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Meet the New Pete Boone

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Content provided by The Ole Miss Blog – It’s not the official Ole Miss blog, but it should be.

The old Pete Boone needed a plan for how David Cutcliffe was going to improve the team. The new Pete Boone offers nothing more than a sounding board and a fan’s perspective (per Parrish Alford’s twitter). The old Boone put David Cutcliffe on the street in the middle of his contract for going 4-7 one year removed from a 10-win season and a Cotton Bowl victory. New Pete gave Houston Nutt a contract extension to 2014 after finishing 4-8 and getting beaten like a witch in Salem all season long. Old Pete wanted Cutcliffe to dismiss his assistants. The New Pete Boone “would never do that.”

New Pete’s probably right to hold onto Nutt another year. He’s also probably right to defer to Nutt’s judgment on how to handle his assistant coaches. But I couldn’t help but long for Old Pete yesterday. Then again, Old Pete would have us getting turned down by every big name coach from California to Florida by right about now.

But Old Pete gave me a quick high in 2004 and 2007. 

Yesterday, I wanted Old Pete. I wanted a double mac and the biggest order of greasy fries I could get. But instead I met New Pete. New Pete fed me plain green beans and broccoli, and I really don’t like either without cheese whiz.

But after a couple days of waling and gnashing my teeth over the humiliation that was being an Ole Miss fan is in 2010, I’m over my need for the quick hit. Let’s stick with the guy who has a track record of taking teams to bowl games and actually knows how to make the drive to Atlanta (I assume he remembers…there are very few turns). He’s probably not nearly as big an idiot as I often think he is.

Heck, I don’t even care if Nutt doesn’t fire an assistant coach. Less than a year ago, I thought Tyrone Nix was awesome. How did he go from awesome to terrible? He didn’t. He was trying to run schemes that were successful with NFL talent in years prior with freshmen and non-NFL caliber talent this year. Losing defensive backs to the NFL hurt in a big way and I guess no one knows it more than Nix right now.

The question Nutt has to be asking himself right now: “Was it too much to ask to stop the screen pass?”

Now that I’m sober (minded…sober minded) I can see that this is going to be a tough call for Nutt. 

I’m eating salad with fat free dressing for lunch.

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Nutt Stays; Mullen Prepares for Next Beat Down

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Call Me a Nutt Job

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Content provided by The Ole Miss Blog – It’s not the official Ole Miss blog, but it should be.

I remember three short years ago, the Sunday after Ed Orgeron single-handedly pulled off one of the most moronic coaching jobs in moronic coaching history, receiving a text from a friend saying Orgeron he’d been canned. It was the most jubilant I’d been that entire fall. I’ll be watching twitter closely today. I need to feel that way again. 

I know you’re out there people who think it’s crazy to fire a coach for one bad year. But this wasn’t just a bad year. It was a catastrophically bad year. The Rebels lost to Jacksonville State and Vanderbilt – at home. And by the way, the Commodores sucked so bad they fired their coach last night. Ole Miss also lost to Tennessee (winless in the SEC until OM) 52-14. Topping it with a home manhandling by MSU pushes me over the edge.

There can be no doubt that Mississippi State was the FAR superior team to Ole Miss. They beat the Rebels in every facet of the game – starting with the coaching. Dan Mullen issued a challenge to Nutt, called him out on the turf and then proceeded to kick his team’s butt all over Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. If that doesn’t sting I don’t know what does.

I know. I know. Nutt’s been to two Cotton Bowls. First time in 50 years. Blah, blah, blah.

What real Ole Miss fan was happy with the product on the field last year? The Rebels were preseason ranked in the Top 10 and finished nowhere close. If not for stumbling across Dexter McCluster in October, the Rebels would have never seen the inside of the new Cowboys Stadium. That wasn’t good coaching. That was fast running by McCluster. The season was a disappointment in every other way. Jevan Snead – a HEISMAN TROPHY candidate – tanked.

Arkansas fans call Nutt a quarterback killer. We said they were jealous and crazy.

In a twist of sheer irony, enter one Jeremiah Masoli – a legitimate Heisman contender who should be playing for the BCS Championship in January.

Jeremiah Masoli now leads the SEC in interceptions. Another talent wasted.

That’s two Heisman contenders in two years doing belly flops on the artificial turf of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Snead’s talent was questionable. Masoli’s wasn’t. It’s not irony folks. It’s the coach. 

Maybe Snead wasn’t so crazy electing to enter the draft a year early after all. Maybe Kent Austin actually did had a good reason to move to upstate New York and disappear into the Ivy League. 

Where is the promise for the future? Where? Show it to me. Please. Make me believe Nutt and Ole Miss will be better next year. I want to believe. I really do. Until you can make me believe I’ll be watching my phone, hoping for a text message. 

Now I’ve got to go help my kids get ready for church before I get fired.

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The Best Thing About Beating MSU

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Content provided by The Ole Miss Blog – It’s not the official Ole Miss blog, but it should be.

The best thing about winning this year’s Egg Bowl would be seeing this happen to Dan Mullen’s lips:

deadpool1

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Egg Bowl 2010 – A Must Win

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Content provided by The Ole Miss Blog – It’s not the official Ole Miss blog, but it should be.

It’s Hate Your Neighbor/Boss/Friend/or Whoever Else You Know that Went to State Week at theolemissblog.com. To celebrate I’ve teamed up with allthingsmsu.com’s Brett Holloway to compare and contrast Ole Miss and Mississippi State in preparation for the battle for the Golden Egg. Today we’re starting things off with an analysis of the importance of Saturday night’s contest. Tomorrow we’ll compare coaches. Wednesday, we’ll compare skill positions. Thursday we’ll talk about Mississippi State’s defense (Ole Miss doesn’t have one). Friday – offensive lines and predictions. You can read my Ole Miss perspective here and get Brett’s MSU maroon-colored view over at allthingsmsu.com. Be sure to made rude and obscene comments while you’re there.

Egg Bowl 2010 – The Ole Miss Perspective

Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen probably doesn’t believe in using lighter fluid. When kindling a fire, I highly suspect he uses gasoline. That’s certainly the approach he took to rekindling the rivalry between Mississippi State and Ole Miss. Beating the Rebels last year and then rubbing it in at his press conference afterward surely didn’t do anything but ignite the Rebels rage. Needless to say, there’s nothing Houston Nutt would like better than to shove a football so far down Dan Mullen’s throat that he is still pooping leather on Christmas morning. Now, whether the righteous anger of the Red and Blue will actually have a palpable affect on the Ole Miss defense is a different story. But needless to say, motivation should not be an issue. 

The motivation to knock Mullen down a few notches is a good thing, because other than pride and revenge, Ole Miss officially has nothing to play for Saturday. At 4-7, Ole Miss has no shot at a bowl game. This season has been a disaster that needs not be rehashed. The fans are frustrated, angry and disappointed. Nutt’s job is obviously not is jeopardy given his first two nine-win campaigns, but a loss to State would cap a 1-7 record in the SEC and would mark the beginning of a long winter, spring and summer of griping. The fans “good will tank” for Nutt, already running pretty low given the gosh awful performances this season, will be running on fumes in August. A win over the Bulldogs would keep the griping at bay at least for this off season, and give the fans hope to latch onto until next year, not to mention the upper hand at work, parties, church, and any other gathering where they are forced to mingle with newly uppity State fans.

There have been many seasons over the last 30 years where the Egg Bowl was all perennial SEC cellar dwellers Ole Miss and Mississippi State had to play for. That’s the position Ole Miss is in this year. But no matter the record, a win over the Bulldogs would oh so satisfying. A loss would be oh so demoralizing. And make no mistake, deny it though he may, Houston Nutt and all his assistants are painfully aware of that right now. There’s a lot more than bragging rights at stake. Just ask Ed Orgeron and Sylvester Croom.

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Trailways and Other Thoughts from LSU

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Content provided by The Ole Miss Blog – It’s not the official Ole Miss blog, but it should be.

First things first, I want to issue a big “Thank You” to Trailways Charter buses for studying the map really close and making sure Ole Miss actually made it to Tiger Stadium Saturday. Having a team actually on the field this week was a refreshing change from the week before. 

Second, Markeith Summers, why do you hate me? Yes, it’s a stupid rule, but it’s still a rule and you should have known better. You obviously didn’t follow Ole Miss as a kid. John Avery dived the same dive against Alabama in 1997. Cost us then too. Fate has a way of biting Ole Miss in the arse. Thanks for helping. That said, I do appreciate the catch. I’ve learned this year not to take those for granted, and I enjoyed the brief 30-seconds of bliss.

Third, Houston, I’ve been unhappy with your offense for most of the year, but I gotta say, offensively speaking, you looked pretty brilliant Saturday. I don’t give those compliments out very often on Mondays. Enjoy. And you’re welcome.

Fourth, wipe that grin off your face Nutt! What the &*$* are you going to do about this pathetic excuse for a defense?!? AS I PREDICTED – JORDAN JEFFERSON SEC PLAYER OF THE WEEK!!!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!? Just because I predicted the SEC’s worst (arguably) quarterback would be the SEC Player of the Week on Monday doesn’t mean I like it! This is crazy!!! 

Fifth, Jeremiah Masoli, you are awesome! You really are. And you suck at the same time. I can’t decide if you lost more games for Ole Miss or won more games for Ole Miss…. Doesn’t matter now. This season is shot, but I sure did have fun watching you on Saturday. One day, thankfully, I won’t even remember this season anymore. But occasionally, I’ll have a little indigestion after some bad meatloaf and the season from 2010 will pop into my head. Undoubtedly, you’ll be a part of that memory. As of right now, it won’t be a good one. But you can still change that by having your best game of the year on Saturday.

Sixth, Brandon Bolden, I am your biggest advocate! When Nutt ignores you I scream your name from the rooftops (Facebook). You are an elite running back….when you run forward! Please, please, please run forward Saturday! Remember, forward good. Backward bad. 

Seventh, secondary have some self respect! You made Jordan Jefferson and Gary Crowton look dynamic Saturday. You are facing Chris Relf this week, a quarterback of similar ineptitude. I’m cringing because I just don’t think you can stop him. Please prove me wrong and write mean things about me in the comment section on Sunday….


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Ole Miss Will Upset LSU

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Content provided by The Ole Miss Blog – It’s not the official Ole Miss blog, but it should be.

Just kidding.

Nope, the team that single-handedly lost to Jacksonville State and that remains the only SEC win for both Vanderbilt and Tennessee is about to get torched for 450 yards and it won’t be close. Jordan Jefferson will be the SEC Offensive Player of the Week on Monday. Book it. This game is going to be so one-sided that CBS will probably pre-empt it with Heidi in the second half, but this time it will be on purpose. That’s how bad it’s going to

/phone rings

…hold on a second.

/receives telephone call from cousin who accidentally married LSU fan (don’t ask)

What?!!!! You mean Les Miles is still the coach at LSU?!!

/drops phone
/laughs uncontrollably
/reaches for tissue
/blows nose
/returns to keyboard
/remembers cousin is still on phone, stares at it for a second, laughs again and hangs up
/continues laughing hysterically as he types seemingly absurd pick onto blog that nobody reads 

Ole Miss 27, LSU 24

/returns to Jack Daniels bottle and billing clients

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A Visit With LSU’s Saturday Night Slant

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Content provided by The Ole Miss Blog – It’s not the official Ole Miss blog, but it should be.

 

Kris Brauner blogs about all things LSU at Saturday Night Slant and knows more about LSU and Les Miles than any of us know about what’s inside the tip of Houston Nutt’s pinky finger (bone, cartilage, blood, what else?). Anyway, in this crazy week we call LSU week, Kris was kind enough to stop by and answer a few probing questions that myself and everybody else want to know about these resilient Tigers. I hope you find it as informative as I do. Here goes:

1) What type of drug would you have accused me of smoking/snorting/inhaling if I had told you the Sunday after the Tennessee game that you would be 9-1 and in the “conversation” for the BCS Championship Game on November 18?
Something REALLY strong.  That game sure looked like the beginning of the end for Miles.  To have ANOTHER late game blunder was, and is, inexcusable.   Miles endured a very tough week after that.  But wouldn’t you know, LSU went to the Swamp and played their best game of the year up to that point and earned a win.   LSU has played better as the season has progressed and even though it has not always been pretty, the Tigers have managed to take care of business for the most part.  Meanwhile, other teams continue to lose and LSU finds themselves fifth in the country.  Go figure.
2) Has Les Miles always had trouble speaking in complete sentences or did the phenomenon of his incompetent grammar only come to light following his inability to explain whatever that was at the end of the Tennessee game?
It’s nothing new really.  He has rarely been impressive in front of a microphone.  His interview with CBS’s Tracy Wolfson after the Ole Miss game in 2009 drew equal amounts of fire from fans as the on-field debacle.   However, in other settings Miles is totally different and he represents himself well.  His “on-air” persona is a total mystery.  Sometimes after certain things he says, you really wonder if he’s just screwing with everyone.
3) If LSU fans participated in a mandatory poll, what percentage of them would still want to fire Les Miles right now?
50%.  A ton of LSU fans are way too invested in their disdain for Miles.  His 8-8 conference record in 2008 and 2009, combined with the late game blunders against Ole Miss, Penn State, and Tennessee were more than enough for most fans to decide that they’d rather someone else lead the program.  That’s putting it nicely.  And despite winning nine of ten so far in 2010, many simply can’t give the man any credit.  They chalk it up to luck and often state, “LSU should have three or four losses right now.”    I tend to think that if LSU should have three or four losses, but instead they only have one, doesn’t the coach get some credit for that?   Short of retiring or leaving for Colorado or Michigan, Miles is not going anywhere this offseason.  Personally, I’m hopeful that a new offensive coordinator and a new quarterback will stabilize the fanbase, and the program, a bit.
4) Are you excited about Jordan Jefferson being named SEC Offensive Player of the Week this coming Monday?
Ha.  To be blunt, that’s probably not going to happen.  But I will be ecstatic if Jefferson can throw for about 150 yards, rush for about 30, complete at least 55% of his passes, and not turn the ball over.  Ecstatic!   It will be interesting to see if LSU keeps trying to throw the ball down the field against Ole Miss, after having lots of success doing so against Alabama.   It’s more likely that Drake Nevis, Kelvin Sheppard, or Patrick Peterson is named defensive player of the week.
5) What’s it like to win all the time?
As mentioned before, LSU has gone 8-8 in the SEC in 2008 and 2009, so I’m really not qualified to answer that right now.  But in the five years prior to that, LSU’s conference mark was 32-8, and I can tell you it was a whole lot of fun.  So needless to say, the impression around the program was that LSU has slipped.  Was it because Les Miles is a goofball and not cut out to lead a program like LSU?  Or was it because of a unique set of circumstances surrounding the quarterback and offensive line positions?  Some of both?  I know what most people thought.  But now that LSU is staring down another 10-2 season, at a minimum, many are not quite sure what to think.

 

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A Response to Mr College Football

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Content provided by The Ole Miss Blog – It’s not the official Ole Miss blog, but it should be.

The guy who calls himself “Mr. College Football” a.k.a. Tony Barnhart, a.k.a. Ole Miss hater had this to say on his blog today:

2. I don’t understand the uproar over Ole Miss and its 4-6 record: The Rebels were picked to finish last in the SEC West and they are going to finish last in the SEC West. New quarterback Jeremiah Masoli has done his part but Ole Miss is last in the SEC in scoring defense (34.8 points per game). I don’t follow recruiting but I hear that coach Houston Nutt has a very good class lined up. Don’t panic, Ole Miss. The guy has won nine games the past two seasons. Have a little perspective.

Allow me to interpret (in parentheses):

2. I don’t understand the uproar over Ole Miss and its 4-6 record (why are all you redneck college football wannabees upset?): The Rebels were picked to finish last in the SEC West and they are going to finish last in the SEC West (Exactly where I pick them every year. It just so happened I was right this year. Deal with it). New quarterback Jeremiah Masoli has done his part but Ole Miss is last in the SEC in scoring defense (34.8 points per game) (Your convicted criminal transfer quarterback put up some decent offensive numbers but your defense just really really sucks). I don’t follow recruiting but I hear that coach Houston Nutt has a very good class lined up (At least that’s what Houston Nutt said at his press conference, so it must be true). Don’t panic, Ole Miss (Shut up you bunch of redneck wannabees). The guy has won nine games the past two seasons (That’s nine more wins than you deserved and you got em in two successive years). Have a little perspective (You suck. You’re always going to suck. How dare you expect to do anything but suck. I hate you for even thinking you should ever EVER have a year that doesn’t suck).

Dear Mr. College Football:

You’re right. I’m sorry. I guess just lost my head after that season opening overtime loss to Jacksonville State. Perspective is certainly needed. You’re right, being one of Vanderbilt’s only two wins this year isn’t so bad. And hell, that was absurd of me to think the Rebels might have a shot at knocking off a Tennessee team that was winless in the conference and was starting a freshman quarterback in only his second start ever. I’m a idiot. Losing 52-14 to the freshman quarterback isn’t that bad. So what if Houston Nutt only gives the ball to his best running back 12 times. So what if it was obvious to everybody even me that the team completely quit in the second half. It’s about the style points, and goodness knows every team that plays Ole Miss this year looks like it has style. Ole Miss sucks this year and that’s just the way it oughta be. You’re right. 

I’m sorry.

Thanks for the lecture on perspective.

Jake

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A Top 10 List to Remember in November

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Content provided by The Ole Miss Blog – It’s not the official Ole Miss blog, but it should be.

Originally posted after the Jacksonville State loss, I thought this post has taken on a new relevance following the disaster in Knoxville. From the sound of Nutt’s press conference yesterday he definitely bought in to No. 1. FOR THE RECORD, I’m not a “fire Nutt” proponent – yet. 

Top 10 Ways Houston Nutt Can Survive 2010:

1. Start calling it “A rebuilding year”. Does wonders for expectations. Of course, after Saturday, they’re already pretty low. You may need to add a fresh spin to it. Perhaps, “We knew coming into this year, it was going to be a rebuilding year.” If you act like you saw this coming it makes you sound more in control. First year coaches do it all the time. You’re in year three. It still could work.

2. Develop a sudden illness. Nobody can get fired for having an illness. It’s pretty classless, but it could work. Actually, now that I think about it, scratch that. Philip Fulmer became the Tennessee head coach after Johnny Majors had a “sudden illness”. This plan may be risky.

3. Pretend you’re getting offers from other BCS schools. This somehow has the effect of getting a new contract and a raise, though it hasn’t been tested in a year with losses to J-State and Vandy, it’s crazy enough that it just might work.

4. Develop a catchy slogan. Chopping wood. Climbing to the top. Something. Anything other than, “We’ve just got to make more plays.” Not catchy. If you can find a slogan catchy enough and say it over and over again until other people start saying it, you might be seen as a motivator or even inspirational. A catchy slogan is just what you need when your team is really bad. Just ask Dan Mullen.

5. Give up your salary for the rest of 2010. Donate it to the University. No coach can get fired the same year he donates a million dollars to his own school. You can’t need the money. You’ve already made a bunch. Let’s be honest, you haven’t exactly earned it this month. Maybe just September’s salary? Joe Paterno still hasn’t been fired and I’m convinced it’s because he’s donated so much money to Penn State. I think the library is named after the guy. Consider it.

6. Buy a house next door to either Dan Jones or Pete Boone. You can’t fire your neighbor. Can you imagine how awkward that would be? (Morning, Pete. Morning Nutt? How’s the job search going? Very awkward.) Come to think of it, at 3 million a year, you could buy a house next to both of them…

7. Do you have any kids old enough to get married? Perhaps you could marry one of them to a Boone or a Jones kid? Can’t fire a new in-law, either.

8. Fire the offensive coordinator. Never mind. Won’t work. You call the plays.

9. Try to find an All-American, Heisman type quarterback to transfer to Ole Miss and get him to play this year. What? You already did that? Dang. This is going to be harder than I thought.

10. Beat State.

 

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