Houston Nutt is a college football analyst for CBS Sports. That’s his job, and it’s a job he performs admirably.
But his passion, his calling, is coaching. Nutt has coached at various programs, including Arkansas and Ole Miss, and has been one of the top coaches of his era. In fact, he was named SEC Coach of the Year three times between 2001 and 2008.
That doesn’t happen if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Thus, when Nutt’s name popped up in UCF’s coaching search, as it did this week – this after 69-year-old George O’Leary stepped down following an 0-8 start to the season – the college football world took notice.
So, Houston, are we going to be calling you “Coach” again sometime soon?
“I don’t know,” Nutt said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio And Jones, chuckling. “I don’t know about that. The only thing I know is what I have right now today.”
College football analyst Brett McMurphy tweeted Monday that Nutt has “decided interest” in the UCF job. Did Nutt tell McMurphy that?
“You know, somebody asked me about Central Florida when Coach O’Leary stepped down (and about) recruiting in that area,” Nutt said. “Somebody asked me about that job and I said, ‘Absolutely, I think it’d be an outstanding job and an awesome opportunity.’ But I don’t know. That’s all I know. That’s all I know right there.”
It wasn’t all that long ago that UCF was nationally ranked. In 2012, the Knights went 10-4 and won a bowl game. In 2013, they went 12-1 and beat Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl. Heck, even last year they went 9-4.
This year, however, the bottom dropped out. UCF has lost two games by one point and six by double digits, including Saturday’s 59-10 whitewashing at the hands of Houston. The Knights have four more cracks to avoid a losing season, beginning this Saturday at Cincinnati (4-3).
“They still have a lot of things they have to do, and they still have a half a season to finish out with an interim coach (Danny Barrett),” Nutt said. “There’s a lot more movement these days. It used to be you’d wait (until) after the season, but now it happens before the season and in between the season.”