Houston Nutt, the Right Reverend, delivers Monday sermon to Rebel fans
After winning two straight Cotton Bowls, Ole Miss is 4-6 under Houston Nutt, who quite frankly, is tired of hearing from the quick-to-forget Rebel fans.
The Right Reverend, as Rece Davis calls him, took control at his press conference today by delivering a Monday sermon to the Rebel fans.
And quite frankly, they needed it.
Nutt began, "Guys, I just want to hit briefly. Let's just go back to the start of the year. You know, this season has not gone the way we planned. It started with that first game. We knew this was going to be the year. We knew this third year, with the amount of players that we lost, we knew that this would be a difficult year. What we didn't plan on was about three knee surgeries, four concussions, a guy like (Kentrell) Lockett, your leader. We didn't plan on that, to lose a guy like that."
"But I just want to remind our fans of this, number one, it was just 50 years, it's been 50 years since you won back-to-back January 1 games. 50! 50! And so my point is, I'm excited about, not with wins and losses, but I'm excited that there are 12 freshmen that are playing. 12! I'm excited about the future. I know now, more in my heart than ever, I know we can get to Atlanta. I know we can. Because I know we can recruit here. We've proven that the last two seasons."
"What you didn't plan on was that first game to put you in a tailspin. What you didn't plan on was a couple of other things where, and it's my fault, we weren't as sharp, weren't as ready as we should have been. But I see a lot of hope. And I'm excited. I'm excited about these next two games. I don't want to lose focus on this. I remember the day we got here. I remember the day we got here, guys. I didn't see any life. I didn't see any. I saw a lot of no-hope. And I don't want that to come back on our guys now, and that's what I'm feeling a little bit. I don't want that. I want to convince them of this. Number one, you've got two ballgames left and a lot of these guys have done a lot of good things these last two years. And it's easy to dwell on the negative. It's easy to sit up on the 50-yard line, it's easy to sit there and say Bad, bad, bad, bad, embarrassing. And, hey, I was the first one to say it after Saturday. Man, I don't want to do that. If you think you're hurting, you ought to just look at the tip of my itsy-bitsy little finger and then go all the way up through my body. I'm sick to my stomach. The Tennessee game, because we planned on winning that game. But look at this, though, if you think Florida's happy? You think Georgia's happy? There's going to be a year, in this league, the greatest league in America, there's going to be a year where things don't go just right."
"But it isn't all about gloom and doom. And that's what's difficult about the world that we're in now because I've got 18 and 19-year-olds that actually believe everything that comes outside these walls. And so, I've got to turn that. I've got to turn it. You've got to listen to what's inside these walls. It's about your family and this football family. We've got some outstanding recruits, recruiting is still going good, the last two signing classes have been really good. I think this will be our best one. Yeah, I planned on being at seven wins, right now at this point, seven to eight, six at the worst, but the bottom line is, reality is, we're not."
"So, no more. I'm not going to allow my players to be gloom and doom. I'm going to let everybody else be gloom and doom. Remember, you're part of something that was great. It wasn't too long ago they're patting you on the back about, Can you believe it was a half a century? Fifty years and you went back-to-back and won January 1s? And you're putting up these Cotton Bowl deals? And you're helping bring in good recruits? There are good things getting ready to happen. And so, I just want to tell our fans that, I want to tell our players that, most of all. Get your head up. I just saw two out here with their head down. What are you doing? Get your head up. This is what's the greatest thing about football. It teaches you all you want about life. There's not a sin about getting knocked down. There's not a sin about that. The sin is if you stay down. And so, the thing I want to do, I want to make sure our coaches are going as hard as we can with all the energy and effort to make sure they're taking the correct step, the proper stance, the perfect read and play. You don't play tight. You turn it loose. One of the things we did, if you look the last two years, and the games that we played good this year, we turned it loose. That's always been that way with us. Always. You turn it loose, you play the greatest game in America with a lot of passion, a lot of enthusiasm, and you turn it loose. So we're getting ready to go play one of the best teams in America, LSU."