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Shea Patterson is done for the year. What’s next?

Welcome to the Jordan Ta’amu era.

NCAA Football: Vanderbilt at Mississippi Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

This is hopefully — probably — the second-to-last thing I write about the NCAA investigation, Hugh Freeze, the whole big stupid mess. We as a blog, you as readers, are sick and tired of it. We need to move on, and yet we can’t yet, because Shea Patterson tore the PCL in his right knee on Saturday against LSU. Great.

The last thing I write about the NCAA investigation, Hugh Freeze, the whole big stupid mess will be whatever the Committee on Infractions hands down later this year. Sure, I’ll continue the FLIM FLAM review series, but only at half the effort and speed, since that’s now Ole Miss football’s outlook for the rest of the season. Jordan Ta’amu looked serviceable on Saturday, but I have serious reservations about his ability to carry this offense. To say nothing of a defense that gave up 593 total yards to Ed Orgeron.

Ole Miss lost, 40-24, to Ed fucking Orgeron. More importantly, though, Ole Miss lost their best player. Whoever’s decision it was to bring Patterson back into the game with a torn PCL wearing a heavy knee brace — whoever’s stupid, wasteful, dangerous decision that was — has some serious questions to answer. Maybe it was Shea himself, in which case, that’s somewhat understandable. He’s a player and he wants to be there. At least he fucking cares. Whoever didn’t talk him down from that, though, needs to sit with it and think hard about what happened on Saturday night.

A guy played significant minutes on a torn PCL. That’s where we’re at right now.

Ta’amu looked pretty alright in low-to-intermediate level passes on Saturday. He overthrew on the deep balls, which is where Patterson’s absence will be most strongly felt. Ta’amu is a hell of a runner, though, as Shea is, but Ta’amu feels better built for that style of quarterbacking. Shea’s squirrelly and elusive and fast, where Ta’amu would appear to have better ability at just running the fuck right over you. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

What’s perhaps most weighing on Ole Miss fans’ minds, though, is Shea’s future with the program. Will he transfer? He’s done for the year — a year in which Ole Miss self-imposed a bowl ban — and he’ll return (?) next season to a team that may very well have yet another bowl ban dropped on top of it from the COI. We’ll find that out later this fall. But the question remains: What will Shea do? Give up entirely on a program with an interim head coach and myriad NCAA infractions potentially leading to additional postseason strictures? This is a sucky situation for everyone involved, not least one of the best QB talents in the college game right now.

I don’t know exactly where I’m going with this column, unless it’s complete despair at this lost football season. Shea’s gone. There’s no bowl. The team is 3-4 and they suck ass. This actually happened last night.

Everything but the married part. Still, though, I had the postgame recap finished by the start of the fourth quarter on Saturday and I just wanted to fire it off there and then, lacking whatever final stats both teams accrued. The NCAA has destroyed me as a writer. Hugh Freeze and this semester have rendered me an impossible asshole on the internet and in real life. It’s made me drink more and blow deadlines and completely lose perspective about what’s important in life. This stupid four-year investigation that turned the state of Mississippi inside-out.

Shea Patterson is merely a casualty in this mess. Matt Luke is a casualty, as well. Hugh Freeze undid himself, with a push by Houston Nutt. Shea’s legacy at Ole Miss may very well end up to be 10 games in which he offered up decent-to-good football but ultimately suffered a non-contact knee injury and left the team. That will be sad, but at this point in time, it feels like what Ole Miss deserves.