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More Bad News At Ole Miss: Harris Dismissed; Nutt On Record Losing Streak

Let’s see if we can get hold of the current situation in Oxford this morning:

* The Rebels are currently 2-4 overall and just 0-3 in the SEC.

* The three league losses this season bring Ole Miss’ current SEC losing streak to nine games.  Ed Orgeron went 0-8 in the league during his final season in Oxford, but Houston Nutt is the first Rebel coach in history to lose nine straight SEC contests.

* Up next for Nutt is his old school Arkansas.  The Razorbacks are currently #9 in the BCS rankings and will be expected to roll Nutt and his Rebels on Saturday.

* Ole Miss was pummeled by Alabama this past Saturday, 52-7.  That game came just two days after Nutt had to suspend four players for violations of team rules, including key offensive weapon Brandon Bolden.

* While the football program struggles, a fan group Forward Rebels continues to publicly push for the ouster of Nutt’s boss, Mississippi AD Pete Boone.

Oh, and Nutt had to dismiss a player yesterday, too.  Just one day removed from learning that two starters on his defense would miss the rest of the season with broken bones.

If that’s not Hell, it can certainly be seen from The Grove at this point.

Wide receiver Melvin Harris was the player given the boot yesterday.  Here’s what Nutt had to say about the move:

“I tell you, we’ve really tried to help him for three years and I don’t want to get all the way involved into everything, the scenario with this thing.  He’s going to continue to go to school and hopefully get his life in order.  He’ll probably transfer to a I-AA school and finish it out.  But it’s just sad.  But I know this, I know we did everything we could to help him.  I know that.”

Harris didn’t play in the Rebels’ first three games of the season, but he did catch passes against Fresno State and Alabama.  He was Mississippi’s second-leading receiver a year ago.

It’s a rough time to have ties to the Rebel football program.  By my calculations, either frogs or locusts should be up next for Oxford.

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UM Suspends 4 Prior To Date With Bama

If there’s one thing Houston Nutt didn’t need on the eve of a game with brutal, beastly Alabama it was the suspension of four offensive players.  But that’s exactly what the Ole Miss program is dealing with today.

Running back Brandon Bolden, center AJ Hawkins, guard Alex Washington and receiver Philander Moore will all sit out tomorrow’s game due to a violation of team rules.  Bolden is a senior, a team captain, and arguably Mississippi’s best player on offense.  The other three players have all started at least one game.

“It’s just disappointing,” Nutt told The Jackson Clarion-Ledger yesterday.  But he still put on a brave face regarding his team’s Thursday practice session.  ”Right now it’s the next (game).  It’s the next one and I like the way we went about business today.”

We’ll see how well the Rebels are able to go about business without Bolden and the others and against one of nation’s most ferocious defenses.

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SEC Headlines – 9/8/11 Part Three

1.  Arkansas is 6-0 in Little Rock under Bobby Petrino and they sure don’t want New Mexico to snap that streak.

2.  Hog defenders are licking their chops after the Lobos allowed nine sacks against Colorado State last week.

3.  Despite a 40-point performance against Oregon — a performance aide by four Duck turnovers — LSU still has a lot of work to do on offense.

4.  Les Miles isn’t thinking about playing his backups against Northwestern State (and he won’t until the game gets out of hand).

5.  If Dan Mullen wants to keep moving Mississippi State up the SEC’s ladder of success, the next step will require beating Auburn.

6.  Cornerback Corey Broomfield remembers missing his chance to stop Auburn’s BCS title run last season.

7.  Zach Stoudt’s perseverance is the reason he’ll start at quarterback for Ole Miss on Saturday.

8.  Junior backup Devon Thomas will be filling in for Brandon Bolden this weekend.

9.  For those people claiming the addition of Texas A&M won’t do much for the SEC’s overall revenue, the top administrators at Ole Miss and Mississippi State disagree.

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UM’s Stoudt To Start; Bolden Not As Badly Hurt As Feared

The Jackson Clarion-Ledger reports that Houston Nutt has decided to make a quarterback change in Week Two.  Zach Stoudt — son of former NFL quarterback Cliff Stoudt — will get the nod when the Rebels host Southern Illinois on Saturday.  Barry Brunetti got the start last week against BYU but was lifted and did not play in the second half.  Stoudt took over and went 13-of-25 for 140 yards, no touchdowns and no interceptions (though he did have a beautiful deep ball dropped in the end zone).

How much Brunetti or third-stringer Randall Mackey will play on Saturday is anyone’s guess.

The Rebels also got some good news on this Labor Day — tailback Brandon Bolden does have a fractured ankle, but the injury is not as serious as was initially feared.  He could return in time for Ole Miss’ game with Georgia on September 24th.

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Bolden: There’s No Drama At Ole Miss This Year

Ole Miss running back Brandon Bolden feels Ole Miss is in a better spot heading into the 2011 season than they were at this time last year.  Why?  The Rebels were still waiting for word on quarterback Jeremiah Masoli’s eligibility in late-August 2010.  This year, the Rebels know their quarterbacks and they know the system:

“No drama.  It’s straight to football.  We don’t have to get a quarterback adjusted to our offense and try to adjust our whole offense to fit the quarterback.  We have a system.  It’s not how it was last year.  It’s more focused right now.”

But will the lack of drama add up to a season-opening win rather than a season-opening loss?  Brigham Young is a bit tougher foe than Jacksonville State.

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SEC Headlines – 12/28/10 Part Two

1.  Auburn defensive coordinator Ted Roof sees similarities between Oregon’s offense and the Tigers’ offense.  “… They score a lot of points and they go up and down the field real fast.”

2.  Defensive tackle Zach Clayton didn’t get a lot of pub… and he’s fine with that.

3.  These beatwriters believe Oregon’s offensive line gets the edge over Auburn’s defensive line.

4.  Nick Saban moved yesterday’s practice indoors due to high winds.

5.  Receiver Julio Jones is still weighing his NFL options.

6.  On Saturday he’ll test an eager Michigan State secondary in the Capital One Bowl.

7.  Alabama’s basketball team will host Pepperdine tonight.

8.  Arkansas is getting ready for its biggest bowl game since 1989.

9.  John Pelphrey says Marshawn Powell escaped a car accident on Christmas Day without injury.

10.  Meanwhile, forward Michael Sanchez is expected to return from a foot injury for the Hogs’ SEC schedule.

11.  Forward Malcolm White came off the bench (for a change) to lead the Tigers to victory.

12.  The LSU basketball team pulled away from Southern U. 62-41 last night after another slow start.

13.  Job One for Ole Miss?  Find a quarterback for 2011.

14.  The Rebels did get some good news with tailback Brandon Bolden’s decision to return for his senior season.

15.  Cool the basketball arena talk… UM AD Pete Boone tells this writer that Tad Smith Coliseum won’t be replaced for five or six years.

16.  The Rebels’ weak schedule could come back to bite them come tournament time.

17.  Dan Mullen needs to continue to improve Mississippi State’s offense.

18.  Mullen said his team looked rusty in its first Florida practice for the Gator Bowl.

19.  Surprisingly, a few tickets still remain from MSU’s original allotment.

20.  This writer says, “It appears the (Renardo) Sidney experiment — a calculated risk to begin with — has failed.”

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SEC Headlines – 11/12/10 Part Three

1.  MSU running back Vick Ballard is ready for a run at Alabama’s defense.

2.  The Bulldogs are ramping up for a physical game in Tuscaloosa.

3.  Ravern Johnson may miss tonight’s opener for State’s basketball team.

4.  Neyland Stadium has been a house of pain for Houston Nutt.

5.  When the basketball Rebels meet Arkansas State tonight they’ll see a couple of faces familiar to SEC fans on the opposing bench.

6.  Later today, Tennessee will unveil a statue of General Robert Neyland at the stadium that bears his name.

7.  UT linebacker Herman Lathers will be looking to put some hits on former high school teammate Brandon Bolden… who’s now Ole Miss’ starting running back.

8.  Bruce Pearl isn’t putting any pressure on freshman Tobias Harris.

9.  South Carolina players are walking a tightrope of emotions heading into their winner-take-all match with Florida.  (Which beats being trapped in a glass case of emotions.)

10.  Marcus Lattimore is looking forward to having his dreams realized.

11.  Carolina will change its secondary rotation tomorrow night.

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SEC Headlines – 11/8/10 Part Three

1.  LSU and Les Miles won some respect by beating Alabama on Saturday.  (Folks respect LSU.  It’s Miles that won some people over.)

2.  Miles’ players have “always had total confidence in him.”

3.  The Tigers were motivated by criticism of their coach.

4.  Ole Miss’ rushing attack came to life against Louisiana-Lafayette.

5.  Brandon Bolden has to learn when to bounce it outside… and when not to.

6.  Houston Nutt says Jeremiah Masoli — who left Saturday’s game with a mild concussion — felt better Saturday night and Sunday.

7.  Grieving Mississippi State is ready to get back to work.

8.  This writer believes Alabama is looking vulnerable right now.

9.  Here’s a preview of MSU’s non-conference basketball slate.

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