Say It Ain’t So Will…. Say It Ain’t So!!!!!!!

Strong sources are indicating that Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp will be the new head coach at Arkansas to replace Houston Nutt, who is now at Ole Miss.

AP: Todd J. Van Emst
Will Muschamp be the new coach at Arkansas?

Muschamp is regarded as one of the top young coordinators in college football and has installed an outstanding defense at Auburn. This past season, Auburn was No. 2 in the SEC in total defense allowing only 298.3 yards per game. LSU was just ahead of the Tigers at 283.8 yards per outing.

Auburn was third in the SEC in pass defense, No. 2 in pass defense and No. 1 in scoring defense. Auburn only allowed 16.7 points per game. Auburn was No. 7 nationally in scoring defense in 2006.

Muschamp could possibly be introduced as early as Wednesday at a news conference in Fayetteville (Ark.). The Arkansas search for Nutt’s replacement has taken on many twists and turns, but hiring Muschamp would provide a good ending.

Auburn Coach Tommy Tuberville, Clemson Coach Tommy Bowden and Wake Forest Coach Jim Grobe have all been linked to the Arkansas job. Grobe was scheduled to be introduced as the new coach last Thursday, but he had a change of heart Wednesday night after reportedly agreeing to take the job on Wednesday evening.

Muschamp has no head coaching experience but will bring a nice resume to Arkansas. Muschamp started his coaching career at a graduate assistant at Auburn in 1995-96. He coached the secondary at West Georgia in 1998 and the secondary at Eastern Kentucky in 1999.

Muschamp was then named defensive coordinator at Valdosta State in 2000. He then moved to LSU from 2001-04 to become defensive coordinator and coach the linebackers. Former LSU Coach Nick Saban took Muschamp to the Miami Dolphins with him in 2005 as assistant head coach for the defense.

Muschamp returned to the college game in 2006 as defensive coordinator for Tuberville at Auburn. Though he left the NFL after only one season, it wasn’t because of lack of success. In 2005, the Dolphins were in the league’s Top 10 in yards per play (4.7, 7th), yards per rush (3.7, 7th) and yards per pass (6.0, 9th). Miami was second in the NFL in sacks in 2005 with 49.

In Muschamp’s four years at LSU, he coached four All-Americans on defense. The group included linebacker Bradie James, cornerback Corey Webster, defensive tackle Chad Lavalais and defensive end Marcus Spears.

Muschamp was a four-year letterman at Georgia as a safety and was a defensive co-captain as senior. While at Georgia, Muschamp played in the 1991 Independence Bowl and 1993 Florida Citrus Bowl. As a coach, he has coached in the 1995 Outback, 1996 Independence, 2002 Sugar, 2003 Cotton, 2004 Sugar, 2005 Capital One and 2007 Cotton Bowl. This year, Auburn will face Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl Peach Bowl on Dec. 31.

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