It’s Ole Miss - Alabama in Oxford, Mississippi this afternoon to decide if the Tide or Rebels will be relegated outside of the New Years Six when the postseason arrives.
The Rebels (8-1, 4-1 SEC) have more to play for despite currently losing a tiebreaker with the LSU Tigers for the Western Division title. Ole Miss doesn’t control its own destiny, but if it wins out, the pressure would lie on LSU to be perfect as well to hold serve. Hey, it’s something for now.
Alabama, meanwhile, sits with two regular season losses and in an unfamiliar situation under head coach Nick Saban. The Tide haven’t lost three games in the same season since 2010, and you’d have to go way back to 2007 for a worse season than that so pretty unprecedented for the Saban era.
So what’s the likelihood this Crimson Tide team just packs up its tent and calls it a season? I would say slim and none as players still want great game tape for scouts and the future NFL prospects. These are athletes whose entire careers are ahead of them, so I would caution to give into the lie that Bama will not play its best game come kickoff.
The Rebels have the offensive rushing attack to wear down Alabama if it can get going as fans have seen throughout the season. Once the two headed monster of Zach Evans and Quinshon Judkins get going, it is tough to keep them from moving the ball up and down the field. In my opinion, I think Saban and Bama will load the box and just force QB Jaxson Dart to beat them with his arm.
The Grove should be humming come 8 a.m. with the SEC Nation broadcast going live, and every TV in the hallowed 10 acres of carefully cultivated property will be tuned to LSU-Arkansas at 11 a.m. to scoreboard watch in preparation for the game ahead. If the Hogs somehow, someway, pull off an upset, the palpable anxiety of Rebels in the Vaught will be massive when the game kicks off.
For the moment, enjoy a morning cocktail or if you’re reading this later a cold one over lunch. It’s the game of the season for Lane Kiffin and Co.
How to watch
Where: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, Miss.
When: 2:30 pm CT
Online streaming: CBS.com