A soon to be released book, "Year of the Dog: One Year, One Team, One Goal," doesn't portray a very flattering picture of Arkansas coach Houston Nutt, his relationship with true freshman quarterback Mitch Mustain or the tension that exists between offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn and Nutt, as well as other members of the coaching staff.
The book tells the story of the
Written by Kurt Voigt, prep sports editor for The Morning News of Northwest Arkansas, the book is an inside look at the coaches and players throughout the season. Malzahn and the players gave Voigt nearly unlimited access to the behind-the-scenes life of the team.
Some of these scenes don't paint a very pretty picture for Nutt. Voight wrote that Mustain once referred to Nutt as a "dork" and criticized Nutt's offense.
"We're doing more stuff on offense every week on a high school team than they are. And they're in the SEC," Mustain is quoted as saying. Mustain also describes Nutt's conservative game plan as the "same old boring offense."
At one point, Mustain was watching
television at Voigt's home on the Sunday following
Mustain soon stood up, pointed toward the television and told Voight, "Oh my God, did you hear that? Old 'H' has lost it. He has absolutely lost it. How can they let him get away with that? They ought to fire him on the spot. Of course, they'd have a better chance of getting me if they did."
It wasn't much longer before
Mustain backed out on
There are more interesting stories to be told, including some that question the honesty of Notre Dame Charlie Weis and his recruiting methods
Conspiracy theorists are already convinced that Mustain lost his starting job this season despite an 8-0 record as a starter because Nutt learned of Mustain's comments in the book. Those same conspiracy theorists are also certain that Nutt is trying to get rid of Mustain or that Mustain will soon transfer out of the program.
While all of that remains to be seen, Nutt isn't saying much about the book. Neither is Mustain.
Asked if he planned to read the book, Nutt said, "Not at all. Not at all. I'm not planning on reading it. I keep two or three good books to read in the season. I've got them lined up."
Nutt also said he was putting his time and effort into preparing for the Capital One Bowl.
"I've got all my focus and energy
on recruiting and
As for Mustain, he said, "It's not
something I want to get into. People have their opinions about it." Nutt also
insists Mustain has a "great opportunity to play" against
In other Nutty news, SEC fans may
have missed the fact that Nutt actually voted
Nutt admitted he voted Auburn No. 8
and Arkansas No. 10, despite the fact that
Nutt told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that he figured most coaches would vote the Tigers higher than the Razorbacks and he didn't want to appear he was favoring his team and compromising his vote.
"Even though I know we beat
Sixty-two coaches voted in the
final poll, with 13 coaches voting
"We know we beat (
LSU coordinators Jimbo Fisher and Bo Pellini aren't the only SEC assistants being discussed for numerous head coaching vacancies.
"Most of the guys that are
interviewing have been with me for 12 years and are growing up,"
"It's a reflection on the entire staff. As I tell all of them, I don't want them unless they can be head coaches one day. Every coach on this staff is capable of doing that."
One former Tuberville assistant,
Bobby Petrino, is now the successful head coach at
"I'm just happy to have a job," Nix
said. "I've got enough issues with
Swinging over to basketball ...
Steele played one of the worst halves of his college career in the second half, but it wasn't because of effort, attitude or focus. His right knee is bothered by tendonitis, with extensive bruising and inflammation under his knee cap. It has forced him to miss two games and parts of others as well as significant practice time.
For a player with a reputation for a hard-nosed work ethic, a positive attitude, strong leadership qualities and a willingness to lead the SEC in minutes played last season, this has been a difficult and frustrating season for Steele.
"I do anything I can to ease the pain (but) it gets old," Steele said last week.
With Steele at less than his best,
"I don't think we're very good
Initial X-rays were negative but
Smith will need some time off before he can return to practice. Fortunately for
Smith and the Vols, they don't play again until Saturday when they host
Carter originally suffered a
dislocated shoulder in mid-November and missed
"I'm disappointed for Jared,
because I know how hard he's worked,"
Richard Scott is a Birmingham-based sports writer, author and a featured columnist for Tiger Rag. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.