Houston Nutt Fired: Why Announcing Decision a Month Early Is Horrendous Idea

Eric BallFeatured ColumnistNovember 7, 2011

BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 20:  Head coach Houston Nutt of the Ole Miss Rebels against the Louisiana State University Tigers at Tiger Stadium on November 20, 2010 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Rebels are making a huge mistake.

Why would Mississippi announce that head football coach Houston Nutt is resigning at the end of the season?

Sure, heads need to roll after losing to perennial SEC doormat Kentucky 30-13, dropping their record to 2-7, but you have to wait until the end of the season.

The Rebels still have three games remaining on the 2011 schedule, and now they are going to be the most meaningless 180 minutes of football ever.

Let’s say you are senior running back Brandon Bolden.

You have run for 2,475 yards and scored 27 touchdowns in your illustrious career. With only three games remaining in what will likely be his last prominent role on a football team, you want to go out with a bang.

Instead, you are playing for the definition of a lame-duck coach that is busy updating his resume, not breaking down game film of your next opponent.

Ole Miss is waving the white flag on the season and it’s a slap in the face to the players.

They actually still have a very prominent game left on the schedule. On November 19th they will be hosting No. 1 LSU with the thoughts of spoilers on their mind.

Sure, the Tigers are better in every aspect, but it’s college football and you never know. What if Nutt’s crew were to pull off the miracle and completely screw up the BCS?

That’s the kind of win that can bring an entire program together. It’s also the kind of win that can save a head coach's job.

Instead, the Rebels athletic department has essentially told their football team to not even bother with it.

I’m not saying Nutt shouldn’t be fired.

When your team is ranked 106th in points (20) and 87th in points against (30.6), something needs to change. The Rebels have lost 12 straight conference games (most in school history) and the team had regressed quite significantly in recent years after winning the Cotton Bowl in Nutt’s first two years in charge.

LEXINGTON, KY - NOVEMBER 05:  Brandon Bolden #34 of the Mississippi Rebels is tackled by Luke McDermott #68, Avery Williamson #40 and Ridge Wilson #48 of the Kentucky Wildcats at Commonwealth Stadium on November 5, 2011 in Lexington, Kentucky.  (Photo by
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Considering the season will be over before December, the school will have plenty of time to find a successor. 

Athletics director Pete Boone should have waited for the season to end, out of respect for his players—especially the seniors. 

Pay attention to the last three Ole Miss games; notice the lack of effort and attention to detail.

It’s a stupid move that should get some strong backlash from the Ole Miss faithful. They deserve better. 

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