It's when things aren't going so well (and when sports bloggers drink in the dark on Egg Bowl eve.... whoops) that people make charges for one to put things in perspective. So, for consistency's sake, let's put this season's installment of Rebel football into perspective. I know you don't want to, considering that this team is, in fact, far better than its record having, at the very least, two absolutely inexcusable and inexplicable losses, but just take a moment to consider the suffering of the Texas Longhorns.
They've just finished what they're calling "the worst season in Texas football history." I'm too lazy to look it up, of course, but a 5-7 record and bowl ineligibility for a team like Texas is like the same happening to Alabama, Ohio State, or USC: it's incredibly rare and heads roll when it happens. It's especially rare when you consider the fact that the very same program was in the BCS National Championship game last season.
And, yet, even they have only five wins.
There's an ebb and flow to all sports, but college football especially, that cannot be easily explained. Coaching, athleticism, dumb luck, and bizarre circumstance all sorta mesh together every season and, after an a three-month grind, we always end up sitting here on our hands, trying and oftentimes failing to make some sort of sense out of what we just invested so heavily in watching. Many programs are good at weathering the unexpected and unpredictable while many others are not and that, truly, is what separates the powerhouses from the competitors from the doormats. There are things that can be said about this season - general, obvious things - but we'll not waste our time with that now. Sure, this season's all but over, but there's still something to play for, and it's not just an otherwise dull antique trophy.
It's pride. That very much can mean something to the coaches, players and fans. And it can undeniably carry over into future seasons. The only evidence I need to support this claim is Mississippi State one year ago and how it's impacted Mississippi State today. Sure, there are coaching, recruiting, and monetary implications tied into the Egg Bowl, but what's most important here is that the players and fans have something to be proud of during the offseason.
Maybe it's just kitchy and cutesy to suffice all of this fan suffering under a simple "well, you know, things just don't oftentimes go as you plan them," but what else am I going to do? What else can I do? This has been a shitty season. But, hell, shit happens. Ole Miss and Mississippi State fans know this better than most, adding a rivalrous irony to any circumstance involving trash talking between the two groups.
Of course to continue this metaphor, one which involves a Texas team who lost to the rival Aggies Friday night in Austin, the Rebels will lose tonight. Let's hope this can only go so far. Hotty Toddy; go to Hell, State; and take the Golden Egg back, Rebels.