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Postgame Digestion: Ole Miss Blew a Gargantuan Lead to Florida State. It Wasn’t Fun!

NCAA Football: Mississippi at Florida State Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Ole Miss was one half of the highlight of the “greatest opening weekend in college football history,” or whatever ESPN’s self-serving branding of last Thursday-Monday was called. Our Rebels’ game against Florida State was one of a pair of top-15 matchups that weekend, and was scheduled as the grand finale of the entire show - a game that was to stand alone on Labor Day as a standin for the forthcoming NFL Monday Night Football broadcasts on ESPN.

It was a huge moment for Ole Miss and Ole Miss, doing what Ole Miss does, wilted under the spotlight. But, shit, if this wasn’t particularly Ole Miss-ian in its development. Ole Miss wasn’t supposed to race out to a 22-point lead, but they did. They also weren’t supposed to just shit every drop of that lead away in just a few minutes of game time, but they did. Millions of people tuned in and very quickly got a damn good sense of the characteristics of this football program that make it so interesting, special, and heartbreaking to follow.

But, hey, it’s football! And it’s definitely better than not-football! So that’s nice, I guess. That’s the best I can do, so let’s just move on to your weekly (in)digestion.

An Aperitif

In many dinner rituals, a sweet or savory treat - often a beverage or salty hors d’oeuvres - is offered to stimulate the appetite. Think of a champagne toast before a wedding rehearsal dinner to get the drift of this section. In a world wherein I have definite feelings while penning this piece, I’ll offer something refreshing or interesting to get you salivating for the meal to come.

I’m struggling to do that right now. The most refreshing, or perhaps reassuring, thing that I can come up with right now though is that Ole Miss football, as a brand, as as good as it has been in my lifetime and probably as good as it has been. People are watching Ole Miss unlike they have in a long, long while. Recruiting headlines have a lot to do with that, as have the associated scandals, but actually challenging Alabama, LSU, and Auburn in an otherwise predictable (and powerful) SEC West has made Ole Miss an interesting story in a way to render the other stories about Ole Miss as nothing more than interesting asides.

My hope is that this, ultimately, raises the floor of the Rebel program. And with this raised pedestal comes things like opportunities to lose on national television to Florida State. No, it’s not fun, and no I’m not being defeatist - I’m just asking you to consider why the same sort of primetime consideration isn’t being given to the likes of South Carolina, Vanderbilt, or Mississippi State. Ole Miss is fun and interesting (and, related, controversial to a point) for the likes of ESPN and its viewers. Put this loss aside, and hope that we can take advantage of this spotlight for as long as we’re privileged enough to have it.

“That Didn’t Sit Well”

The entire second half of the football game. Next section, please!

“Going Back for Seconds”

Chad Kelly is still a remarkable quarterback. Yep, he stares down receivers and misses dudes who are wide open. We all know that! He also has a remarkable arm and an ability to extend plays that few quarterbacks possess. No Ole Miss fan should be happy with his second half performance, but don’t delude yourself into thinking that a) Shea Patterson’s going to get meaningful snaps over Swag and b) nine out of ten college football teams wouldn’t literally trade piles of cash for his abilities if they could. He’s great, he’s going to throw for a gazillion yards and touchdowns this year and, yeah, he’s gonna do some crazy stupid shit with the football. He’s a microcosm of Ole Miss football in that sense, so I can’t help but love him for it.

Oh, and it turns out that Ole Miss has badass young receivers. DK Metcalf, AJ Brown, and Van Jefferson are all outstanding. They look grown as shit already, and they ain’t even 20-years-old. Ole Miss is gonna be air raid-y as hell for a few years so buckle in, y’all.

A Digestif

This is the portion of this rundown where we ease your gut, by now stuffed with the confused culinary creation that Ole Miss football whips up on a weekly basis, with something lighthearted or trivial that wraps all of this whole situation up nicely. This fits neatly with the proper idea of a digestif, a drink that is served after a large meal to, in theory, aid with digestion and reduce any discomfort an overly rich and savory dining experience may offer. In the Anglosphere, this usually takes the form of a whiskey of some sort; you might know it as a “nightcap.” But after this past Monday, when a late kickoff abutted into a hectic work week, robbing me of sleep and sanity (hence this going up a whopping four days late - sorry Jeff!), there isn’t anything left in my theoretical liquor shelf that can satisfy the needs of this section.

Bill Connelly though has got us covered in this week’s

. After a pretty damned great week one of football - Ole Miss doing whatever it did aside - he reminds us of a few pretty important things:

  • First, people always overreact to week one;
  • Second, most teams are, believe it or not, still performing about as well as he projected they would, and;
  • Perhaps of greatest comfort to Ole Miss fans, this is still likely a top 10-15 type of team. That’s what we thought would be the case this year. Florida State is - again, per expectations - a national title contender. They’re deep and talented in ways that Ole Miss isn’t.

So, as squirrely as it seems to say so quickly and dismissively, Florida State is just a better team than Ole Miss. And they proved it. That’s how these things go. It sucks ‘n’ shit but, whatever. Ole Miss still has football to play, and next up is some bullshit game against Wofford. Winning that, I would guess, is just the boozy digestive aid we’re waiting for.