Nutt, 3-time Cotton winner, recalls bowl's significance during hall of fame induction

By: Bob Holt
Published: Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Former Arkansas and Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt speaks during the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame induction ceremony Tuesday, May 8, 2018, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Nutt led four teams to the Cotton Bowl Classic and won the game in 2000, 2008 and 2009.
Photo by Melissa Macatee via Cotton Bowl Classic
Former Arkansas and Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt speaks during the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame induction ceremony Tuesday, May 8, 2018, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Nutt led four teams to the Cotton Bowl Classic and won the game in 2000, 2008 and 2009.

— Houston Nutt, a Little Rock native who led the Arkansas Razorbacks to a 75-48 record in 10 seasons from 1998-2007, was inducted into the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame Tuesday during a ceremony at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Nutt coached in four Cotton Bowls — the first two with Arkansas and last two with Ole Miss — but the Razorbacks' fight song was played during his introduction.

Nutt was 3-1 in Cotton Bowl games. His Arkansas teams beat Texas 27-6 in the Jan. 1, 2000, game and lost to Oklahoma 10-3 in 2002. His first two Ole Miss teams won back-to-back Cotton Bowls, beating Texas Tech 47-34 in 2009 and Oklahoma State 21-7 in 2010.

With Ole Miss, Nutt coached in the last Classic played in the Cotton Bowl stadium and the first one played in AT&T Stadium, which was built by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, a senior starting offensive lineman on the Razorbacks' 1964 team that went 11-0 and won a share of the national championship by beating Nebraska 10-7 in the Jan. 1, 1965, Cotton Bowl.

Nutt recalled during his induction speech that he attended an Arkansas game in Little Rock in 1964 along with his father and three brothers when he first became aware of the Cotton Bowl and its significance to the Razorbacks as the host spot for the Southwest Conference's championship team.

"Arkansas fans usually called the Hogs," Nutt said. "But on this particular day, they didn't call the Hogs in the fourth quarter. They did a chant that sounded like this — 'Hey, hey, ho, ho, Arkansas to the Cotton Bowl!'

"Since that time I was connected to the Cotton Bowl."

Nutt also coached Arkansas to the Cotton Bowl during the 2007 season when the Razorbacks were 8-4, but he resigned under pressure before the game. Missouri beat Arkansas 38-7 with Reggie Herring serving as the Razorbacks' interim coach.

After Arkansas beat Texas in the 2000 Cotton Bowl, Nutt briefly did a downward "Hook 'Em Horns" sign on the sideline in celebration with the Razorbacks' fans.

According to the Austin American-Statesman, Nutt said Tuesday that he has since apologized "100 percent" to Mack Brown, who was Texas' coach at the time and who was in attendance Tuesday. Nutt said he never did a downward "Hook 'Em Horns" sign again, though Arkansas won at Texas 38-28 in 2003.

"But let me tell you I grew up as an Arkansas fan, and the record is Texas 150 and Arkansas about 14 wins," Nutt said, according to the American-Statesman. "So you grow up saying, 'That's the game.' It was always the game. "

Texas is 56-22 all-time against Arkansas. Nutt was 2-1 as the Razorbacks' head coach against the Longhorns.

Nutt was inducted into Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame along with Texas running back Rickey Williams, the 1998 Heisman Trophy winner; Roy Williams, a safety for Oklahoma; Quentin Coryatt, a former Texas A&M linebacker; Wallace Triplett, a running back and linebacker for Penn State; and John Robinson, the former Southern Cal coach.

Nutt is the sixth Arkansas player or coach inducted into the bowl's Hall of Fame, joining Frank Broyles, Lance Alworth, Fred Marshall, Jim Williams and Loyd Phillips.

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