Are you ready? It's going to leave your network wiping its sweet cheeks with hundreds and farting twenties. Imagine...a football coach just off the big time at a program where everyone's got their eye on what he eats for breakfast. A big-time recruit, fawned over by the teeming hordes of locals convinced he's the next football Jesus, pursued passionately by the big coach. An up and coming assistant coach, ambitious, young, and striving for more, and holding the hand of the young qb. All of them set up on a collision course on the gridiron hacienda in a way they're powerless to prevent.
It's hot. It's edgy. It's heartland for the red-staters and camp for the blue-staters. It's Ugly Betty meets Dos Mujeres, Un Camino, and Friday Night Lights all at once. We call it:
Las Cronicas Locas De Boss Hawg!!!
The latest chapter written in the smash hit is that Gus Malzahn--the gaucho on the horse up there--has left the Arkansas program for a position coordinating the offense at Tulsa. This comes with no appreciable pay raise, since he'll be making the same money he made at Arkansas. The new position includes no heartwarming sentimental bonus as Malzahn has no historical connection to the Tulsa program, and has been a football coach in Arkansas for his entire professional life.
The speculative bonus for Malzahn here--facts are for weenies and socialists, sir--comes with a freer reign over the offense, something Nutt never seemed to allow Malzahn to have over the course of the year. The offense seemed to regress over the course of the year, actually, with fewer and fewer of Malzahn's spread sets used and more and more of Boss Hawg's cromag offense creeping back in at crucial moments. Towards the end, Malzahn was being paid six figures to call wacky double reverse passes, a job we frankly envy.
The numbers, she don't lie.
2005 Arkansas Offense
Rushing offense: 216.9 ypg, First in SEC
Passing offense: 143.7 ypg, 11th in SEC
2006 Arkansas Offense
Rushing offense: 228.5 ypg, First in SEC
Passing offense: 149.5 ypg, 11th in SEC
Malzahn's offense looked only marginally different in terms of effect that Nutt's, meaning that either Malzahn picked up a sudden affinity for devolved RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN offenses straight off the pages of a 1982 Coaching Monthly magazine, or Nutt did what many suspected all along: hired Malzahn to get VHT blue-chipper Mitch Mustain and a few other Springdale recruits on board before wresting control of the offense back from Malzahn and running things the way he felt most comfortable; that is, by running.
With Malzahn gone, Nutt will have complete control again, likely quashing the parental uprising Boss Hawg faced just after the close of the season from the parents of the aforementioned Springdale parents. (Presumably, the parents assumed Malzahn had some influence over what happened at the program. Obviously not watchers of Las Cronicas Locas de Boss Hawg. For shame!)
You say, the saga is over then? Never! The passion never ends in the world of telenovelas, amigos. Perhaps Nutt will seduce another recruit by hiring his coach, or pull another bait-and-switch by hiring the unemployed father of a potential gamebreaker as his driver. You don't get to be Don of the Hacienda by being stupid, no? As always, the only certainty on the haciendais...PASSION!