Nutt’s return could evoke nostalgia from once disenchanted fan base

Editor’s Note: The Arkansas Razorbacks will face one of the toughest football schedules in the nation in 2008. The sports staff of the Northwest Arkansas Times ranked Arkansas’12 upcoming games from least important to most important based on fan fervor, storylines and the effect a win or loss would have on the Razorbacks’season. This is the Hogs’fourth most important game, part 10 of a 12-part series profiling the Razorbacks’opponents. During his 10 years as Arkansas’ head coach, Houston Nutt was accustomed to running onto the field at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium from the north entrance.
Nutt will have to reorient himself when he returns Oct. 25 as head coach of the Ole Miss Rebels. He’ll take the field from the opposite end of the stadium, and while his previous entrances elicited cheers, this one is likely to provoke lusty boos and catcalls from a crowd in full throat. The fractured fan base that Nutt cited as his rationale for resigning last November will be baying for his defeat in unison come October.
Nutt was the secondlongest tenured coach in the SEC before his resignation, compiling a 75-48 record, three SEC West championships, two conference title game appearances and two SEC Coach of the Year honors. Arkansas hadn’t played in a New Year’s Day bowl game since 1990 until Nutt’s arrival. He shepherded the Razorbacks to five New Year’s day games in 10 years..