Originally posted on Bloguin Best  |  Last updated 11/7/11

By now you’ve probably all heard the news that sent shockwaves through Mississippi this morning. As first reported by about 200 other media outlets… and then confirmed by Crystal Ball Run, Houston Nutt resigned today as the head football coach of the Ole Miss Rebels. The announcement came at a 3:00 p.m. press conference in Oxford, reportedly causing countless bottles of champagne to be popped across the North Mississippi delta.

And while the immediate fate of the program remains in Nutt’s hands (he’ll be allowed to coach through the end of the 2011 season), speculation has already turned to who might be the next coach in Oxford, now that Nutt has abdicated his Ole Miss throne. In particular, names like Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn and Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart were immediately thrown around as potential candidates.

However, a source from deep within the Ole Miss athletic department has leaked the true list of candidates that Ole Miss is expected to pursue, to us here at Crystal Ball. We've yet to confirm every name on the list, but here are some that we’re hearing most closely associated with the hottest coaching opening in the SEC:

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