Sunday, September 18, 2011

Vandy boots Houston Nutt out of frying pan, into fire

Want to see something funny but also kind of sad? Check out this video clip from of Houston Nutt trying to explain his team’s loss to Vanderbilt while the Commodores are whooping, hollering and banging on the walls of the locker room next door.

It had to have been his worst nightmare. For a coach in the SEC, and especially one with a lifetime 2-4 record against Vandy, it just doesn’t get any worse than this. That sound you hear is the moving van headed toward Nutt’s house.

In fact, the sign that Vandy's arrived as a team will be when an SEC coach doesn’t automatically get fired after losing to us.

During the postgame press conference, Nutt lamented that he always catches Vandy “right there at the top, very healthy and feeling good.” And this from the same guy who once lamented that, as head coach at Arkansas, he didn’t get to face the Commodores every year.

But does anybody really think that we have better athletes than Ole Miss?

The difference was coaching. As we commented during yesterday’s game, James Franklin took Nutt to school. And Nutt practically said as much in his press conference:

“I’ve never felt that way on the sideline. It was just not right. Just didn’t have the confidence we’re gonna make first downs and move the ball like I usually do. That was a first. That was a first.”

So he’d met his match. Then he said:

“It’s been one guy or the other,” meaning somebody always making a mistake on offense. “You’ve got to have 11 on offense to make one play go; we’re not getting that.”

So he didn’t have his guys ready to play. He said he faces a “gut check” “because of the world we’re in. It’ll be negative. My guys, I got to let them know we believe in them.”

A reporter asked Nutt if he thought it was hard for an Ole Miss fan to watch the Vandy game and not be negative. “Yeah,” he said. “Yeah, it is. I understand.”

It’s huge for Vandy and James Franklin to start the season 3-0 – or, as Frankin would say, going 1-0 for three straight weeks. It’s huge to chalk up our biggest whipping of an SEC opponent in 40 years. As Franklin says, “There’s no way to build success like having success.”

But don’t forget that this Ole Miss team has won just one of its last 10 SEC games. South Carolina is a whole different ballgame.

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