What have we learned?

Stephen Garcia is no loger terrible.
Hell, I might even venture to say he's "good-esque."  While not possessing the moxie and physical abilities of Jevan Snead somebody else, he marched his offense down field on several occasions against a strong Rebel defense.  I'm still taken aback as to how well he has matured since his arrival in Columbia.

Jevan Snead is still Jevan Snead.
Remember how Jevan Snead, one week before defeating Florida in the Swamp, threw four interceptions against Vanderbilt last season?  Yep.  He hasn't changed a bit.  The Brett Favre of college football struck again last night, completing only a third of his passes and generally looking dumbstruck.  The South Carolina defense is good, our playcalling was suspect, and our offensive line was weak, but Snead didn't help the offense very much.  If the trend remains, he'll likely torch Vanderbilt.

Eric Norwood is a monster.
Well, we didn't learnthat at all.  Still, the guy's a hoss and deserves every ounce of praise which has been heaped upon him. 

Our defense is good.
Once again, something we didn't necessarily learn, but something which we certainly gained a better understanding of.  Our pass defense is leagues better than it was last season and our defensive line is still quite capable at stopping the run.  They will keep us in every game we play.

Our offensive line, on the other hand, well...
I hope to avoid this becoming the Cup's broken record statement of the week, but Bradley Sowell has no idea what he is doing.  John Jerry was, very surprisingly, also performing poorly.  Neither of them had the mental presence or the nasty streak (that is not an underwear joke) needed to play tackle in the SEC.  Oher is one of the best Rebel linemen of all time not because of his size or athleticism, but because of his football knowledge and his undying insistence on being the meanest son-of-a-bitch on the line.

The coaches did not prepare well for South Carolina.
I know so much of our offense is predicated on good line play and I know that Jevan was making some absolutely poor choices out there, but the play-calling seemed, at times, like the coaches decided against reviewing tape of the Gamecock defense.  Furthermore, is something wrong with Dexter McCluster?  Why did it take the coaches three quarters to get him the ball as often as they should have?

Chicken Little is alive and well.
Rebel fans, the sky is not falling.  We knew we would stumble somewhere because damn near every team does.  Teams can recover from such setbacks and the truly elite ones do.  This game doesn't prove that we're not as good as other people said we were, but the following ones will.

They all "told us so."
But, see, they didn't.  Nobody here said we would go to Atlanta.  Nobody here said we would win every game we played.  We said we had legitimate shots of doing so, especially with regards to the former, but nobody predicted it.  Sure, there were plenty of Rebel fans that said we would, but I would venture that most of us saw something like this coming.  We've come to expect it in Oxford.  People have been telling us that we don't deserve the number four ranking and, even before last night, I agreed.  So please, spare yourself the effort if you're planning on coming over here to say the same. shit. we. hear. every. day.  We expected your arrival when and where ever we were going to suffer our first loss because, yes, despite what you think about yourselves, you're all predictable dipshits. 

Suffice it to say that I have really been able to probe into the psyche of the average college football fan pretty well over the last few months.  This has been an interesting time to be a Rebel fan if not for the unchartered perspective from the top.  Being undeservedly ranked so highly brought out hordes of people hell-bent on letting everybody know just how overrated we were--as if somehow their opinions were some sort of great paradigm shifting realization.  Perhaps I haven't been paying attention, but I have never--and I mean never--seen such vitriol against a non-traditional top-10 team being ranked thusly.  Is it because people are scared of the idea of Ole Miss being a good football team?  Is it because everyone, deep down inside, hates Ole Miss?  Is it simple playa hatin'?  Maybe it's a little of each, but who knows.  After this weekend the morons having their moment (not you, South Carolina fans, enjoy your moment) in the sun will quiet down and go back to poorly typing stupid shit on TigerDroppings.com.

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