Published August 10, 2011 - 6:45am
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The Ole Miss football program is currently in a deep rut that could parallel the US economy. The performance on the field has been sub-par, and the defensive roster is depleted from virtually any veteran leadership.
Back in 2008 when Houston Nutt took over, he inherited a good personnel team, but a group that went only 10-25 the prior three years under the previous regime. Nutt inherited a good quarterback, running back cast and a stellar defensive line as well. He even led Ole Miss to back-to-back Cotton Bowl victories and knocked off the eventual national champion Florida Gators in 2008.
As mentioned before, those players were Ed Orgeron’s players, and say what you want about Orgeron, but he at least got players on campus. The guy could certainly recruit, but he couldn’t win.
Ole Miss was a whopping 4-8 overall last year and played uninspired despite what most thought to be an asset at quarterback in Jeremiah Masoli. Didn’t Masoli dominate the Pac-10? Throughout last season, Ole Miss’ average margin of defeat exceeded two touchdowns.
The Rebels proceeded to lose to FCS Jacksonville State in double overtime during the first game of the year.
As if it were a final dagger to the heart, Ole Miss was beaten up at home by their archrival Mississippi State and head coach Dan Mullen. In his post game speech, Mullen vowed to never lose to Ole Miss again.
However, Nutt’s affect on the program with his own players has been abysmal.
If there is any hope this season – he has a better than average offensive line (which could be one of the best in the SEC this year) and a cast of running backs that many teams would salivate over.
On the other hand, the defense is tremendously young and inexperienced.
Expect Houston Nutt’s team to be an underdog in as many as eight games this season. But if there is one thing you should know about Houston Dale Nutt it’s that he thrives on low expectations.
However, if this Ole Miss program shows little to no life or improvement this year from last year’s 4-8 record, he could have to find another job for 2012.
Ole Miss might not be willing to wait on Nutt’s stellar recruiting class of 2011 to actually make a change. That seat is hot and quickly getting hotter.