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Rebel Roundup - February 15, 2011 (The "Lots of Words" Edition)

Mitchell, Bama roll Ole Miss |
Those three SEC wins were fun while they lasted. To the surprise of many, Alabama's looking to earn an NCAA berth while, to the surprise of few, the Rebs are probably NIT bound. WAOM. Baseball season and Spring Football can't get here soon enough.

Ole Miss, dealing with key losses, shrugs off preseason snub | Veazey
This is the first time since 2003 that the Rebs haven't been ranked in any form during the baseball preseason. In related news, Kyle Veazey still hates Ole Miss/runs a clandestine operation hell-bent on promoting Ole Miss at the expense of Mississippi State and Southern Miss, your pick.

Pitching depth strong despite loss of Pomeranz | The Daily Mississippian
Hey, guess what, the DM's covering baseball and actually doing a fine job at it. Here's a look at the Rebels pitching rotation from everyone's favorite newspaper to irrationally loathe...

Smith, Snyder headline Rebels’ offense | The Daily Mississippian
...and here's a look at the Rebel bats.

Athletes learning to navigate the pitfalls of social network | The Clarion-Ledger
Brandon Marcello and Kyle Veazey have teamed up to pen this piece on college athletes' social networking habits and the consequences thereof. As y'all know, Mississippi State's Ravern Johnson cost himself playing time and the rest of his team Twitter privileges for badmouthing Coach Stansbury via the social media platform, and our very own Kentrell "OleForty" Lockett has made himself a bit of an online celebrity through bits of 140-character-at-a-time observational humor. This is, for better or for worse, the new frontier of human interaction, and everyone, from tech-savvy bloggeurs to all-SEC defensive ends, can be a part of it.

Nutt denies cutting players who recently left Ole Miss | Sporting News
Ugh. Not this again. As the debate over the ethical gray area of oversigning rages on, the Sporting News reports that, regarding the departures of Jesse Grandy, Martez Eastland, et al this past week, Houston Nutt has denied that these players were cut, but rather left the program under their own volition.

My response to this article and, really, the entire premise underlying its inception is this: if they were cut, why would that even matter? Why is it some sort of great moral travesty to tell someone that they're not talented, skilled, or dedicated enough to be a part of something that requires talent, skill, and dedication, especially when said something has bureaucratically-imposed limits as to how many people are allowed to participate in the first place? If bad students can have their academic scholarships stripped for poor performance in the classroom (yes, this happens every semester), then bad football players should be prepared to have their athletic scholarships stripped for poor performance on the field. It sucks, but it's reality, and it's the result of the NCAA's own red tape. I'm not saying they shouldn't have something along the lines of the 85 scholarship limit for football, but I am saying that everyone should accept the consequences of maintaining such a limit, regardless of how intended said consequences may be.

Recruiting vs. results: Does one bring the other? |
Short answer: yes. Long answer: yes, but it's not so cut and dry. There are a lot of teams who, year-in and year-out sign lowly ranked classes and do quite well, while there are teams who do just the opposite. We Rebels are a part of the latter. But let's look a bit closer at the numbers provided therein.

A few notes off of the top of my head:
  • Virginia Tech is the most "overachieving" team with respect to their crootin' rankings. This is not only a testament to the seemingly perpetually underrated talent in the Commonwealth of Virginia, but also the abilities of Frank Beamer as a coach. Oh, yeah, and the ACC sucks. There's that too. VA Tech's average class ranking since 2002 is 21. Only two teams in the ACC - Miami and Florida State - have fared better along the 'crootin trail. The same goes for Missouri and Ohio State, the next two overachievers. Mizzou plays in the horrible Big Ten North and Ohio State gets the joy of beating the snot out of Indiana and Minnesota year after year. I do also think that Ohio State's talent, especially along the lines, is perpetually underrated.
  • When looking at the three greatest underachievers, you get Ole Miss, South Carolina, and Texas A&M. When looking at my arguments as to why VA Tech, Mizzou, and Ohio State rank so highly, one can simply take the inverse and apply it to the "losers" of this metric. Ole Miss may be, per Rivals, the 19th best overall recruiting program over the past several years, but that's still only good for 8th in the conference. The same problems go for the 7th best in the SEC but 15th overall Gamecocks. Couple the relative recruting mediocrity with our horrible attrition as of late, and "underachievement" is what you'll end up with. So, while Rivals is making a fine point here - that recruiting rankings aren't a perfect science - they're not necessarily demonstrating that as well as perhaps they think they are.
  • When looking at the teams which achieved about as much as the rankings since 2002 would suggest, you see some national title winners (LSU, USC, Alabama, Auburn, Oklahoma) and some teams which are perpetually average at both football and 'crootin (Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Nebraska).This doesn't at all help the case that 'crootin rankings don't matter.

Still, it's a good read that's well researched, so spend some time reading it. See if I care.