I have a friend who made a rather odd and unsolicited bet around the Ole Miss record this season.
So confident was he that Ole Miss would not win nine games (including the bowl), that he, without provocation, claimed to me that if Ole Miss did win nine or more, he would perform a particular act of sexual gratification for someone who was not nearby at the time and has male genitalia. We're not quite sure what to make of it, but it is what it is. Oh... he also has to perform said act in the middle of Canal Street in New Orleans. There may have been a few drinks involved.
Ever since then, whenever Bo Wallace throws an interception, I get a text from him, as he has re-drawn the conclusion that he will not have to perform said act.
I think this is a running trend with many Ole Miss fans-- not the unexpected and unsolicited bet from a married man, but the idea that "as Bo goes, so goes our season."
I think that's a lot of weight to put on Bo Wallace's (surprisingly healthy) shoulders. Couldn't you say the same for a lot of other players? If any running backs were playing wonderfully, Bo probably wouldn't have as much to worry about. If the offensive linemen gave him time, he may have a chance to look off that covered receiver. If players would stop committing stupid penalties, maybe Ole Miss wouldn't be in third and 11+ situations all the time.
But that's happening. And Bo Wallace is bearing the brunt of the hatred being hurled at the #11 team in the country. "The defense is great, but you never know with Bo Wallace." Trust me: there are a lot of "good" quarterbacks who, if they had to do what Bo Wallace has had to do so far, would have struggled a lot. He's capable of making some miraculous throws.
This doesn't seem like it relates to the question at hand, but I'm getting there. You see, before the season began, I thought this Ole Miss team would go 9-3 in the regular season and win its bowl game. Now, I'm thinking it's more like 8-4 with a bowl win, but I don't want people to jump to the conclusion that it's about Bo Wallace. It isn't. It's about the SEC West and the University of Tennessee.
Arkansas was supposed to be a joke. They're not. Mississippi State wasn't supposed to beat LSU. They did. A&M was supposed to take a major step back with their "shitty" defense and the absence of Johnny Manziel. They're 4-0, and at times their offense looks BETTER than it did last season. Tennessee was replacing their entire offensive line and was expected to really struggle. They took Georgia to the wire and look much improved. Alabama is Alabama. LSU is down but full of talent. Auburn played in the national title game last season.
It's just not as easy as many expected it would be to get to nine wins. Things have changed. I'm not saying Ole Miss will definitely lose four of its next eight games. I just think it's a lot more likely than it was at the beginning of the season. The running game has struggled against bad competition. The offensive line has given up too much pressure, and yes: Bo Wallace is still making ill-advised throws at times.
The defense is miraculous, but if the offense continues to be one-dimensional, whenever that one dimension falters, the team will struggle to recover from that.
Hopefully for my aforementioned friend, I'm wrong and Ole Miss is even worse. Because... well.... otherwise he'd have some explaining to do with his wife.