You may not be waking up to a crisp morning wherever you are, but Saturday marks the official first day of fall - oh, and also Ole Miss and Alabama are playing at 2:30 p.m. CT.
If you have been living under a rock the last five days, local, regional and national media pundits have circled this game as a possible Rebel upset. Cue all the anxiety and memories of trips to Tuscaloosa past when the Tide beat the Rebels.
There have been two Ole Miss football victories in Tuscaloosa in the last 35 years. First, it was 1988 on homecoming where the Rebels overcame a second half deficit due to terrible Alabama quarterback play with Ole Miss scoring 15 points in the final 46 seconds to win 22-12. Before that fateful day, the Rebels were 0-24 since 1900 in Tuscaloosa.
Then came the unbelievable 2015 upset when No. 15 Ole Miss toppled No. 2 Alabama, 43-37. The Rebels pummeled the Tide who again had some spotty quarterback play, and the houndstooth clad masses headed for the exits early before a ridiculous fourth quarter nearly brought Bama back.
So we conclude this little history lesson as a dose of reality. Alabama clearly has got some tumult at the quarterback position, and in the last two weeks, it has not looked like the unstoppable juggarnaut of old.
But it’s still an insane environment to go into and come back with a win. Jaxson Dart will have to play a damn near perfect game, and the offensive line will have to come together and play its best game of the year.
The defense, which consists of so many new faces, will have to contain Jalen Milroe and his explosive playmaking ability. Yes, Texas was able to do this, and maybe Ole Miss is as good as the Longhorns but on Saturday morning I just don’t know that yet.
By Saturday evening though, Ole Miss fans will know a lot more about the team it has for the remaining eight games ahead including the rest of its SEC slate. It may very well be positioned to make a run for the SEC West crown, or it could be yet another unfortunate chapter of ill-fated hope for the fans in Oxford.