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Friday Question: Tainted Expectations

Generally, we are the "authors" of "content" around here - "here" being a blog and not a message board. And generally, Ivory Tower does this silly bit on Tuesdays. I'm the Ghost of Jay Cutler, though, and I'm doing this shit on a Friday to make your early weekend a smidge less enjoyable. I am a mean-spirited person like that. Recognize, we do, that you've come here not to contribute, but to consume. Nevertheless, there is the sporadic occasion where, either for our benefit or for to exercise the thinkifiers of the masses, we ask you a question. Today's question is ...

Would a win over Jacksonville State have allowed us to avoid such a post-Vanderbilt fallout?

HEY WE LOST TO VANDERBILT DOESN'T THAT SUCK?! Alright, we've talked about it a lot, almost to the point that we've ignored our upcoming match against the west coast bulldogs, but this post will be the end of it, I swear.

Something that has been in the back of my mind over the past few days regarding the overall sour reaction we've all been understandably displaying is the question as to whether or not we'd be so "woe is us" had we not lost to Jacksonville State. Consider these sobering facts:

  • Ole Miss has lost to Vanderbilt four of the last six times we've played them.
  • Ole Miss has not defeated Vanderbilt twice in a row since 2003-04.
  • Ole Miss' all time record against Vanderbilt is 47-36-2.
  • Ole Miss has not won its first SEC game since 2003. The Rebels did open SEC play with a victory in 2002 as well, but the last SEC-opening victory before that was 1992.
  • Yes, that means that Ole Miss has won a whopping three of the past nineteen (!) SEC openers.

As much as I've criticized the coaches and players (for the most part, all parties deserve all of the criticism that has been thrown their way), what happened on Saturday was, per Ole Miss' pathetic early-season standards, actually quite normal. Losing season-openers and losing to Vanderbilt aren't exactly things we needed to hire Houston Nutt to "accomplish". As tough as it is, even in hindsight, to admit, if one tosses out talent, coaching, location, and all of those intangibles in favor of the great intangible of history, the most likely outcome of Saturday's game was a Vanderbilt win.

So why were we all so pissed? Well, this Vanderbilt team does suck pretty bad, and we've got the horses to have beaten the hell out of them and simply didn't. But I posit to you that the Jacksonville State game - undeniably an abberation of epic fucking proportion - has done more to set the tone and narration of this season than anything else we could have imagined. Had we defeated Jacksonville State and then lost to Vanderbilt, we'd be shrugging our shoulders with an "oh well, that sucks, but it's happened before" as opposed to calling for our coaches to be fired and our players flogged in public.

What say you?