1. Ole Miss football’s 2017 season is already done-for. That’s a fact of NCAA and universal reality. It’s constitutional law, in fact. The Rebels self-imposed a postseason ban stemming from eight additional NCAA allegations against the program out on the recruiting trail this year. Those allegations are egregious, and they could bring down the hammer on a club that’s coach straight-up dared the entire internet to find evidence of their impermissible benefits in 2013. Well, they sure as shit did. Forget this season before you remember too much of it, regardless of what happens this season.
2. Ole Miss football could be very good this season. Not, like, top-tier, knock-your-teeth-out-of-your-mouth good, but they could make trouble for legitimate contenders. The Alabama game is always cheery. The LSU game consistently wades through an oil field of non-production on offense then ends up being squirrelly nevertheless. Everyone in the world should watch Arkansas and Ole Miss claw each other’s faces every year, because that particular bear fight makes for compelling television. What we’re saying here is that this year’s Ole Miss Rebels are extremely watchable.
3. This season comes with a hailstorm of uncertainty, anxiety, and downright terror. Last year I naively wrote that a full football season was Ole Miss’ ultimate release from the NCAA bullshit, and I was clearly wrong. DEAD WRONG. Many, all of us, have been wrong in our lives, and for that I’m sorry. We as a website didn’t really focus on football. Especially not this summer.
4. Ole Miss should — and hopefully will — become this year’s premier CHAOS TEAM. The team you should tune in to watch no matter who they play. Beat Bama. Lose to Cal. Play Texas A&M into 10 overtimes and watch the sun come up in the process. Do everything in your power to screw the lives and well-beings of those in your path. Do so in the most hilariously dramatic fashion imaginable. Do so when the game’s on the line with four seconds left and you’re stuck on your own 23 yard line. Do so because they hate you, and you hate them in return.
5. There’s a certain sort of relief in rooting for a team that won’t see postseason play in 2017, regardless of whether they go undefeated or winless. Indeed, the Rebs will probably fall somewhere in between those two poles, but please remember: NONE OF THIS MATTERS. Loss? Don’t go sulk. It doesn’t matter. BAD loss? Go have a beer and a cigarette and a joint and just chill out. None of this season matters. They’re playing for themselves, and in a sense, that’s the freest form of artistic, athletic expression. These guys will do what they do for each other. Not for you, not for me, not for the Bama haters, and certainly not for ESPN assholes. This team is wholly self-contained, unto itself, and they will hopefully play the shit out of themselves for this very reason.
6. Matt Luke is most definitely not coaching for his job, because his job is playing with house money. Play-calling this season will hopefully be rad as all hell, especially on offense. Let’s stop there.
7. This offense can be ridiculous, and if you like big, spectacular, ranging plays across the vast acreage of a football field, watch Ole Miss every week. They will undoubtedly deliver.
8. CHAOS TEAM. They can beat anybody, and they can lose to anybody. They can do both in spectacular fashion.
9. The NCAA Committee on Infractions is sitting down with Ole Miss people on Sept. 11. Whatever happens there and then — and it could be mortifying — it will throw a giant monkey wrench into the college football season machine. You’ll read about it everywhere, and we’ll undoubtedly deal with it on Red Cup Rebellion terms. Either way, that’s during the Cal game week, and, well, here take this life-vest and see what happens.
10. So let’s enjoy this huge, dumb spectacle. Ole Miss is under the microscope, which is itself pointed directly at the sun, and this whole affair could burst into flames sometime midseason. But they’re going to play a full college football schedule, beneath and apposite of whatever the hell is happening with the NCAA.
They’re going to play fucking football.