Arkansas SEC moment No. 7: Nutt, Malzahn, Mustain triangle played out like a soap opera

Arkansas Razorbacks head coach Houston Nutt

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — This is unlike other countdowns you have seen honoring Arkansas’ 25 seasons in the SEC. This one is about memories. And here at SEC Country, we wanted to reflect on the best — and worst — of the last quarter-century.

This countdown is not just the best football moments or best games. It includes “where were you when” snapshots along with tales of players, teams and seasons.

It should be noted this list is limited to the so-called Big 3 sports. Apologies to other sports — especially track & field — but at some point comparing moments across the spectrum becomes impossible.

Here are the previous top moments:

7. The Houston Nutt/Mitch Mustain/Gus Malzahn debacle of 2006

The hiring of a high school football coach. The gaining of five players from the high school. Text messages and phone calls, and fan-made FOIA requests.

Then there was more. The loss of starting jobs. Messy divorces. Alleged affairs. Transfers and, finally, a resignation.

Nothing in the modern era of Arkansas athletics has been as big drama as the Razorbacks football program from 2006. It was a bad soap opera.

Malzahn lasted 13 months as offensive coordinator. Mustain was an Arkansas quarterback for six months. Nutt, the head coach, made it another season before resigning amid controversy. It was a controversy that would have turned into a major scandal had he stayed another year.

For anyone around the program during the 18-month period between about November 2005 and May 2007, nothing in the world could explain it. Every piece that’s been written in the aftermath is brilliant and shocking, and still does not come near doing the madness justice.

The scandal that came a handful of years later — and will come later on this countdown — may have been more nationally-known. But nothing was as weird as the back-room happenings for a year-and-a-half in the early 2000s.

The post Arkansas SEC moment No. 7: Nutt, Malzahn, Mustain triangle played out like a soap opera appeared first on SEC Country.

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