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That COI hearing on Monday is entirely out of Matt Luke’s hands

The Ole Miss coach has no control whatsoever over the committee’s decision.

NCAA Football: Tennessee-Martin at Mississippi Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

It’s finally here. You, I, we have been awaiting this moment for years now. Those of you with children have perhaps watched them begin school in the time that it’s taken the NCAA to figure this thing out. Perhaps loved ones have passed away. It’s finally, mercifully here, and it’ll be all the college football world will talk about for the next five days. It’s decision time.

Matt Luke will travel to the very exotic Covington, Kent. on Monday for a formal hearing with the NCAA’s Committee on Infractions, the country’s singularly unique disciplinary committee with the least moral standing. This austere and sober body is tasked with handing down punishments on people, players, and programs for merely seeking compensation commensurate with labor expended in a system that necessarily forces them to do so through clandestine means.

You, I, we have no idea what the Committee will decree from on high on Monday. Perhaps we can squint and make out the vague contours of further scholarship reductions, recruiting limitations, and another postseason ban. Beyond that? Who knows. Death penalty? Show-cause for Hugh Freeze? These are always already on the table with an organization and its disciplinary arm continually looking to flex their collective muscles in the interest of reaffirming their unnecessary and immoral existence.

So, as we’ve said before: don’t invest yourself too much in this hearing. Sure, pay attention to it, drink whatever you need to in order to get through it — but only temporarily. This is a phase and not a lifestyle. It has nothing to do with you, personally, nor your family and friends. It rests entirely in the hands of some lawyers meeting in Covington, Kent. on Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. That is all.

Yes, this case has ensnared and enmeshed hundreds of people’s lives. It’s chased out into the rural stretches of that weird, wondrous place we call Mississippi. It’s entrapped Leo Lewis in perhaps the most stunning example of NCAA investigative work gone off the rails. It’s demonstrated on a daily basis the farcical self-seriousness with which the NCAA thinks itself operates. It’s ended Hugh Freeze’s coaching career after his predecessor exposed questionable phone practices on a university-issued cellular device.

This, then, will be the only thing we’re going to be talking about until Saturday. Not Red Cup Rebellion, as a blog, mind. We’ll of course kick out our newsers and reaction and analysis and whatever else funny thing pops into our minds, but we’re not going to linger here. We have the much more enjoyable task of covering CHAOS TEAM 2017 and this remarkable offense. Shep Rattlerson. A.J. Brown. D.K. Metcalf. Benito Jones. The Brothers Moore. A hilarious and compelling cast of characters that push us forward out of this gray, dark period and into more refreshing air.

And then there’s Cal on Saturday. Ghost will be on the scene and I’ve asked him to write something spectacular about the experience. Gray will be there too. If the Rebs can come out of this opening stretch at 3-0, the entire country will be irate, no matter what is announced on Monday, and for that we should be proud and rejoice. (Ole Miss is currently undefeated, by the way.)

We’re at the center of the college football world for the next week. Are you ready?