Meanwhile Mack Brown, reticent to publicly criticize anyone, said during Mondays press luncheon that Nutts sideline gesture shocked him.
"I see that all the time so it didnt surprise me to see it," Brown said, "but Id never seen a coach do it. That surprised me. I mean, I see it all the time from fans because enough fans dont like The University of Texas."
The Arkansas coach defended himself Monday by saying the gesture was not directed at anyone associated with The University of Texas. But for Nutt, old patterns die hard.
"Since four years of age, I can remember going to Arkansas games and every fan around me was doing the Hookem Horns sign down in a downward position," Nutt recalled. "At the end of the (Cotton Bowl), where were winning with 15 seconds left, you look into the stands -- and theres only the 45,000 sea of red, Razorback fans that were left -- and they were doing the Hookem Horns sign that was down. All I did was just answer them back at a joyous and at a happy time, but not at a demeaning time to Coach Brown or his players."
Added Nutt, "Im sure hell use that as motivation, and I probably would too."
Even without Nutts gesture, the Cotton Bowl loss ranks as one of Browns most bitter disappointments at Texas.
"We had just lost to Texas A&M, we had just lost to Nebraska in the Big 12 championship game," Brown said, "and I think one of the tougher things to do in this league is to lose the Big 12 Championship Game and try to go to a bowl game. Your crowds are disappointed and youre disappointed. The team is disappointed, and thats a hard, hard coaching sell for a ball game after youve lost what youve played all year to get."
As such, "They outplayed us, they outworked us, they out hit us, they were more physical than we were in the fourth quarter," Brown recalled. "They just lined up and absolutely whipped us."
Thats why Brown concluded the 2000 Cotton Bowl was "one of the more negative games, if not the most negative, since weve been here."
Oh, some of us can think of at least one game that was just a bit more negative. Still, Nutts gesture added insult to injury.
"The bottom line," Nutt concluded, "is with 30 seconds left and with Coach Broyles in the hospital and youre going to win a big game, and you beat Texas, and if you look at the series closely, Texas has dominated the series, so the upside down Hook'em Horns was never intended in a derogatory manner toward The University of Texas. Its more from being raised in Arkansas all my life and winning the first big game of my career."
Its just that Texas has a football coach who (to coin a Royal-ism) acts like hes won before. Another win over the Hogs would be mighty fine but hardly season-defining. After all, a team actually has to beat Texas more than just 25 percent of the time before Orangebloods care enough to hate them.
The ill-feeling among Razorbacks toward Texas, however, is like the stench from when the cat pees on your new sofa: it just never seems to go away. Part of Browns job this week is trying to impress that upon his players.
"I dont think that we can take something that grew through the 1960s and is no longer a year-to-year rivalry," Brown said, "that can make our guys understand that the whole state of Arkansas hates us."
Added Brown, "I just told them that its just like the Oklahoma game."
Thats all he had to say.