Following a week filled with athletic director turnover, the baseball team rising from the ashes of a thousand sacrifice bunts, and the softball team ending yet another Super Regional run, we had quite a bit of movement in this week’s Power Rankings. Given the permanent bipolar state of Ole Miss athletics, we should expect nothing less.
If you missed last week’s edition, you may correct that mistake here. To see who made moves over the previous seven days, please proceed to the next line.
(1) Ole Miss Baseball (BACK? BACK)
After spending more days in Hoover than the federal government should allow, the Ole Miss baseball team returned home with a certificate saying it would be hosting postseason action at Swayze Field. The Rebels were able to lock up said certificate by defeating Missouri, Texas A&M, Arkansas, and Georgia to reach the conference tournament championship game against Vanderbilt.
Despite jumping out to a 9-1 lead, which we know is the most dangerous lead in baseball, Ole Miss was eventually walked-off by the Commodores. However, reaching the championship game was enough of a resumé boost in the hearts, souls, and minds of those tasked with naming regional hosts.
It’s a rather staggering turn of events considering that, on May 18th, Ole Miss had lost six of its last seven (including a six-game losing streak) and all the attributes of a team letting the idea of an 0-2 regional appearance as a two-seed wash over them. A bowtie tug of respect to the team for getting its ish together over the last week and giving itself a chance for postseason success.
(2) Keith Carter
With Ross Bjork leaving for College Station to help Texas A&M tell its story, Ole Miss lacked an athletic director. To temporarily fix that problem, Carter, the former basketball star and current Deputy Athletics Director for Development & Resource Acquisition, was named interim athletics director by interim Chancellor Larry Sparks (WHAT IF THE WHOLE SCHOOL WAS MADE OF INTERIMS).
Ideally, Carter will keep this leaky pontoon boat* afloat until a new AD is named, which is probably dependent upon a new chancellor, meaning he should hold the post for no more than another 43 years. As expected, there are already Ole Miss fans hoping he will have the interim tag removed, which drains what little I have left in my core.
If you’re scoring at home, that means we are less than a week into his interim status and there are people who think an unqualified candidate should automatically get the official job. Carter may turn out to be great at this (and I hope he is), but I prefer that the top qualification of any candidate for any position at Ole Miss not be “he loves Ole Miss”.
*By pontoon boat, I mean that thing Tom Hanks built in ‘Cast Away’. The porta potty sail is very #onbrand for Ole Miss.
(3) Mike Bianco (BACK? BACK)
Especially since there’s no athletic director or chancellor to turn away from him in 2020. While he deserves credit for pressing the buttons he pressed (or just getting out of the way) over the last week, I remain firmly on Team Let’s Move On.
However, now is not the time for such a debate. It is time to climb aboard the bandwagon and ride it until fame and glory or it jackknifes off an overpass.
(4) Matt Luke
No AD and no chancellor? Friends, someone else is LOCKED IN for at least another two seasons.
(5) Hosting a Baseball Regional
I am also firmly on Team Sitting in the Outfield Drinking Cold American Domestics in the Sunshine. There’s been some discussion about SEC schools eventually being able to sell alcohol at football games but nothing about baseball games.
For the love of all that is decent and holy, THINK OF THE POOR SOULS IN THE GRANDSTANDS AT BASEBALL GAMES.
(6) Taunter of the Vandy Whistler
THERE GOES MY HERO WATCH HIM AS HE GOES.
Seriously though, if the Vandy Whistler fell down a well and was trapped for the duration of the next SEC baseball tournament, the well would win the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
(7) Ole Miss Softball
The Rebels were swept by Arizona last weekend, bringing the season to a close. As a softball school, it’s always disappointing to not make it to the World Series but reaching two Super Regionals in three years is encouraging news.
There’s only one way to say goodbye to this season.
Related, what is this shirt:
8) Unqualified People for Ole Miss Athletics Director
They all love Ole Miss, and you best believe these Good Rebels™ would do a great job. And you should also best believe that some will get serious consideration.
If only there were decades upon decades of evidence showing what happens when an athletic department is stocked with people whose best strength is that they love Ole Miss.
(9) Jacksonville State
They’re not too far from home this weekend, they’ve won in Oxford before, and they hold the psychological terror advantage. If they get up early on Friday night, hooooooo buddy. LET’S GET TENSE.
(10) Rich Rodriguez’s Pomeranians
Though there have been many oversights in these Power Rankings, perhaps the most egregious one has been the neglect of Rich Rod’s dogs.
More importantly, that I am just now seeing this video from six months ago is perhaps the greatest injustice of 2019.
“Can you hang out before Christmas?”— Raquel Rodriguez (@raquelrod_23) December 25, 2018
Me: “Sorry, I’m busy”
Also me: pic.twitter.com/Koe2yogSdc
When the haters question whether you can get an offense rolling again: