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 when subjecting ourselves to this each week seemed like a good idea, click here.
In what has been a season that I would like tossed into the shred and burn pile, we have finally arrived at the point where we are two sleeps away from the end. Late Thursday night, after calories on calories have been consumed, we will be released from the misery of this season. Except we won’t be.
While, yes, the 2018 season will kick everyone out and close its doors, it’s likely we haven’t even reached the end of the beginning of the Matt Luke era, which, if you’ve been watching, is very much NOT GREAT, BOB. Barring something that’s the opposite of #WAOM occurring after Mississippi State lights Ole Miss up like it’s Hugh Freeze’s last game, there are many more miles to go, and hey look, there’s another hole in the bottom of the boat.
First, we’ll have the annual recruiting misses and the cold reality that is having a class with some nice players but one that will be at the bottom of the SEC’s Western Division. Though given where we are, can we call them misses?
/Thinking Face emoji that is also swilling bourbon
After a spring in which a glance at the depth chart will inspire throwing hope off a bridge and season ticket sales vanishing, costing the program lots of sweet cash, we’ll slog through the 2019 season. For a fun game that will not make you hurt at all, take a look at that schedule and see if you can find four wins.
Once the end of the 2019 season arrives, it will be time to rinse and repeat because the Ole Miss administration still won’t make a move, despite all the evidence in the world suggesting they should. Most of you may not know this, but in the university charter, it says that if any university employee loves Ole Miss dearly, they are entitled to multiple years of employment, regardless of performance (see: Ole Miss’ athletic department from 1970 to 1994; related, people should be in minimum security prison for what happened during that stretch).
The 2020 season will bring more of the same, with the possibility of being slightly better than 2019. That means we’re looking at December 2020 as the first time Ole Miss would consider getting out of the Matt Luke business.
Let’s say that comes to pass, Luke is sent back to being an offensive line coach, and a new head coach is hired. Assuming the people doing the hiring fall ass backwards into a competent head coach (WHICH IS A BIG STRETCH), the 2021 and 2022 seasons will be losses, which is fine. In a rebuild, the blueprint is always lose big in Year 1, lose close in Year 2, win close in Year 3, and win big in Year 4.
What that means is, if Ole Miss does make a good hire, it’s 2023 before you should reasonably expect them to be bowl eligible, which assumes no parole violations and being shipped back to NCAA supermax prison. Again, that’s if (IF) Ole Miss makes a good hire. If they don’t, we start the cycle again, and it’s 2026 before you can hope to make plans to visit Shreveport in late December.
Of course, the darkest of all the timelines could be reset if Ole Miss attempts to fix the mistake they made last November (DIDN’T EVEN WAIT UNTIL DECEMBER). I have no doubt that they will absolutely not do that, hence the wailing and gnashing of teeth and really no reason to get out of bed for the next five years.
I hope I am proven wrong, either by way of Ole Miss moving on from Matt Luke ASAP, or Matt Luke suddenly being able to see the Matrix and solving problems. Whatever happens, a shout-out to the seniors/juniors going pro who didn’t deserve to have their careers end like this.
You’ve had to put up with a lot of crap because professional adults were very stupid and bad at what they did. You deserved better, but thank you for the time and effort you put in to make Ole Miss football better than it would’ve been without you.
For all of you, my real world advice, which has never changed, is to know that no one knows what they’re doing, we’re all just making it up as we go along.