People who know these things are convinced that Houston Nutt, through is agent Jimmy Sexton, has been politicking for the Alabama head coaching vacancy since the Tide fired Mike Shula.
Nutt publicly has denied interest in any job. When word that West Virginia's Rich Rodriguez had turned down Bama on Dec. 8 reached Nutt in Fayetteville, he seemed irritated at a reporter's questioning if he was interesting in the Crimson Tide job and said "I want to be the Arkansas coach."
But does he if the most prestigious football program in the Southeastern Conference finally comes calling for the SEC's coach of the year?
Word we get is that former Bama players have been against the school considering Nutt. Mal Moore, the Alabama athletic director, likes Nutt, but has to sell Nutt to several factions of power at Alabama that are making a mess of the coach-firing and coach-hiring process.
The big question this week is, has sports agent Jimmy Sexton been giving Bama the ol' bait-and-switch, pushing Nick Saban for several weeks when Saban was never a possibility for the Tide, while the Tide folks dreamed big dreams and fell off other candidates, then Sexton was able to push another client to Bama, Houston Nutt. Sexton, we're assured by sources, has been pushing very hard.
Nutt will have to win the Capital One Bowl Jan. 1 to move up in the Tide supporters' eyes, but know that Mal Moore has heard probably more than he wants to from Sexton that Nutt is the SEC coach of the year and Bama can have him.