Houston Nutt knows what it’s like to lead the Razorbacks football program, and he also knows what it’s like to be chased out of town by its supporters.
The former Arkansas coach, who now makes a living as a college football analyst for CBS Sports, made a recent radio appearance with Jimmy Hyams on Knoxville’s SportsRadio WNML. He was asked about the status of currrent Razorbacks coach Bret Bielema, who is the owner of a 25-25 record through his first 50 games at Arkansas.
Nutt appears to have put Bielema on the hot seat going into the 2017 season, which will be the former Wisconsin coach’s fifth at Arkansas:
“He’s had a pretty nice little honeymoon,” Nutt said during that interview, per Hyams’ article on Gridiron Now. “I’m an Arkansan, born and raised there. They got after me pretty hard and we won three Western titles and went to Atlanta twice.
“So it’s, ‘What have you done lately?’”
Nutt went on to make note of Bielema’s 10-22 record in conference games since taking over at Arkansas, which seems poor compared to his 42-38 mark during a 10-year run at Arkansas from 1998-2007.
“He’s 10-22 in the SEC,” Nutt said, per Hyams on Gridiron Now. “So they’re going to look at that hard. He’s going to a bowl. That’s a good thing. … But they’re going to get restless like everybody else.
“We’re in a world where everybody wants to win. They pay you a great salary. All they want you to do is win yesterday. So you’ve got to win.”
Nutt did take the Razorbacks to the SEC Championship Game in 2002 and 2006, and tied for first place in the SEC West in 1998 during his first season in Fayetteville. But then again, Nutt, who left Arkansas for Ole Miss following the 2007 football season, was 0-for-5 in SEC title game appearances during the Nick Saban-Alabama era in which Bielema is now coaching.
Bielema, who ended the regular season with a loss to Mizzou that dropped the Razorbacks to 7-5 on the season, will coach in his third consecutive bowl game when Arkansas takes on Virginia Tech at the Belk Bowl.