Saturday, October 25, 2008

Arkansas loses -- again

Yes, it's true -- the Arkansas Razorbacks lost to the Ole Miss Rebels on Saturday by the score of 23-21.

That puts Arkansas' record at 3-5 (1-4 in the SEC) and Ole Miss at 4-4 (2-3 in the SEC). I won't even pretend to claim this was a monumental battle in the SEC West because the truth is that both teams suck this year and are going nowhere. If you want to read a detailed report of this game, you can find a good recap right here.

No, what' s more important is that this game marked the return of Arkansas' immediate head coach, Houston Nutt, to the Natural State. Nutt, by the way, is that charming figure in all his glory in the photo at the top of this post.

Nutt was here for 10 years and a lot of us in this state came to hate him. He was replaced by Bobby Petrino who is busily dealing with the mess Nutt left. Petrino has a young team with a shaky quarterback, a secondary that lacks confidence and an offensive line that is porous on a good day.

What irritated me last year when the buzzards were circling around Nutt and has bugged me over the past week is that there are still members of the press who feel bad for poor, picked on Houston. The worst of the lot remains Gregg Doyel, who's latest bit of ass-kissery can be found right here.

Comments from Doyel and his ilk reinforce my notion that people who are wholly unfamiliar with a situation ought to shut the hell up about it. Frankly, I'm glad we're rid of a coach who comes across as a subliterate hick every time he opens his fat mouth, manages to lose bowl games to scrubby teams such as UNLV (the Hogs completely folded in 2000 in the Las Vegas bowl against that team) and consistently kept Arkansas in the middle of the pack in the SEC.

Most of the Nutt apologists seem to hit on the issue that Arkansas kind of sucks, so we're fools to expect to do well at anything. In other words, Nutt might not be great, but he's the best we can do so we should have been nicer to him. Yes, we hear things such as "Nutt did less with more" from his defenders, and I'm sick of it.

I'm sick of it for a couple of reasons. First of all, Fayetteville isn't a backwater and is, in fact, a very nice, small Southern city. I'm certain it's as least as great a place to be as Lincoln, Neb., or Norman, Okla., but you didn't see the colleges in those towns settle for second best. No, the universities of Nebraska and Oklahoma built solid programs because they wanted solid programs and didn't give a damn about where those colleges were located. Top-notch players line up to go to Oklahoma and lined up at one time to go to Nebraska because they were winning programs that were nationally competitive.

There's no reason Arkansas can't establish a winning tradition, as well. The University of Arkansas simply wasn't going to get there with Nutt. He couldn't recruit worth a damn and he's a fair-to-middling coach at best.

Less with more? Let me explain that sentiment away like this. Arkansas had the best backfield in the nation last year with Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. The Hogs went nowhere with those two backs, who are rookies in the NFL and have turned heads this year.

Nutt replaced Ed Orgeron at Ole Miss, a coach who couldn't win games but could recruit extremely well. Ole Miss is loaded with more talent than that school has seen for years, yet the team is 2-3 in the SEC and just had trouble pulling off a win over the worst Razorbacks club in terms of talent and experience that has taken the field in over a decade.

And that, folks, is why Nutt was run out of the state. His teams will pull of an upset every now and again, but he'll never coach a consistent, upper-tier team in the SEC or any other major conference.

The national sports writers that are in love with the guy need to shut their damned mouths about Nutt's history at Arkansas. We're well rid of him, and we don't need anyone to tell us we made a mistake. We didn't. We're right, they're wrong and they need to keep their noses out of our business.

To read about one of the few Benton Panthers' victories this season, go right here!

5 comments: said...

After Huoston Nutt, "resigned", he was given 3 million dollars by the Razorback Foundation.

I would like a deal like that!

"You're fired. Here's three million dollars."

The Natural State Hawg said...

Yeah, wouldn't that be nice? The one time in my life I was laid off, I didn't get crap on the way out the door.

Nutt's got to be the luckiest man on the planet.

Danny Thornton said...

I am just wondering if Arkansas will take back the "Nutt".

The Natural State Hawg said...

Danny -- I hope not. I really, really hope not!

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