OXFORD – After going 18-8 in his first two seasons at Ole Miss, coach Houston Nutt has the Rebels off to a disappointing 1-2 start.
Nutt may not be in need of a “vote of confidence,” but he received one Tuesday from a long-time member of the Ole Miss football family: Archie Manning.
As a guest on a Washington, D.C., sports-talk radio program, most of the conversation centered on Peyton and Eli Manning, the brothers and star NFL quarterbacks who competed against one another Sunday evening when Peyton’s Indianapolis Colts defeated Eli’s New York Giants 38-14.
It did not take long for the discussion to turn to college football.
Manning expressed compassion for the Rebels’ humble beginnings and confidence in Nutt’s ability to turn things around.
“We’re not real good right now, and when two (losses like Jacksonville State and Vanderbilt) happen you lose confidence, so Houston’s got a big job,” Manning said.
He continued: “I do think we have the right coach at Ole Miss. We’ve got a good football coach, and if anyone can kind of stabilize this thing, settle them down and get back to playing … I knew it wasn’t going to be a great, great year. Still, you hope you can turn it around, the SEC is a tough league.”
Manning was a guest on the show in part to promote the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year program, an effort to recognize coaches not only for wins and losses but for sportsmanship, academics, responsibility and other off-field characteristics.
“It recognizes all of the things we want our coaches to be,” Manning said.
The entire interview can be accessed through a link on the Inside Ole Miss Sports blog at NEMS360.com.
Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal