rebel players are primed to make life miserable for the Hogs and where the Razorbacks rank on Ole Miss’ rivalry list. Thanks, Cuppers, for your time. [Editor’s Note: Shrimpboat captains and those who don’t like swearing may be offended by certain portions of the Q&A.]

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It’s been brought to our attention that your coach might have some Arkansas connections. How is Houston Nutt doing so far? Has the team underperformed, overachieved or met expectations?

How is Houston Nutt doing thus far? He’s alright. He’s better than Orgeron at every aspect of coaching aside from recruiting which, realistically speaking, is all we were looking for out of a new head coach. As far as the team is concerned, I would say that they’re still on track to meet our expectations. Most contributors to the Cup were predicting a six-, maybe seven-win season back in September. Currently, that is not at all out of the question. Beating up on Memphis (who normally play the Rebs close as they consider us their biggest rival) and snatching one away from the Gators in the swamp elevated the expectations of many, but the loss to South Carolina brought most of the Rebel fans back to where they needed to be.

Along those same lines, you guys are 3-4, but with all four losses being close games (seven points or less) you could be looking at a gaudy 6-1 or 7-0 record with a few breaks here and there. Does your current record accurately reflect the team’s ability, and if not what would you say it should be?

While our losses have been epically heartbreaking, one cannot lose sight of the fact that the Rebels did not win a single game in conference last season. Zero, zilch, nada. This team is essentially that exact same team from last year with a new quarterback (Jevan Snead), halfback rotation (Eason, Bolden, Davis) and second-string nose tackle (Jerrell Powe). Oh, yeah, they’ve got a new coach too. I want to say that we should have beaten Vanderbilt, but they did to us exactly what they did to Auburn and South Carolina; force a lot of turnovers. We routinely play Alabama to a close loss decided in the fourth quarter, so no surprise there. Tyrone Nix was Spurrier’s defensive coordinator last season so that would explain Chris Smelley’s career outing a couple of weeks ago.

“But, the Florida game,” some cry.

We Rebels have an all time winning record against the Gators, with an overwhelmingly favorable record at Florida. I don’t think anybody can explain why, but historically we’ve had their number in Gainesville. It’s just one of those many, many bizarre things about SEC football which makes it the greatest dad-gummed sport on Earth.

Photo courtesy University of Mississippi Athletics

How have Ole Miss fans responded to Houston? Is the honeymoon still in full force?

It depends on who you’re asking. Most people were just elated to see O gone and subsequently replaced by someone who, at least, had some head coaching experience (of the last four coaches Ole Miss has hired, only Houston Nutt has had prior experience as a head coach). There are a few who have emphatically become baptized into the Church of the Right Reverend Houston Dale Nutt. I’m sure you had these crazies at Arkansas, too. No head coach at any football program anywhere should have a platoon of super-lame, obnoxious, kool-aid drinkin’ followers … okay, maybe Pete Carroll, but that’s understandable and all, what with his dashing good looks and media savvy …

Oh, but where were we? Ah, right, the Houston Nutt honeymoon. Look, we know that he says wacky stuff like “yehaw” and “special” all of the time. We know that he banged a weatherlady (go get ‘em, tiger). We know that he’s oftentimes self absorbed. We know all of these things. But here’s what a lot of you Arkansas fans don’t get: we’ve had fucking batshit motherfucking crazy as a head coach. His name was Ed Orgeron. He had the temperament, body odor, and IQ of a shrimpboat captain. He hated interacting with the fans and media. He bled Red Bull. He was unintelligible. He received counseling for his issues with domestic violence. He was arrested for getting into a bar fight… in Baton Rouge. All of this got him placed on probation from the Athletic Department of the University of MIAMI!

You Hogs love to talk about how horrible Houston Nutt was. Naw, lawya. We know horrible. Trust us. Houston Nutt doesn’t hold a candle to Eddie O.

Give us a quick scouting report on your team: what are its strengths? Weaknesses? Secret weapons? (We promise not to forward your replies to the Razorback coaching staff.)