With the thanks of Kyle, and JUCO All-American at Red Cup Rebellion , I got the chance to be a part of this week's Q&A with the Ole Miss' blog. My answers to their 5 questions went up earlier this afternoon, and can be found here. Their answers to my questions can be found after the jump.
Wow, is this what the sunshine feels like? It's all warm in here, and different. Not all cold and mean. Hmm, sunshine, I kind of like it here.
Oh, where were we? Oh yeah, the Q&A with Red Cup Rebellion.
1. For those who have been in a drunken stupor since Sep 10th, what does Ole Miss bring to the table? What should we expect offensively, and defensively, and who is gonna be making the big plays when y'all need them Saturday morning?
Well, I can tell you this. We’re bad. Our passing attack is horrendous, having not generated a 200 yard passer yet. Our running game struggles. We can’t pass protect, and our run blocking doesn’t open holes.
Defensively, we’re on the field too much, and we have huge problems stopping anything that could potentially confuse anyone. If your offense confuses you, trust me, it will confuse our defense ten times over.
There’s actually a decent bit of talent on the team, but almost all of it is young. The biggest playmaker on our team is sophomore tailback Jeff Scott. He’s tiny, but he’s really quick. Comparing him to Dexter McCluster would be silly, but we’ll (fingers crossed) use him similarly.
2. Since football might not be your favorite subject right now, I'll let you shift gears. The big story around your program for a while has been the mascot stuff of Colonel Reb and now the Bear. How is the change working out for you? How big of a tool is George Lucas?
First off, yeah. We were sad when George Lucas wouldn’t support the Admiral Ackbar for Ole Miss mascot campaign. Legitimately sad. That being said, there’s the other issue. Why it has to be an issue, no one will ever be able to explain to me, but it is what it is. A portion of our fan base cares a lot about which foam suit is walking around on our sidelines, and that portion is not comprised of n00bz. They are over the age of 8 (when caring about mascots is acceptable), and an incredible portion did not attend Ole Miss. I’m not taking anything away from the "sideline fans." They keep the motors turning in college sports. Jus’ sayin’.
The change is working out horribly. There is actually a somewhat successful group named the "Colonel Reb PAC" who is not far from having the Ole Miss mascot put to a statewide vote. Seriously. No joke. If they can get the requisite signatures, then it will appear on the statewide ballot next November. Again, this is totally serious. It’s apparently quite important to people all over the state that we have Colonel Reb instead of a black bear as our CHILD MASCOT… sorry. I don’t want to talk about this anymore. I have never, ever, ever cared at all about this.
3. Since we've got our own hot seat issues going on right now occupying our attention, how realistic is the Houston Nutt hot seat talk? What has gone right and what has gone wrong under him over the last 5 years?
It’s incredibly realistic. I haven’t spoken to a fan yet who doesn’t want Nutt fired. Barring some ridiculous second half of this season, Nutt will not be our head coach next year. As for what has gone right and wrong under his first 3+ years, it’s tough to say. In years one and two, we had nine win seasons, wining new years day bowls and attracting highly ranked recruiting classes. Then we just dropped off the face of the planet last season, winning only four games. Anyone remember Jacksonville State? Oh…. Everyone? Ok.
This season, we have already lost to Vanderbilt by a score of 30-7. Our offense is in shambles. The defense isn’t quite as bad. It’s just….. it’s time for some new blood. I think most fans are thankful for what Nutt gave us in his first two seasons, but it’s getting pretty obvious that the game has passed him by.
4. After struggling through a series of coaches seemingly since Johnny Vaught, if not Coach Giggity, then who? And probably more importantly, what does Ole Miss as a program need to do to begin to compete with the LSUs and Alabamas?
Both of those questions are things we ask ourselves all the time. As far as who we’d like to see take over for Nutt, the fans are obviously divided. The names we hear the most are Mike Leach, Gus Malzahn, and Kirby Smart. Personally, I’d prefer Kevin Sumlin of Houston, but apparently I’m the only person who knows he exists. Basically, I think that out fans simply want someone who will run a system that wasn’t built in the 50s and 60s.
For Ole Miss to compete with LSU and Alabama, we need to have a scheme that doesn’t just match up our talent versus theirs. We have to figure out innovative ways to score and catch those teams by surprise. We will never be able to simply outmuscle them.
5. How much does it stink being in the central time zone and having to ruin great tailgating weather with an 11:30 start? Just how much of a must make trip is The Grove for opposing SEC fans?
One of our friends of the female persuasion once said, "Getting drunk before an 11 AM game feels like doing homework." When you only have an hour or two to appreciate the Grove (which is really all we have left right now), it really hurts the entire gameday experience. Sure, people will be back there after we lose to you by thirty, but it won’t be the same. The Grove before a night game is absolutely incredible. When you’ve got five hours to really appreciate it, it’s a thing of beauty. With an 11:30 start, people are just going to be ornery and unenthusiastic.