Apparently, the Nodoze popping, single-wing loving ferret in Houston Nutt's left pocket won't be hitting the unemployment line. After being ousted from his post in Razorbackijhan, Nutty Buddy has landed on his feet in Oxford. That's right, Houston Nutt is the new head coach at the University of Mississippi.
I can scarcely contain my glee. Seriously, SEC football is so much more fun with Nutt running around wild-eyed and grinning. The man's sideline demeanor is a walking illustration of what the world would look like if Red Bull energy drink were packaged as a suppository. The fact that he will be staying in the SEC West is just gravy. The Ole Miss/Arkansas tilt just went from being a toothpick fight to the death between two blind men to a toothpick fight to the death between two blind men, one of whom really, really hates the other.
I also think Nutt is a great fit because of his postgame interviews. As anyone who saw his post-LSU speech extolling the virtues of Darren McFadden can testify, the man has clearly read his Faulkner. Nutt's speeches are a break-neck, stream of consciousness tour through the Arkansas hills. I can't wait until SEC Media Days rolls around.
The unfortunate loser in this scenario is of course Ed Orgeron, who'll have to find alternate employment. His likely options include airboat captain, frog gigger and indecipherable Kentucky Fried Chicken drivethru attendant.
Whatever else one may say about Houston Nutt, this much we know: he's won more games in the SEC than Ed Orgeron probably ever will. Two appearances in the SEC Championship game in a 5 year span ought to buy you safety in a division that includes LSU and Auburn, even if you lost both of them. Look for Houston Nutt to try to find a 35 carry a game tailback and turn Jevan Snead into . . . well, Jevan Snead. I really don't have anything on that one. One thing Nutt inherits is the road-grading offensive line that manhandled us and posed serious problems for the rest of the SEC. He'll lose only center Thomas Eckers from that group.
Lots of names are also surfacing to replace Chan Gailey at Tech. The names heard most often in my informal survey of the internets include Will Muschamp, Chris Hatcher and Paul Johnson. I personally find it hard to believe that the Georgia Tech boosters will really get behind a 36 year old Georgia alum as their head coach. Ditto the 34 year old Valdosta State alum coaching at Georgia Southern.
Paul Johnson is a lot like the guy they just got rid of (crusty, runs an offense pulled from the pages of Life magazine circa 1962 . . .). The question is whether Tech wants to go all in for the triple option. In case you missed it, the knock on Johnson's offense is that it's difficult to recruit guys to fill it, and it takes a while to teach it.
Another contender is Florida State coordinator Jimbo Fisher. Fisher has been thought to be the heir apparent to Bobby Bowden in Tallahassee. However, you have to wonder if he'd be willing to jump ship now just to make sure he gets to sit in the big chair. Fisher is relatively young (he turned 42 last month), so I don't think he's reached that stage where any head coaching job will do. Interesting factoid: Fisher was the quarterbacks coach at Auburn under Terry Bowden and coached Georgia Tech offensive Coordinator Patrick Nix in that capacity. Stay tuned, this one should get entertaining.
There are a host of other coaching rumors and innuendos out there. I'd love to hear your leftfield guesses on who ends up where, as well as any speculation on who would be a good fit for what jobs. We gotta do something while we await our Bowl fate. . .