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Week 2 confidence report: Ole Miss may have more than 7 wins on the schedule

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In the first installment of an allegedly weekly series, we take measure of our confidence against the rest of the Rebs’ schedule, based on the previous week’s result.

NCAA Football: Mississippi at Texas Tech Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Going into last Saturday’s AdvoCare Zaxby’s Shiner Bock Lone Star State Forever Showdown Shootout against Texas Tech in Houston, I was convinced Ole Miss would return to Oxford as the owner of a new trophy that would sit next to David Cutcliffe’s 14 Independence Bowl trophies in the auxiliary trophy case in Storage Room C. In fact, I had enough confidence in a win that I wagered some of my monies on Ole Miss to win outright (DON’T NEED YOUR +2.5 CHARITY, VEGAS).

While my staff counted all of my cash later that day and placed it in duffel bags, I took measure of what I witnessed earlier and thought about whether those scenes changed my outlook for the remaining 11 games. Was I now more confident about some games, less confident for others, or yep, just watched a 7-5 team wreck a 4-8 team?

And so, the idea for this series was birthed. Each week, after the dust and hollerin’ have died down, both on how Ole Miss played and its opponents’ performances, I’ll assess my confidence in Ole Miss’ ability to win the remaining games on the schedule.

The initial problem I faced was trying to come up with an effective method for rating my confidence. Fortunately, Matt Luke put on a daggum cowboy hat and established the confidence scale for me.

NCAA Football: Mississippi at Texas Tech Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to his confidence in knowing that he could pull off the small town sheriff who doesn’t even carry a gun look, our scale is based on one to five Matt Lukes in a cowboy hat, with one being the least confident in a win and five being the most confident in Ole Miss getting the victory. This is a scientific process that will certainly not wildly fluctuate as I start to slowly lose my mind over the next few months.

Now that the vague ground rules have been hastily described, let’s get to the confidence and cowboy hats against the rest of the schedule.

Southern Illinois

I can tell you that the Salukies rolled over Murray State, 49-10, just last weekend. I can also tell you that Murray State is the birthplace of Houston Nutt’s Murray State Mafia.

CONFIDENCE LEVEL:

Alabama

SO WHY DO YOU CONTINUOUSLY TRY TO GET ME TO SAY SOMETHING THAT DOESN’T RESPECT THEM? I’M NOT GOING TO. SO QUIT ASKING. ALSO, I JUST RAGE-SHIT MY PANTS.

CONFIDENCE LEVEL:

Pretty disrespectful to the Tide to not create a half-face Matt Luke. Seems a lot like SILENT DISRESPECT, IMO.

Kent State

The Golden Flashes were down 31-24 to Illinois in the fourth quarter, drove to the Illini six, and threw an interception into the end zone. Related, LOL LOVIE SMITH COACHING COLLEGE FOOTBALL.

CONFIDENCE LEVEL:

LSU

Based on a one-game sample size, which is MORE THAN ENOUGH to produce sweeping, finalizing conclusions, the Tigers look a lot like the 2017 version of themselves. While that is a good thing for Ole Miss to a degree, you may remember that the 2017 version of LSU eventually crushed the Rebels with 55 rushing attempts for 393 yards.

I don’t recall a whole lot from Saturday that makes me think a team dedicated to going right at Ole Miss’ run defense will meet sustained resistance. However, Ole Miss’ offense gives them a chance to land haymakers* and make LSU’s offense peak its head out of its conservative shell.

*Special shout-out to the WE NEED DRIVES THAT LAST SIX MINUTES INSTEAD OF TOUCHDOWNS crowd.

CONFIDENCE LEVEL:

Louisiana-Monroe

In the interest of time, we move ahead in today’s programming.

CONFIDENCE LEVEL:

Arkansas

God bless the people at Arkansas who decided to play this game in Little Rock. Fayetteville, located some 36 hours north of I-40, is a graveyard for Ole Miss football.

CONFIDENCE LEVEL:

NEUTRAL GAME SITE, PAAAWWWLLL.

Auburn

It’s entirely possible the Tigers score 35 points in the first 23 minutes of the game to match last year’s pace. However, it’s also possible Ole Miss has maybe 14, which is somewhat ahead of 2017’s blistering pace of three.

CONFIDENCE LEVEL:

South Carolina

A lot of people out here in the streets are buying up all of the Coach Boom stock. I, for one, am not that foolish and choose to be more prudent with my financial future by burying my money in the backyard next to the birdbath memorial to Rebel the Black Bear.

CONFIDENCE LEVEL:

Texas A&M

I don’t like Ole Miss’ chances here, but I will be mostly satisfied if, against a Jimbo Fisher team, the Rebels do not jump out to a 28-6 lead (the most dangerous lead in football) and lose by two possessions. Give me the two-possession loss the right way: a garbage time touchdown to make it seem closer that it was.

CONFIDENCE LEVEL:

Vanderbilt

Nashville! Late November! What could possibly go wrong?!?!?

While it’s of note that Vanderbilt didn’t spend last weekend in a 13-10 rock fight with Middle Tennessee State, you’ll have to pry my belief that they will be not #good out of my cold, dead hands.

CONFIDENCE LEVEL:

Mississippi State

It’s likely that Joe Moorehead will be firmly on Team No Passing Against Ole Miss, which doesn’t usually end well for the Rebels. Throw in a State defense that will likely be pretty good, and the odds are not in Ole Miss’ favor.

However, when you have an offense that puts pressure on an opposing defense, you always have a chance. And let’s not forget that facts are facts.

Plus, the last time the game was in Oxford, the home field advantage really paid off for the Reb—

L. O. L.

CONFIDENCE LEVEL: