Archive for November, 2007

FOOTBALL: Staff taking shape

November 30, 2007

The Clarion-Ledger reports that offensive coordinator David Lee, tight ends coach James Shibest, running game coordinator Mike Markuson, defensive line coach Tracy Rocker and recruiting coordinator Chris Vaughn will come to Ole Miss after the Razorbacks’ bowl game.

Markuson apparently told some folks over there a day or two ago that he intended to follow Nutt.

Rocker is highly thought of in coaching circles and will step into a very talented situation at Ole Miss with experience and depth.

— PA


FOOTBALL: Staff interviews on Sunday, probably

November 30, 2007

This is not new, it’s what Houston said on Wednesday. From what I can tell nothing has started on that yet.

— PA

FYI: Friday morning thoughts

November 30, 2007

As I spoke with some Arkansas media last night, they were all involved the Tuberville to Arkansas rumor that is gaining strength. Nothing confirmed has been reported yet. A buyout clause in his Auburn contract could be a sticking point.

If it happens, it will be interesting to see who Tuberville hires as his defensive coordinator. His current DC Will Muschamp has been and will be mentioned for head coach opportunities. He was a fall back plan for Ole Miss.

Had Muschamp moved on and Tuberville remained at Auburn — which is still a possibility — Ed Orgeron was mentioned as a possible replacement. It’s possible then that Ed could find his way onto a Tuberville staff at Arkansas if that materializes.

That wouldn’t be the first Ed to Arkansas rumor. He has also been mentioned as assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator at Arkansas under current Raiders head coach and former USC pal Lane Kiffen.

— PA

FOOTBALL: Today’s column

November 30, 2007

Here’s an opinion piece from today’s print edition on what hopefully will be a more open football program.

 — PA

FYI: Where’s everybody from?

November 29, 2007

We’ve picked up some new users lately, going back to the Greg Hardy saga I think, and peaking with O, the aftermath of fourth-and-1 and the hiring of Houston Nutt.

Gregg did a sort of roll call on his blog that let him see where a lot of his users were from, who sees the printed edition, who are exclusively internet users and that sort of thing. It gives us an idea on how to proceed with blog coverage.

The blogs are the quickest way we can get things online. It takes a little longer for an online story at and longer, of course, for the daily product.

— PA

FYI: A long couple of days

November 29, 2007

It’s been hectic lately. I’ve tried to answer questions on posts and have tried to keep the blog current while I’ve been working on football.

I greatly appreciate Pete Boone for running a two-day coaching search. The last one went 15 days, and we were chasing rabbits everywhere. I have now seen both extremes.

I think it’s a good hire for Ole Miss. Will it work? You can never answer that in advance, but the odds are much more favorable than they were three years ago with a career assistant who’d never been a coordinator.

The thing that struck me the most yesterday was how the players were responding to new-found freedom.

You could sense discontent in the program, but players were scared to death to freely express themselves. I don’t know if they had been threatened in any manner, but they had clearly gotten the message to watch what they say.

The focus turns now to assembling a staff. Houston Nutt has two qualified defensive coordinators from which to choose. He says he’ll meet with John Thompson, who worked with Nutt for two years, on Sunday. Reggie Herring, his current DC, is leading Arkansas in the interim process and has expressed interest in replacing Nutt.

Thompson, Hugh Freeze, Tony Hughes and Art Kehoe have expressed interested in staying at Ole Miss.

That’s a large number of holdovers for a nine-man staff. If any are retained, my odds would be on Thompson and Freeze, though Thompson’s status is surely clouded by Herring right now.

It’s hard to see both of them on staff, though Nutt has had co-defensive coordinators before. I don’t know if Thompson and Herring would be keen on that arrangement.

I saw a couple of players at the press conference. One of them was DL Jerrell Powe, who had a cast on his left wrist.

Peria Jerry, who was at a player’s press conference later Wednesday, said that was minor surgery to correct an old injury.

That’s injury information that no one would have shared under Ed.

One popular requested player who did not attend the press conference was transfer QB Jevan Snead. He was attending rehab after what Orgeron had earlier described as minor knee surgery. Orgeron said at the time that he expected Snead to be ready for spring drills.

— PA

FOOTBALL: Press conference notes

November 28, 2007

A few tidbits from the Houston Nutt celebration.

— Salary is exactly as it was laid out by Pete Boone in today’s print and online editions. Perks include football season tickets and use of a private box. Basketball season tickets (no private box built there). Country club membership and moving expenses.

— Oh yeah, not one, but two cars.

— Nutt’s timeline story was the same as Pete’s, which said initial contact was made on Sunday but that Houston didn’t want to say much at the time because he was dealing with a lot of emotions with the coming announcement of his resignation and telling his players.

— The Ford Center was filled to its 1,500 seat capacity, and an estimated 500 were turned away.

— Nutt was joined on stage by his wife and one of his four children.

— The Ole Miss tradition was his theme for the day. He touched on facilities as well, as a reason for his great interest in the job. He believes those two factors are big reasons Ole Miss can win.

— In response to the question on QB Jevan Snead, Nutt believes as a coach that you have to be adaptable to the players you have in order to win. He cited the passing success of former Arkansas quarterbacks Clint Stoerner and Matt Jones.

— He plans to begin meeting with staff — He specifically mentioned John Thompson — on Sunday.

— I saw assistant coaches Thompson, Hugh Freeze and Tony Hughes. Others may have attended.

— Players I saw included OL Michael Oher, his face still taped from the motorcycle acciden, DL Jerrell Powe with a cast on his left wrist, OL Maurice Miller, an Arkansas kid once recruited on some level by Nutt, TE David Traxler.

— PA

FOOTBALL: Waiting on Houston

November 28, 2007

The meet Houston Nutt extravaganza is at noon, gates open at 11:30. This isn’t a press conference, you know. It’s a celebration. It all takes place at the Ford Center. I’ve never been there and figure this isn’t a wireless connection in a performing arts center. It will be some time in the afternoon before I’m online, but I’ll post a few notes then.

— PA

FINAL: Ole Miss 102, Troy 76

November 27, 2007

Read it in Wednesday’s Daily Journal.

— PA

FYI: Football tickets selling

November 27, 2007

Today’s announcement of the hiring of Houston Nutt as football coach did spark a few season ticket orders, officials say. Had the ticket office been open Saturday that announcement might have sparked a few orders too.

— PA