This is the weekend we've all been waiting for. This is the game that, from the moment we saw it on our schedule, we knew we would have an opportunity to, not only once again prove to America that Ole Miss does win the party, but prove that our football program, under the right leadership, can compete against the best in America.
But before we get into the game, let's first talk about this weekeknd.
It is Saturday morning. I'm cooking chicken legs and mixing up a barbecue sauce, still wearing the clothes I arrived to town in last night and fell asleep in. I am trying to develop some sense of an intinerary, some way to convince myself that, yes, I will be able to do everything I need to do and meet up with everyone I'm looking forward to seeing. I am trying to peck out this here game preview for you and the rest of the Internets. And I'm doing this all while trying to fight through my already raspy voice, exhaustion, and slight hangover.
We didn't even do much of anything last night in Oxford. And it was all already so overwhelming and so very thrilling.
For starters, there are a shitload of Texans here this weekend. Of course, there are just simply a shitload of Texans to begin with, but what we have on our hands right now is a full-fledged invasion. I would say that, of the people I saw out eating and drinking, a solid third of them were in burnt orange and white.
The difference between this bunch, though, and the throngs of LSU, Alabama, and State fans we're more accustomed to seeing in Oxford, is their general amicability. Perhaps they are that impressed by our hospitality and what our little corner of the world has to offer. Perhaps they do understand how a proper guest acts (He doesn't dress like a broke-ass pimp or rattle an antiquated piece of farm equipment welded to a bicycle handle, for example.) and are carrying themselves accordingly. Or perhaps they are just looking forward to all of this as much as we are. Whatever it is, they've been great so far.
Everything from Old Taylor to the Square to the Grove was as packed as I've ever seen any of it. This is certainly on a level approaching, if not matching, the sheer volume of humanity that was present in Oxford for the 2003 LSU game. It is just that wild.
In a minute here, we are going to get ourselves ready to head to campus. We will be bouncing over to the Grove to get our final setup taken care of and settling in to just take it all in until kickoff. Of course we will marinade a bit in some brown liquor and whatever victuals our fellow Grove goers can offer, but overall we will not be going out of the way to entertain ourselves today. We won't need it. Today is going to be pretty stunning regardless.
And now, for a quick message from Ross Bjork:
He's right y'all. Be good fans today. You know how, so make it happen.
In lieu of a traditional game preview, I will direct you to the series of collaborative posts we did with SB Nation's Barking Carnival and Burnt Orange Nation. There is nothing I could, at this moment, add to what we did in those pieces to give you an idea as to what to look for today from a football standpoint, so here they are:
- Our questions answered by Barking Carnival
- Barking Carnival's questions answered by us
- Part one of the second installment of Enemy Insight with Burnt Orange Nation
- Part two of the second installment of Enemy Insight with Burnt Orange Nation
Aside from what you see there, the only expectation for today's game that I would impart onto you is, if I may borrow from Hugh Freeze's terminology, that this team will pay 60 minutes of passionate football. If they truly do that, then we have more than a fighter's chance to win this one.
And we fans should offer the same level and consistency of passion in return. That's the best we can offer, and I know we are capable of it.
Hotty Toddy. Beat Texas.