When Elijah Moore decided to pay homage to the original* fake pee touchdown celebration artist, D.K. Metcalf, there was no way to initially comprehend the depth of what that leg raise set in motion. On the surface, it helped Ole Miss raise the bar for the most Ole Miss way to lose a game, but as days and weeks passed, it became the epicenter of change for hundreds of coaching careers, as well as bowl game appearances for programs.
*If you’re unfamiliar with Ole Miss, we’ve seen two fake pee touchdown celebrations in three years. That’s good value for your fake pee touchdown celebration dollars.
So what would’ve happened if Moore, after scoring his touchdown, celebrated in a way that did not involve a fake pee? First, BORING. And second, to answer that, we take a deep dive into that scenario in another “What If” post at Red Cup Rebellion.
Egg Bowl Effects.
It was insane Moore even had a chance to score. With a little over two minutes left, Mississippi State couldn’t convert on 3rd and 2, which would’ve allowed them to run more clock and force Ole Miss to use timeouts.
After State punted, Ole Miss had the ball on its own 18 with 2:01 to play. Here’s what happened three plays later:
And with 59 seconds left:
In review, Moore’s fake pee touchdown celebration needed Metcalf to do one two years earlier, a dropped interception, and a blown coverage on 4TH AND 24 FROM OLE MISS’ 14-YARD LINE in order to happen. Normal things that happen all the time.
As you likely recall, Moore’s celebration drew a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, which was applied to the extra point. What was a 20-yard extra point turned into a 35-yard version and this disaster:
Without the additional 15 yards, Luke Logan likely makes the extra point, sends the game into overtime, and regardless of the result in overtime, Matt Luke is not fired a few days later. Or so the conventional line of thinking goes.
Everyone forgets we’re talking about Ole Miss and the unchecked power of #WAOM and the college football scriptwriters. There are no guarantees in this perfect storm of perpetual impending doom.
Let’s run through some scenarios in the Egg Bowl that were just as likely to happen as the presumed made extra point and overtime.
Ah yes, but of course.
Logan shanks the kick, or it’s blocked and flutters just below the crossbar. Even though the game is at night, Matt Luke squints at the scoreboard to confirm he’s lost yet another game.
With four seconds left, Ole Miss’ only hope is to recover an onside kick and throw a Hail Mary as time expires. Miraculously, Ole Miss recovers the kick, only to be flagged for being offside.
Matt Luke takes a second squint at the jumbotron to watch the replay, which shows Ole Miss probably got screwed on the call. In a rage to throw off his headset and yell at the referee, Luke creates the perfect GIF of someone impersonating Will Muschamp losing his shit. Away from the field, Ole Miss Twitter attempts to melt the servers of Twitter dot com.
Even national BIG S #sprotswriters show their sympathy for Ole Miss, which sends Mississippi State Twitter all up in their mentions, followed by Egg Bowl Twitter engaging in its regularly scheduled Thanksgiving night bloodbath.
An unscheduled trip to the alcohol store.
Logan boots the extra point through the uprights and all signs point to overtime, but HANG ON, PARTNER, THERE’S SOME LAUNDRY ON THE FIELD. False start, Ole Miss.
The Mississippi State crowd comes to life (responsibly ringing of course!). Before the ball is snapped, another Ole Miss player moves, whistles blow, yet the ball is snapped and Logan smashes another one right down the middle.
Now the Mississippi State crowd is roaring. In your living room or at a bar, you can feel the #WAOM suffocating the room.
The 30-yard extra point attempt goes something like this:
You don’t see the last four seconds because you’re on your way to the store.
The Matt Luke Special
Logan makes the kick and sends the game into overtime. Mississippi State gets the ball first, and is forced to kick a field goal because LOL Garret Shrader.
After traveling 7 yards on 9 plays, which I leave to your imagination, Ole Miss somehow sits at the 18-yard line, facing a fourth and inches. Matt Luke, rather than going for it, sends out the field goal team for a 35-yard attempt HEY WAIT A SECOND THIS IS LOOKING A LITTLE TOO FAMILIAR.
Well played, college football scriptwriters, well played.
What Happens Outside of the Egg Bowl
Despite Ole Miss’ program being in the exact same spot (complete with rampant fan apathy!) as what really happened, Luke isn’t fired after the loss because WE’RE BUILDING SOMETHING SPECIAL #MISSISSIPPIBUILT. After all, it was at least a Good Look Loss™!
With Luke being retained and Lane Kiffin on his way to Arkansas, Mississippi State doesn’t feel pressured to keep up with Ole Miss. That means they do not fire Joe Moorhead, whose tenure includes wanting to fight an Ole Miss associate athletic director after the 2018 Egg Bowl, his players fighting each other, and generally making Mississippi State fans mad.
As a result, Mike Leach stays at Washington State, asking the important questions, like if jet fuel can melt steel beams. Nick Rolovich does not head to Pullman but stays at Hawaii, building an even better program to watch at 1:45 in the morning.
Hawaii is not forced to sift through coaching scrap metal before settling on a bus panel that is Todd Graham, who does not bring his Garth Brooks microphone to the islands. As a side note, I really hope they give his Garth Brooks microphone a tiny lei for each game.
Because Lane Kiffin is doing a very uninspired calling the Hogs* at his press conference, Sam Pittman stays at Georgia instead of going to Fayetteville. Congratulations to those of you who just found out Pittman is the head coach at Arkansas. You’ve learned at least one fact today, making you one of life’s learners.
*I’m talking Huge Dana Altman Energy, all the way down to remember when I said I’d take this job, welllllll, jk, going back to my old job pls don’t call.
BREAKING: Sam PIttman to Georgia! Must credit @DawgsSicEmNationalChamps20
Finally, Luke and his Ole Miss staff go on to put the finishing touches on a recruiting class that ranks sixth in the SEC West. As 2020 season ticket sales take another dive, COVID-19 shuts down spring football and goes on to derail the 2020 season.
That means instead of Luke being fired after an inevitable 4-8 or 5-7 season in 2020, he gets to add another bottom-tier SEC recruiting class in 2021, followed by a 4-8 or 5-7 season before being fired in December 2021, which means Ole Miss delays the hard reset for two years.
So what if Elijah Moore didn’t do a fake pee? Zero out of five stars. Would not recommend.