“I think they’re going to come out fired up and hot, but if we jump on them, I think they’ll kind of lay down. I feel like they’re wanting to lay down in a way, because o the things that have been happening here recently.”
Is Lawrence right? Probably. Teams playing for lame-duck coaches usually have little pep in their step. The Rebels have lived down to that expectation the past two weeks.
But was Lawrence wise to share his feeling publicly? No. If Ole Miss’ players are ready to lay down, why give them any reason to get back up?
In more than three years of posting stories here at MrSEC.com, we’ve posted — to my knowledge — two videos from inside a school’s locker room. In both cases, the video posted was released by the school or an alumni association as a promotion of their product.
Other than that, what happens in a locker room stays in a locker room, in our view. We’ve seen leaked stuff before, but I sure can’t recall posting any of it.
Having been in college locker rooms after victories, I can tell you that what’s said there is a) said for the sake of the players, not the fans and media and b) similar no matter which locker room you’re inside.
After wins, boasting is the order of the day. After losses, “we beat ourselves” is the mantra.
If a school releases something boastful or weepy, we find that newsworthy because that shows that the school/programs wants the information out there. When MSU releases video of Dan Mullen saying his team will never lose to Ole Miss again, that is more a story than an exuberant Mullen saying the actual words.
However, when someone sneaks a video — one that the school isn’t pushing — then we’ve in the past backed away, not wanting to invade the private moments between a coach and his team.
Not everyone feels the way we do. For some sites — that’ve proven time and again they would rather be the story than report the story — anything and everything is fair game. Ask Tennessee’s Derek Dooley.
“That’s a wound that I’m going to leave open that’s not going to heal. We’ve leave it open for a year and we’ll discuss it next year…
We’ll talk about it as much as you guys want to talk about it next year. We’ll watch it as many times as we’ve got to watch it next year.
I look at it as respect. Some people act like they won the Super Bowl, and they beat a team that the two previous years had won four games total. Obviously, we are closing the gab and threatening some people and making some people uncomfortable. We’ll see. We’ll leave it at that. We’ll move on. But we’re have a lot of discussion about this next year when the time is right.”
Dooley was not thrilled that his postgame locker room chat was released to the public. (Note to coaches: You might want to institute a “no cell phones in the locker room” policy.)
“I’m a little disappointed that a video is out on our locker room celebration. But that’s kind of the world we live in. It’s like there’s no sacred place. I think probably all 120 (FBS) coaches out there in football have a side to them where they loosen up with the team that they don’t do in public.
You take those things for what they are. It’s a postgame, emotional, have a little fun… and then you close the door on them when you leave.”
Well you can bet Franklin won’t be closing the door on them. And he has every right to use Dooley’s words as a motivation for his team next year. Just as Dooley has every right to put a foot in the rump of anyone posting video of UT’s pre- or postgame locker room talks.
That said, Tennessee does deserve a pass on part of their celebration. The Volunteers sang the following song as noted in The Tennessean:
“We don’t give a damn about the whole school of Vanderbilt, the whole school of Vanderbilt, the whole school of Vanderbilt; we don’t give a damn about the whole school of Vanderbilt… we’re from Tennessee.”
Anyone who’s spent anytime at all around college football knows that that little ditty is a postgame tradition at about half the schools in the country. As in: “We don’t give a damn about the whole state of Michigan, we’re from O-HI-O.” Etc, etc. It’s a staple of many SEC and Big Ten locker rooms and I can say that from personal experience.
You can probably go ahead an pencil in a couple more losses for Ole Miss as Houston Nutt makes his way to the exit. The team was expected to lifeless against Louisiana Tech and it was in a 27-7 homefield loss on Saturday.
Now, on top of the emotionally-draining coaching change, Nutt’s team will have to soldier on without two key players.
“I hate it,” Nutt told The Jackson Clarion-Ledger last evening. “Got to learn how to handle change and it’s tough for a lot of them. Especially when the season doesn’t go just right, it’s easy to let go.”
“That’s always a shame in this profession. When you live in this (coaching) world, you have a very different perspective of how that affects, not just the head coach, but an awful lot of assistant coaches, their families and their livelihoods of how hard that can be on a family. A lot of times people get caught up in what it is and sometimes it’s just a game, other times it’s more than a game to people in the coaching profession. This is hard on our family’s lives. I commit so much time away from my family. It’s not something we take very lightly, so any time you see a coach potentially lose a job, it’s a sad day.”
Mullen also stated that he doesn’t think Ole Miss will be any more fired up for this year’s Egg Bowl than they have been the past two years (both MSU wins).
2. Parrish Alford: “There’s no confirmation that Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt has been fired.”
3. Here’s what Nutt had to say last night after the game when asked if he would be back next year. “I don’t know. I don’t know. That’s not for me to decide. I’d like to be. I plan on being. But that’s not for me to decide.”
Hard to make a call on those unis without seeing a real version of them. But speaking of State’s uniforms, I will say it’s time to dump the matte-finish helmets. It looks like MSU couldn’t afford real helmets and had to go with cheap, plastic lids.
It looks like Ole Miss fans have got a bad feeling about this year’s Egg Bowl game.
After two straight losses to arch-rival Mississippi State — followed by two straight years of Dan Mullen’s flapping gums — many Rebel fans have chosen to watch this year’s UM-MSU game on television. It was announced yesterday that Ole Miss has returned about 2,000 of the 6,000 Egg Bowl tickets the school had initially requested from State.
In other words, 4,000 UM fans have bought tickets for this year’s showdown in Starkville. For comparison, about 6,000 Bulldog fans bought tickets to the game in Oxford last year.
“I appreciate them letting us know this early in advance so we can get them ou tin the marketplace,” MSU athletic director Scott Stricklin said. “We all work well together to take care of our fans.”
Granted, some fans might choose to buy tickets through secondary vendors or from gameday scalpers, but this appears to be yet another sign that State fans feel a lot better about the state of their program than Ole Miss fans do.
(Sidenote — MSU also announced that South Carolina returned about 2,500 of the 5,000 tickets they received for this year’s MSU-USC game, but we’ll cut Cock fans some slack. There’s a big difference between the two-hour drive from Oxford to Starkville and the eight-hour drive from Columbia to Starkville.)
Kyle Veazey of The Jackson Clarion-Ledger doesn’t get it. He doesn’t get why people keep listing Ole Miss’ Houston Nutt among those coaches perched upon hot seats this fall.
To the outside world looking in, Nutt’s third season in Oxford resulted in a 4-8 record — not good. In addition he’s dropped the last two Egg Bowls to Mississippi State and the ever-talkative Dan Mullen. Making matters worse, his 37-man signing class and his decision to grab Jeremiah Masoli both brought bad pub to Mississippi’s program and the SEC (where rules have since been put in place to nix others from doing likewise).
But there’s one reason Nutt likely won’t really be on the hot seat this fall and Veazey — as he initially pointed out in May — brings it up again today: Nutt has a $6 million buyout.
That’s $6 million for Nutt. Depending on their contracts, Nutt’s assistants might need to have a year or two bought out, too. And if Ole Miss decided to do all that, they would still have to pay a new coach’s buyout from his old school and create a package lucrative enough to lure in a good replacement.
So is Nutt’s seat truly hot? Probably not. But is it the hottest in the SEC? That’s a different question and Nutt would likely rank pretty close to Georgia’s Mark Richt in that category.
Whether he’s the six million dollar man or not, Nutt needs to do some winning — especially in the Egg Bowl — if he wants to get fans back on his side and get his name off of next year’s “hot seat” lists.