As it's an aperitif of sorts for the college football watching world, let's talk about Ole Miss' first ever opportunity to host ESPN's College Gameday. The Worldwide Leader made a point to remind us that this is something that they've always wanted to do, and punctuated that assertion with a quartet of bowtie'd hosts leading us through a three hour long celebration of Ole Miss, the Grove, and college football itself.
There were oak trees, tents, happily buzzed students, champagne fountains,
"That Didn't Sit Well"
The DiGiorno pizza I ate at smeargle's house to soak up the postgame bourbons was a bit to processed-y for my smug gut. Other than that...
Sure, I could talk about how the running game has still not really developed, but when considering what they did do against the opponent we were facing, they weren't all that bad. Everybody that plays Alabama is going to have some difficulties moving the ball on them. I could also complain about how terribly exhausted I was after driving overnight from DC to get to Ole Miss in time for College Gameday and the cramped Grove, but those are things that I signed up for.
But, damn, I'm tired, sick, and happy as a dumb fat puppy. Watching Ole Miss beat a top-5 SEC team, let alone the Alabama Crimson Tide, in front of a sellout Vaught-Hemingway Stadium is an indescribably enjoyable way to spend a fall Saturday.
"Going Back for Seconds"
There is a common refrain regarding Bo Wallace that I hope has died a little after yesterday's three touchdowns/zero interceptions performance against one of the country's best defenses. This idea "Dr. Bo and Mr. Wallace" or "Good Bo/Bad Bo" - the idea that Bo Wallace is either a great quarterback or a bad one, and you never know what you're going to get - was parroted by media and fans alike heading into the game. Yes, he does lead the SEC in interceptions, and he has had a fair amount of "what in the hell are you doing" moments over his career, but Bo Wallace is a quarterback who is capable of controlling his offense and making some damn good throws.
A lot of this idea about Bo Wallace being a study in duality is, I think, a product of a complete misunderstanding of just how badly injured his throwing shoulder was for much of the last two seasons. Now that he has a healthy, strong arm, he can make throws like this:
This season, Wallace hasn't really had a bad game. He has had games that were most definitely worse than others, namely his Memphis performance, but even then he went 22 of 37 for 248 yards with a pair of picks and scores. That's a pedestrian performance, a "meh" performance, but not a bad one. And Ole Miss won that damn by three scores game anyway!
Bo Wallace hasn't had a bad game yet. Dr. Bo's had some bad individual moments, but at this point his overall body of work this season is really tough to deny as anything other than "pretty damn good." Narratives are hard to change, but maybe this game will be one where the ones surrounding Bo Wallace begin to.
The student section
When I was an Ole Miss undergraduate, acting like you gave a damn about football wasn't cool. Granted, Ole Miss was pretty awful for my four years in Oxford (thanks, Ed Orgeron!), but all the things I see and hear out of the Rebel students - not the least of which is them getting their asses to their seats well before kickoff - are things that do suggest to me that the culture of the Ole Miss athletics has changed a great deal in such a short amount of time. There are probably a lot of people who deserve a lot of credit for this, but I'm just going to take the easy road and thank Ross Bjork for it. I dunno what you're doing to get the students to show up, lock the Vaught, and fervently support the Rebs, but I'm glad you're doing it, Ross.
Mustachio'd gaudy coat SAE pledge bro is my favorite bro caught on camera in the post-game celebration.
"Whoo! Huehehehaha..." Play on, player.