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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt gets a lot of credit for introducing the Wildcat formation to the college level when he was the Arkansas coach, but he doesn't feel as though he deserves all the recognition.

"A lot of times we are given way too much credit for that formation," he said. "That formation was way back in the single wing days with Pop Warner and all those guys."

That doesn't mean he thinks he shouldn't get some acknowledgment for the recent surge in Wildcat-like formations throughout the NCAA and now into the pro game.

Nutt thinks a slight change from the old style of the single wing was the reason for his success.

"The thing that we did do, and my brother deserves the credit for this when he was coaching the running backs, is we had a meeting and he said 'Hey, if you want to make this thing go, let a quarterback have the direct snap,'" Nutt said. "(Darren) McFadden was a true triple threat, and what I mean by that is he could run it, he could throw and he could hand it. That's where it took off."

Despite how well the formation has worked for him in college, he didn't think it would make it to the NFL.

But when his former quarterback coach at Arkansas took the same position for the Miami Dolphins, he brought the Wildcat with him.

"(An NFL team using it) is surprising though. David Lee, who worked for me, told me he was going to get Dan Henning to run it, but I didn't believe him though," Nutt said. "Then, one day last year he left a message telling me to watch the NFL highlights versus the Patriots - I think that was the first time they broke it out - and sure enough there it was."

SEC West topping the polls: The Southeastern Conference West division has three teams ranked in the top seven - No. 3 Alabama, No. 4 Ole Miss, and No. 7 LSU.

With them ranked so highly, the SEC West is making a case for the best division in the nation.

"I think it certainly is arguable," LSU coach Les Miles said. "With the improvement that was made by Mississippi and certainly Alabama's very strong team and Arkansas can throw it. There is some competition in this division."

Florida is the only team in the top 10 for the East division, and only has to play LSU out of those top teams on the other side of the conference.

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