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Oh, Baylor, Where Art Thou? A Memoriam to Ole Miss’ Season Opener

Remembering what could have been.

NCAA Football: Southeastern Louisiana at Mississippi Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

The long-anticipated announcement of a 10-game, conference-only schedule by the SEC came last Thursday, and the Texas Classic Kickoff between Baylor and Ole Miss was officially canceled.

Along with the cancellation went my dreams of sweet, sweaty Texas humidity.

I was still wildly optimistic back in May, and with what seemed like the worst behind us, I booked non-refundable hotel and airline tickets to attend the game. It seemed like everything would be going smoothly by Labor Day weekend. Surely everyone would be wearing a mask and staying six feet apart, right?

Now, stuck with a random Labor Day weekend trip to Houston on the schedule, I reminisce on what could have been.

Baylor and Ole Miss have a lot of similarities. Both schools are similar in its college town atmospheres, student population, conference relevance and even in its past coaching styles. And I’m not only talking about on the field. Two of the most decorated coaches in both programs’ histories had some fair share of grotesque off-the-field controversies and got the boot. The two self-proclaimed ‘men of God’ now lead Mount Vernon High School, and a little university up in Lynchburg, Virginia. I digress.

There were additional heightened expectations for the opener with Baylor and Ole Miss landing new head coach hires with big names - both with a lot to prove on both sides of the ball in Houston.

Baylor was favored to win the game, at the time of my plan, by three. Logic aside, I had a strong feeling the underdog Rebels would come out on top. I believed, with a win, Ole Miss probably had a good shot at a bowl game. This since-deceased game was the start of the Lane Kiffin era and, like many, I felt it was going to be the most important game of the season. The way the Rebels played down in the humidity hell of Houston, would tell their fans everything they needed to know about the 2020 season.

While I’m most disappointed we won’t get to sweat and swear in the stands together, a close second is the lack of Houston queso or tamales. But, on the brightside, at least we’ll have a season. For now.

If you don’t want conference play to see the same fate as our Houston hoedown, WEAR YOUR MASK!!!!!! Greg Sankey doesn’t care that it’s hard for you to breathe.