Friday, September 30, 2011

Ole Miss is a kitchen grease fire and there’s no extinguisher

image After a horrid 4-8 season last year, the Rebels under Houston Nutt are 1-3 overall and 0-2 in the SEC this season. Ole Miss hasn’t won an SEC game since this week last year and if it wasn’t for the absolute grease fire that this program has become, Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen might be completely winless against SEC West teams. On Saturday, they travel to Fresno State where they hope to pull off an upset against a WAC team.

Following a lopsided 30-7 loss against perennial conference doormat Vanderbilt, Ole Miss fans organized an anonymous group called Forward Rebels and began taking out pricey full page ads in regional newspapers, calling for whole cloth changes to the administration in Oxford. The Vandy loss (and probably the appearance of the ads) prompted Ole Miss Athletic Director Pete Boone to issue an 11:35 PM “hold the rope” email on the Sunday after the game, and then Boone commandeered Nutt’s Monday morning press conference.

Last Saturday’s drubbing by Georgia in the “Hot Seat Bowl” only further infuriated the Rebel Faithful, resulting in reports of threats made against Chancellor Dan Jones and an open letter to the fans, excerpted below. 

Many are aware of anonymous, malicious and public attacks on athletics director Pete Boone. The Ole Miss family may not be aware, however, that as a part of this orchestrated campaign, I have received threats, promising that if I do not remove Pete Boone, "It is going to get real ugly," and threatening to expand the attacks to other athletics employees.

Friends, supporters and the media have asked how I will react to this anonymous and vicious pressure. The short answer is that I will not react.

Ok. We’re not going to respond to anonymous and vicious pressure, but here’s a letter in response to anonymous and vicious pressure. But can’t we just get along?

Things haven’t been this bad in The Grove since the last coaching staff was run out of town.

I am tempted to buy a set of tickets for the October 15 game with Alabama, but I don’t think there will be enough Grove eye candy to make the trip worthwhile this time.

There’s probably not a winnable game left on Ole Miss’ schedule, unless either Auburn or Kentucky have epic seasonal meltdowns and somehow find a way to lose to a program that should finish the season 1-11.

Ole Miss is a fine old institution with an immense cultural and academic tradition. It’s had moments of gridiron glory too. But with other schools toying with the idea of joining the SEC, wouldn’t it be great if Ole Miss kept Houston Nutt and Pete Boone? After all, a Missouri or a West Virginia would like to look down a proposed 2013 or 2014 schedule and count at least a couple of guaranteed wins, right?

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