FOOTBALL: Nutt on Fulmer’s resignation

Last night we asked Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt for his reaction on the resignation of Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer.

Nutt’s first season at Arkansas was 1998, the season Fulmer led the Vols to the national championship. Arkansas led the Vols in Knoxville late that season, but Tennessee was able to rally when Hogs quarterback Clint Stoerner fumbled. Stoerner was losing his balance and put the hand in which he held the ball on the ground to steady himself. He bounced up, but the ball did not.

(What were your thoughts when you learned Phillip Fulmer had resigned?)
Disappointed. He’s been there so long and done so many good things. It’s kind of sad. He won a national title and changed a lot of young people’s lives. He’s done so much good, but it’s not good enough. He had a good record.

(How different is the league now than it was in 1998 when you started?)
I think it’s much more difficult. It’s just hard. Everybody wants to win, to go to a bowl, everybody wants their team to go to Atlanta. It’s just highly highly competitive. You have to understand, everybody’s not going to go to Atlanta every year. There are injuries involved, but people don’t want to hear about that. There are things that don’t work out. The ball bounces wrong. They don’t want to hear about that. They want to win, and it seems like when one gets let go there’s motivation at other schools.

(Do you believe the theory that you can’t stay at one place too long?)
I’m starting to believe that. I think the days of the Bobby Bowdens and Joe Paternos are pretty much over. You hit that 10th year at one spot, and I’m just going by experience, they get tired of you … tired of your words, tire of your same responses.

— PA


12 Responses to “FOOTBALL: Nutt on Fulmer’s resignation”

  1. Bo Says:

    Thanks for the post PA. I was curious what his thoughts about the situation would be…

    By the way, I’m also curious of what both yours and Nutt’s thoughts are on a playoff?

    I personally am a HUGE supporter of an 8-team playoff and have been trying to preach it to any and everyone I can for a few years now.

    It’s ridiculous to me that you win the national title by winning one “true” post-season game.

    I know people try to make the argument that the regular season is a playoff, but Auburn did EVERYTHING they could do in 2004 and didn’t even get a CHANCE to play for a championship. The same thing may happen to Penn State this year. The only way that would *really* be a playoff is if Penn State had at least 1 team ahead of them in the BCS standings remaining on their regular season schedule. Since you NEVER know who will be ahead of you in the BCS standings (who would have guessed Bama and Texas Tech?), this is basically impossible.

    I’ll get off my soap box now…

  2. Tyler-for-Heisman Says:

    Nutt showed a lot more class about the Fulmer situation that Spurrier did to me.

    “He’s probably 16, 17 years there, probably long enough. It wasn’t working very well, so I think everybody understands when it starts going bad, they’ve gotta make changes,” Spurrier told The State.

    “But congratulate him on hitting that lottery ticket. That’s a big ticket he got,” Spurrier said, adding, “I don’t know whether to feel sorry for coach or congratulate him for the biggest buyout in the history of college football. He got the best deal ever, I think.”

    Thats from a stroy I read on

  3. Tyler-for-Heisman Says:

    That story also reminds us that Spurrier once (a while back) made the comment about not being able to spell “Citrus Bowl” without “UT”

  4. djrebel Says:

    Bo, the plus-1 scenario would work for me. The BCS championship game plus 1 more. A four-team playoff. That would have taken care of Auburn in 2004. You’ll always have that fifth team, the team right on the edge that thinks it should be ranked in the top four and may be able to make a legitimate argument.

    But you have to cut it off somewhere. I am not for a system that blows up the bowl games.

    Look for the Cotton Bowl to be added to the BCS mix one day once the new stadium is in place out there. Even though the current structure diminished the Cotton Bowl to a degree, those guys never stopped acting like a big bowl. They do an incredible job of game week and putting on something special for all parties involved.

    — PA

  5. pBeez Says:

    Ten years from now if Nutt wins a national championship at Ole Miss, I will not be tired of him. And I’ll remind anyone who is of all these past years. Hell, if Nutt wins a NC, I might just have to convince the wife to have another kid so we can name it after him. Though naming a grandchild is more likely.

    But that is in the future. I’ll settle for 3 more wins this season. If he can’t pull that off, I say fire him! 🙂

  6. bigdraws Says:

    “Ten years from now if Nutt wins a national championship at Ole Miss, I will not be tired of him.”

    Get ready to be tired of him.

  7. Bo Says:

    PA, the plus 1 suggestion is the most likely solution, unless Obama enforces the 8-team playoff. Then again, it’s hard to rely on a politician to back up their promises. The plus 1 would remove most complaints. An 8 team playoff would remove 99% of complaints. It’s hard for the #9 team to complain too much, while it’s very easy for the #3 team to complain in the current BCS system. I don’t even mind keeping the BCS rankings, if that’s what people want. Just take the top 4 or 8 teams and let them play it out. I look at the current BCS standings and think that Florida and Oklahoma sitting at #5 and #6 respectively could beat anyone in the country right now, so it’s disappointing that, with the current system they can’t prove they are the best team in the country. The problem is that with the system as it is today, all the bowl games aside from the National Championship are meaningless. This way, a few more games have real meaning. The other bowls would still be meaningless, except for the teams’ fans.

    For instance, I know that Ohio State won the National Championship in 2002, but I have NO idea who won the game between the #3 and #4 BCS teams. No one remembers those games unless they like the particular teams involved. However, in the basketball tournament, who doesn’t remember Florida squeaking by Georgetown on their run to the ’07 championship or Christian Laetner’s last second shot against Kentucky to catapult Duke into the title game in 92?

    I also don’t think a playoff would diminish the regular season. Sure, if it was a 16 or 32 team playoff, it would, but you’ve still gotta be a pretty darn good team and have had a pretty darn good season to be ranked in the top 8 teams at the end of the season.

  8. djrebel Says:

    It’s OK with me that a lot of the bowl games have less “meaning.” To me, as a college football fan, the time from Christmas to New Years, when there’s a bowl game every day and often more than one, is pretty neat. Heck, I was watching Ball State and Northern Illinois just a few minutes ago.

    I think you could make an 8-team playoff work, because you could structure it around your BCS bowl games.

    — PA

  9. Jeff Jolly Says:

    I watched a little of the NIU-Ball State game last night too. Mico Brown, the freshman running back for NIU, is a Moss Point graduate where I work. So I had a little local interest in that game.

  10. Tyler-for-Heisman Says:

    What about using the Conference Champ/BCS standings to pick the eight teams. There are 6 BCS conferences, right. The champs of those confernces get a spot in the playoffs. The other two spots are determined by the BCS standings, who are the next highest ranked teams. One could agrue that could lead to a worthy team not making it to the dance. Lets be realistic, though. If a team does not win their own conference nor is it one of the next best two, does it really deserve a shot at the NC?

    I think this would bring more importance to the regular season, rather than less. I mean, there are only 11 or 12 games in the regular season. Not the 30 something of college basketball. In a conference like the SEC, where at one point this season there were four or 5 teams in the top 10, this would make it almost impossible to lose a conference game and still be able to control your own destiny with respect to the NC.

    They could also include a rule that says a conference champion would have to have at least 9 or 10 wins to get the automatic bid to the playoffs. This would keep underachieving leagues like the ACC and Big East on there toes to produce quality representation.

    Thats my opinion. What do ya’ll think?

  11. Tyler-for-Heisman Says:

    Also, they could use the bowl system that is already in place to host the playoffs. That way everybody comes out happy.

  12. Colten Says:

    i dont think that will work either b/c the SEC and the BIG 12 is much better conferences that other conferences and the #2 or #3 the team in the SEC OR BIG 12 may very well be a better team than the winner of a weaker conference such as the Pac 10 or Confrence USA…. i think the top 8 teams should play personally

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