• TheDMonline.com Staff Member?
  • Log In
Share |

Getting back to the top

On Monday, Ole Miss announced that head football coach Houston Nutt would not be retained next season, as well as the retirement of Pete Boone by December 2012.

The Rebel nation was also informed that former football great Archie Manning and FedEx Executive Vice President Mike Glenn would co-chair a committee that would be responsible in finding a new Ole Miss football coach and new athletics director.

After a day to take all of this information from Monday, this could be a monumental moment in not just Ole Miss athletics, but for the university as a whole. The two men who are hired to take over such prestigious positions could alter the face of Ole Miss forever.

Ole Miss has won three national championships in football, but those came in 1959, ‘60 and ‘62. It is 2011. The Rebels have won six Southeastern Conference championships, but the last one was in 1963. It is 2011. There is no excuse that Ole Miss has not won an SEC championship in 48 years and a national championship in 49.

Yes, Eli Manning and company came within three points of beating LSU under the direction of David Cutcliffe, which would have secured the SEC Western Division title in 2003, but in this conference, close doesn’t cut it.

Cutcliffe was fired after the very next season of going 4-7. Ed Orgeron was then brought in, but after three years, he too was let go for not being able to win. Then came in Houston Nutt, who led the Rebels to back-to-back Cotton Bowls as he himself would say, “for the first time in 50 years. 50 years.”

But then Nutt didn’t capitalize on those two Cotton Bowl victories. He misevaluated talent and character of potential players and got put in a position where he had a serious lack of talent in his third and fourth seasons as the head coach.

We all know the rest of the story. Back-to-back losses to Mississippi State, an embarrassing loss to Jacksonville State and 12 consecutive SEC losses, which could very well be 14 by season’s end, showed the “Right Reverend Nutt” the door.

All of a sudden, things weren’t so right anymore.

Now, Ole Miss can undo those miserable 50 years. Ole Miss has an opportunity to put the people in place to return the Rebels to the place they once were when legendary coach Johnny Vaught was at the helm.

There are a lot of potential candidates out there for both positions, and no one should be overlooked. If Manning and Glenn make the right hire, Ole Miss football could be something to be feared by opposing teams.

But that is not all that needs to happen.

It is also essential that the Rebel nation get behind its new leaders and unify for the first time in a long, long time. Because whoever the committee will hire needs your support.

The Ole Miss faithful may not agree on everything such as who the new head coach will be, a mascot or what to wear to the game and the Grove, but for everyone who knows and loves Ole Miss, there is on thing everyone agrees on –– everyone wants Ole Miss to be successful on the gridiron.

Everyone wants to beat Mississippi State and LSU every single year. Everyone wants Ole Miss to compete year in, year out for SEC championships. Everyone wants Ole Miss to compete for national championships.

This is that chance.

This is that chance to make a hire that will show the country that Ole Miss means business. This is the chance to finally put everything else aside and focus one thing and one thing only: Winning.