Houston Nutt, Pat Hill vie for ongoing relevance in obscure bowl game

Fired coaches suddenly find themselves with a lot of time on their hands this time of year.

With no team to coach, most are often preparing their resumés, hobnobbing with potential suitors ad trying their best to make themselves as attractive as possible (which isn't easy since they were just fired).

But on the rare occasion, fired coaches get one sad last-ditch effort to show they still belong among the hired and that's what former Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt and former Fresno State coach Pat Hill have in front of them.

The two unemployed coaches have been selected to coach in the first Casino del Sol College All-Star Game on Jan. 16 in Tucson. Nutt will coach the Stars and Hill will coach the Stripes. Both coaches will have a week's worth of practices before the game. Then, probably with several junior college athletic directors looking on, it will be showtime.

Nutt spent four seasons at Ole Miss and amassed a 24-26 record, though the Rebels limped in at 2-10 this year, and 0-8 in SEC play. Hill coached 15 seasons at Fresno State, was 112-80 and coached in 11 bowl games, but his team couldn't get out of Boise State's shadow and never won a conference title with the Broncos in the league. The Bulldogs regressed this year, going 4-9 with steeply declining attendance.

Hill and Nutt should consider themselves lucky. I'm sure Larry Porter and Turner Gill would have loved to go against each other. At least one of them could go out on a winning note.

Nothing like an obscure collegiate showcase game to get your career moving back in the right direction.

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Graham Watson is on Facebook and Twitter: Follow her @Yahoo_Graham