My thoughts on the 0–2 performance of the Ole Miss Rebels (originally posted here):
I think Cutcliffe has a four-year contract that was renewed over the summer (the state government doesn’t permit contracts for more than four years). No idea what the buy-out is.
That said, Cut will have to really screw up—i.e. get nailed by the NCAA or not be bowl-eligible for two straight seasons—to be fired. Realistically, Ole Miss is a 7 or 8-win program on average, and he’s never done worse than seven wins. I can see the coordinator (Latina) getting the boot, or even a Tuberville-style mass slaughter of the coaching staff, but not during the season. Plus, I think the prestige bump from last year’s 10–3 season won’t translate on the field until 2005 when this year’s recruits are off the scout team.
Besides, who are you going to bring in to rebuild? Petrino has a better shot at a BCS bowl in Louisville (once they enter the Big East) than he would ever have in Oxford. More than likely you’d have to bring in someone for a first head-coaching job (cherry-pick someone off Saban’s staff at LSU, for example), and there’s no guarantee that will work better than Cutcliffe.
I think a lot of what we’re seeing is the result of Cutcliffe not playing Spurlock enough last season—I don’t think Spurlock saw a single snap in an SEC game until Saturday—and some of it is growing pains with working with what Spurlock’s strengths are. Flatt, who does a lot of the same stuff Manning did (not to mention having another half-foot on Spurlock), is actually a better fit in the playcalling “package.”
One thing’s for sure: Spurlock’s leash is pretty short by now, and if the Rebels aren’t pounding Vanderbilt by halftime this coming week, he may never see the field again in an Ole Miss uniform.
The last part is probably hyperbole, but if Spurlock can’t figure out how to settle down and complete passes in a game, he’s not going to be on the field much.