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Week 9 Ole Miss Confidence Report: Only 4 games left!

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December and not watching this anymore are right around the corner.

Auburn v Mississippi Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

We continue with our weekly series that assesses my confidence, using a scale of one to five Cowboy Hat-Wearing Matt Lukes, in Ole Miss’ ability to win the remaining games on its schedule. For a refresher on how this works or if you want to remember a time before you left both Ole Miss home SEC games before the fourth quarter started, click here.

If present-day Gray could address last-week Gray, he would prepare an Ed Orgeron-like PowerPoint presentation that consists of 252 slides, with each slide screaming, GRASSHOPPER, HAVE YOU LEARNED NOTHING OVER THE YEARS. Whenever Ole Miss restores a sliver of hope, and you let yourself believe, they shall erase said hope with brutal efficiency.

Making it even worse, idiot last-week Gray even referenced what two-weeks-ago Gray said was going to happen on Saturday:

DELETE YOUR ACCOUNT, LAST-WEEK GRAY.

While Ole Miss remains on schedule at 5-3 thus far into the season (unless you drink the Cherry Berry Deranged flavor of Kool-Aid), it feels very much like this football program is sliding to the edge of the cliff and it’s just a matter of when it falls off. I was at the game on Saturday (no, I do not value my time and love sitting in airports for five hours with three gate changes), and at no point in the game was the crowd filled with the spirit of hollerin’ for an upset.

I know 11 a.m. kickoffs are like Jefferson Pilot kickoffs on horse steroids, but Ole Miss had a chance to beat Auburn, following a dramatic road win over Arkansas, and there were 10,000 empty seats and no emotional investment from the crowd. It’s as if everyone, Kool-Aid drinkers and the BURN IT ALL DOWN crowd, knew what was going to happen.

Ole Miss football is not fun right now, and I don’t think we have any reason to believe it will be fun anytime soon. Pray tell, what have we seen from this season to make anyone think we’re not hitting the reset button after the 2019 or 2020 season?

Just for your records, through four SEC games this season, Ole Miss has been outscored 171-76 (per game average of 42.8-19). For the sake of comparing it to the seventh circle of hell, in 2011 when Houston Nutt was somehow allowed to keep coaching, Ole Miss was outscored 138-50 (38.5-12.5) in its first four conference games.

But hey, in 2018, we’re only losing by an average of #MISSISSIPPIMADE 23 points per conference game. Just a thought, but maybe not engage in the bullshit I’M MORE MISSISSIPPI THAN YOU contest with Mississippi State, and go get good players, regardless of where they live.

Enough with the underwater screaming, let’s get to the confidence for the rest of the season.

Bye Week

After looking at the all-22 film of Bye Week’s last eight games, you’ve gotta be concerned about their ability to attack. The other issue they present is the way they can get your players to do things late at night that result in a suspension for the following week.

Need to have our heads on swivel this weekend.

CONFIDENCE LEVEL:

South Carolina

Though such little evidence has been brought forth in the Year of Our Lord two thousand eighteen that I should feel confident about this game, my vow to you is that I will be stubborn, and you can find my dead body on top of this hill.

CONFIDENCE LEVEL:

Texas A&M

How very Ole Miss of Ole Miss to have its offense finally move the ball with relative ease against a good defense, only to start a grease fire and burn the house down once it crossed the opponent’s 40-yard line. Prior to the Auburn game, I had a lot of scenarios playing out in my head but that was not one of them.

Well played, football gods, well played.

CONFIDENCE LEVEL:

Vanderbilt

In a further twisting of the knife by the football gods, the defense managed to hold Auburn (with an assist from Auburn) to just 10 first half points, which is roughly 52 points better than its usual pace. Had the offense turned two field goal attempts into touchdowns, maybe we’re not back to wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Speaking of wailing and gnashing of teeth, watching this game! Though, it will be very generous on Ole Miss’ part to give the world the gift of Vanderbilt exploring the space of a shootout.

CONFIDENCE LEVEL:

Mississippi State

Only two more performances in which Nick Fitzgerald doesn’t break the 45 percent completion percentage barrier and maybe Bulldog head coach Joe Moorhead decides he’s seen enough and fully commits to team #NoPass. In four SEC games, Fitzgerald has thrown for over 100 yards exactly one (1) time.

That feat was accomplished way back on September 22nd when he lit up Kentucky for 145 yards and one interception. In fact, the last time Fitzgerald threw a touchdown pass was on September 15th against Louisiana-Lafayette.

His SEC passing numbers are as follows: 44-99 (44.4 percent), 370 yards, 0 TDs, 6 INTs. My point here is not to trash Fitzgerald, but hope that Joe Moorhead continues to display the judgment of a man who never asked for a poncho in driving rainstorm on Saturday night.

CONFIDENCE LEVEL: