NATIONAL

Rebels fire Orgeron after winless season in SEC

JACKSON, Miss. - A dreadful final month on and off the field cost Mississippi's Ed Orgeron his job, even though his bosses had said his future was secure.

Orgeron was fired Saturday, a day after the Rebels lost 17-14 to rival Mississippi State to finish 3-9 and winless in the Southeastern Conference for the first time since 1982. Off the field, Ole Miss was embarrassed by the disciplining of 20 players who stole from hotels the Rebels were staying in on Friday nights.

'I told him that the chasm had grown too deep to go forward into next year,' Ole Miss athletic director Pete Boone said Saturday. 'He understood that, accepted it and was as strong a man as you can imagine Coach O being. It was a very gentlemanly conversation that we had.'

Orgeron, who finished 10-25 at Ole Miss, was a promising choice when Chancellor Robert Khayat and Boone hired him to replace David Cutcliffe in 2004. Cutcliffe went 4-7 in his last season, his only losing year in six with the Rebels.

Tom Osborne fires Callahan at Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb. - Under coach Tom Osborne, Nebraska was one of the bullies of college football, a program to be feared.

Under coach Bill Callahan, the Cornhuskers were too often the ones getting pushed around.

After watching Callahan's Huskers for five games, Osborne, in his new role as interim athletic director, decided it was time for change.

He fired Callahan during a five-minute meeting Saturday.

'We used to be a team people hated to play,' Osborne said during a news conference, 'because they felt it for two or three weeks.'

Callahan left the football complex without speaking to reporters.

The move was expected after the Huskers finished 5-7 with Friday's 65-51 loss at Colorado, a game in which they squandered an 11-point halftime lead by allowing 34 consecutive points.

Callahan had said after the game he enjoyed his time at Nebraska. 'I have no regrets,' he said.