Hiring a head football coach at Ole Miss that could create excitement with a unique offense and play calling style has dominated talk about potential candidates to replace Houston Nutt the last three weeks.
But with a defense that ranked last in the Southeastern Conference in scoring and total yards allowed, there is also a great need to upgrade results on that side of the ball in 2012 and beyond.
Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart has been the only named mentioned on the list of candidates to replace Nutt that has an extensive background on defense. Smart, 35, has been in charge of the Crimson Tide’s defense the past four seasons and because of the unit’s success — Alabama is ranked No. 1 in the nation in total defense this season — he has been targeted for jobs at other schools, whether it was two seasons ago when Georgia was looking for a new defensive coordinator, or this year as a head coach.
Tuesday, reports surfaced that Ole Miss co-chairmen Archie Manning and Mike Glenn were in Tuscaloosa, Ala., to meet with Smart.
Those reports appear to be false as people close to both sides say there has been no face-to-face meeting. (November 30, 2011, Page 8)