Andy Kennedy is joining the SEC Network!

We asked for this very thing, and SECN is giving to us.

We’re eight months removed from former Ole Miss basketball head coach Andy Kennedy’s sudden resignation before the end of last season. Ignominious best describes the way his departure from Oxford went down, because Andy Kennedy remains a terrific basketball intellect.

At the time, we predicted that AK would undoubtedly land somewhere on the college basketball landscape by the start of the 2018-19 season, like a mid-major in need of immediate and demonstrated experience. Well, spring and summer came and went, and Kennedy didn’t land anywhere in the CBB coaching menagerie, an indictment on athletics directors across the country.

Kudos then are due to the SEC Network, which on Tuesday announced that it had hired Kennedy on as a college basketball analyst. According to the network’s press release, AK will “appear as an analyst for college basketball coverage across SEC Network and ESPN for the 2018-19 season.” This is an excellent development, because basketball mind aside, Kennedy is downright entertaining and hilarious on television.

It’s yet to be known whether he’ll sit as a live in-game analyst — which everyone with even a passing interest in SEC basketball should hope for — or merely offer his insight from the comfort of SECN’s studios, a role in which his candor and humor would be utterly wasted. The man coached for 12 seasons in every arena in the conference, after all, and his storytelling would be expansive and genuinely interesting.

Nor should you doubt his ability to articulate the complexities of offensive schemes or break down defenses — LORD, his knowledge of defense is vast — on court in the moment. He threw in a short stint with SECN during last year’s postseason, and it was refreshing to witness his passion for, and knowledge of the game of basketball.

And so let’s not delay this news at all: AK starts on Wednesday at SEC basketball media days. Let’s hope he gets to talk to Kermit Davis.

Ole Miss Confidence Report: The bell tolls for thee, .500 record

All it took was a win over a bad Arkansas team and we’re back! Never let it be said I am smart.

We continue with our weekly series that assesses my confidence, using a scale of one to five Cowboy Hat-Wearing Matt Lukes, in Ole Miss’ ability to win the remaining games on its schedule. For a refresher on how this works or if you want to remember a time before losing to two SEC opponents by a combined score of 107-23, click here.

After the most disciplined, blue-collar football performance of all disciplined, blue-collar football performances two weeks ago against LSU, I cannot recall wanting to delete the Ole Miss Football Fan App from my brain more than I did that night. One may point to the Houston Nutt era as the lowest crater—particularly after Jacksonville State—but at least we could see Nutt’s expiration date on the horizon*.

*Did Pete Boone ever serve any jail time for his decision to not fire Nutt after 2010? Or when he let Nutt coach the last three games of 2011 so we could watch him lose by a combined score of 110-13?

At the end of that night in Baton Rouge, we were staring at two and a half more years of the finest quality garbage known to man, plus however many years the rebuild from this disaster would take. Of course, that thought assumed the Ole Miss administration could somehow not shit the bed so violently that it gets on the wall and ceiling (per standard operating procedures) and hire a coach capable of a rebuild.

In that moment, it was not unreasonable to believe it would be close to a decade before Ole Miss football even had a chance to stand on the banks of the Red River in Shreveport and drink its mud-water. That still may come to pass, but Ole Miss’ ability to not burn its own house down against Arkansas gave a pulse to the idea that maybe this thing can stay afloat.

Sure, there were staggering amounts of gross incompetence everywhere, but the team never quit when they had every reason to, which, dating back to last season, is something Matt Luke has been able to get out of his teams. The rest of his NBA Jam ratings may not be great, but his motivational ability (or whatever you want to call it) is a bright green 10.

The defense will remain terrible, although they made plays in the fourth quarter, and now D.K. Metcalf is done for the year. But if the offense continues to attack the way they did on Saturday night, with short and intermediate passes and Jordan Ta’amu’s legs, perhaps we can play an imaginary Birmingham Bowl in the yard of NCAA supermax prison.

Here’s my outlook for the remaining games on Ole Miss’ schedule.

Auburn

Here is what I wrote in this very space last week:

The good news is that Auburn appears to be headed down the same path as Bobby Lowder and Colonial Bank. The bad news is they still have two weeks to get their stuff together before coming to Oxford, which they will because #WAOM and have never played anyone who is on their way to the bottom of the crater.

Teams rising from the crater, yes, but never those in full plummet. I can hear Gus now, after beating Georgia, crediting the Ole Miss game as the one that turned their season around.

Does losing at home to Tennessee, a team that hasn’t won an SEC game since Phil Fulmer’s last year*, qualify as hitting the bottom of that crater? YOU BET.

*Our research team is still investigating this claim. Please stand by for confirmation.

While I’m not as despondent as I was a few weeks ago, experience tells me Malzahn’s press conference after the game will be him talking about how Auburn got back to the basics and ran for a quarter of a million yards.

CONFIDENCE LEVEL:

South Carolina

As I’ve said before, when I am remotely right about something, YOU PEOPLE ARE GONNA HEAR ABOUT IT. However, since getting confirmation that Coach Boom and squad are pretty average and not what some said they would be, I have yet to go all in on the success of my prediction (no rubber bracelets or fake funerals).

That changes today. GIVE ME THE FOUR HORSEMEN.

CONFIDENCE LEVEL:

Texas A&M

Ole Miss’ chance of winning this game is minimal, which is fine because no person who is firmly attached to this planet would think otherwise. What irritates me is that I live close enough to College Station that I have to go to the game, but I may not be able to leave early because the Aggies probably won’t blow Ole Miss out in the first half.

Instead of being back in Austin before the game ends, I’ll be sitting in the stadium like an idiot, waiting for the avalanche I know is coming. SPORTS ARE FUN AND A GREAT USE OF TIME.

CONFIDENCE LEVEL:

Vanderbilt

Though Vanderbilt really took it to Florida in the first half last weekend, they were very much Vanderbilt in the second half. Knowing that they can’t contain the Vanderbilt within them, I find rest.

Shout-out to Dan Mullen and his rageaholic brother-in-law Todd Grantham for making every dumbass in a Nashville bar on Saturday night look relatively in control.

CONFIDENCE LEVEL:

Mississippi State

Speaking of shout-outs, here’s one to both the segment of 19th-century-English-porridge-for-brains Mississippi State fans who believe Ole Miss’ defensive game plan is to hurt quarterbacks and the national MY COLUMN #sprotswriter who entertains the idea because Tom Mars and the University of Tennessee public relations folks haven’t assigned him any work recently.

First, and most importantly, if you really believe this, I would advise you to care more about anything else in your life than you do about Ole Miss. Seriously, what you’re going to eat for lunch on Wednesday has more meaning to your life than Ole Miss does. Secondly, if you think Ole Miss has a legitimate defensive game plan, your school should hire Wesley McGriff because he would totally be a great hire and you will not regret it one bit no sir make the call today.

CONFIDENCE LEVEL:

Podcast: Jaylen Walton reminisces about beating Auburn

The former Ole Miss running back shares his fondest memories of slashing the Gus Bus tires.

The Rebs won a tough one on the road in a driving rain storm and now sit at 5-2. Now a battered and bruised Auburn team limps to Oxford searching for answers. Who better to talk about whipping them than former Ole Miss running back Jaylen Walton, who helped snap the Rebels’ SEC losing streak in 2012 with a huge win over Auburn? We also talk about this year’s team, how he thinks they can finish, and ask him about his recruitment and why he thinks the bowl ban is a non-factor.

We also take a look around the conference and recap Week 7. Alabama is still bored, right? Is LSU for real? What the hell happened to Georgia? Can Auburn rebound? Will South Carolina play Jake Bentley or will the legend of Michael Scarn continue to grow in Week 8?


The Rebs are back in the Vaught this weekend so go see Greg and the good folks at LB’s Meat Market, the inaugural sponsor of this here podcast and the best protein for your Ole Miss grilling needs.

If you like gambling and good food, go see our good friend Kelly English at the Magnolia House in Biloxi at Harrah’s Gulf Coast. Blackjack, slots, good happy hour specials, Southern cooking—what’s not to like?

When you’re looking to stock the cooler for this weekend’s game against Auburn, ask for Old Dominick at your local package store. You’ve been waiting and it’s finally here, Huling Station High Rye Bourbon. Go get it off the shelves before it’s gone. They’re located in downtown Memphis, trace their roots back to Italy, and take pride in providing you a true sip of Memphis.

Podcast: Jaylen Walton reminisces about beating Auburn

The former Ole Miss running back shares his fondest memories of slashing the Gus Bus tires.

The Rebs won a tough one on the road in a driving rain storm and now sit at 5-2. Now a battered and bruised Auburn team limps to Oxford searching for answers. Who better to talk about whipping them than former Ole Miss running back Jaylen Walton, who helped snap the Rebels’ SEC losing streak in 2012 with a huge win over Auburn? We also talk about this year’s team, how he thinks they can finish, and ask him about his recruitment and why he thinks the bowl ban is a non-factor.

We also take a look around the conference and recap Week 7. Alabama is still bored, right? Is LSU for real? What the hell happened to Georgia? Can Auburn rebound? Will South Carolina play Jake Bentley or will the legend of Michael Scarn continue to grow in Week 8?


The Rebs are back in the Vaught this weekend so go see Greg and the good folks at LB’s Meat Market, the inaugural sponsor of this here podcast and the best protein for your Ole Miss grilling needs.

If you like gambling and good food, go see our good friend Kelly English at the Magnolia House in Biloxi at Harrah’s Gulf Coast. Blackjack, slots, good happy hour specials, Southern cooking—what’s not to like?

When you’re looking to stock the cooler for this weekend’s game against Auburn, ask for Old Dominick at your local package store. You’ve been waiting and it’s finally here, Huling Station High Rye Bourbon. Go get it off the shelves before it’s gone. They’re located in downtown Memphis, trace their roots back to Italy, and take pride in providing you a true sip of Memphis.

D.K. Metcalf is out for the year

Time for the nWo to pick up the Oxford Monster.

Saturday was a good day for the Ole Miss Rebels who capped off a come-from-behind victory with an emphatic 98-yard drive with Scottie Phillips plunging into the end zone with less than a minute remaining. The Rebels improved to 5-2 overall and 1-2 in the Southeastern Conference with Auburn coming to town this weekend.

But, one thing was missing on the War Memorial Stadium turf for that final offensive drive. D.K. Metcalf stood on the sidelines sans shoulder pads and with a towel draped over his head. The junior wide receiver from Oxford, Miss. suffered a neck injury early in the first quarter and after being taken back to the locker room for further evaluation, sat out the remainder of the contest.

Rebel Grove’s Neal McCready confirmed our fears of Baby Megatron being out for the year after Matt Luke said as much in his weekly Monday press conference.

“[He] hurt his neck, and it’s worse than we originally thought,” Ole Miss coach Matt Luke said during his weekly press conference. “He’ll be done for the season. Long-term, he’ll bounce back and he’ll be fine. We’ll make sure he gets the very best care.”

The loss of Metcalf is a blow but he comes from a room where it can be less devastating as others. The the nWo should be able to pick up the slack in his absence without skipping a beat.

Nevertheless, this sucks. The Oxford native was having a breakout junior year and was almost certainly going to forego his senior season for the NFL Draft.

The good news is this, D.K. will be fine after surgery and this shouldn’t hamper his future career.

He is the conference’s 3rd-leading receiver seven weeks into the season, hauling in 26 receptions for 569 yards and five touchdowns. More so, he is averaging a whopping 21.7 yards per reception and has been that dude to take the top off the defense all year long for offensive coordinator Phil Longo.

But this is where Ole Miss can really brag about it’s abundance of riches in receivers coach Jacob Peeler’s room. The wideouts boast a ridiculous amount of blue-chip talent. And it will be on them to pick up quarterback Jordan Ta’amu in Metcalf’s absence.

The 6’4, 230-pound hometown hero has been a mainstay in the offense since signing with Ole Miss in 2016 when he arrived as part of that vaunted No. 5-ranked recruiting class. His ability to not only create mismatches is matched seamlessly by his sneaky home run speed and terrifying frame that instills fear in the eyes of everyone on defense.

In my opinion, it will be business as usual for Peeler’s group and I don’t see the need to push for anyone to jump in and pick up the snaps that Metcalf reluctantly hands over. Battle could potentially see his role increase but he could be on his way to a redshirt year.

I would look for Moore’s role in the offense to grow as he has shown an ability to get open and find the soft spots in defense’s zone coverage and to be another form of a mismatch in the Fast & Furious Offense. Or the load for the tight ends could increase after their breakout game in the Natural State.

Best wishes and a speedy recovery to our large, talented son. I speak for everyone here at Red Cup Rebellion that we hope to see him back in the red and blue OR walking across that NFL Draft stage in Nashville next year.

Stay up.

Podcast Rebellion: Can this Ole Miss team win 8 games?

What a stupid, dumb, silly team we have.

Holy shit.

That was terrifying and fantastic and horrible and exhilarating all at the same damn time.


The Rebs are 5-2 so go see Greg and the good folks at LB’s Meat Market, the inaugural sponsor of this here podcast, to celebrate with the best protein for your Ole Miss grilling needs this weekend.

If you like gambling and good food, go see our good friend Kelly English at the Magnolia House in Biloxi’s Harrah’s Gulf Coast. Blackjack, slots, Southern cooking—what’s not to like?

When you’re looking to stock the cooler for football season, ask for Old Dominick at your local package store and be sure to cop their brand spankin’ new high rye bourbon, Huling Station. They’re located in downtown Memphis, trace their roots back to Italy, and take pride in providing you a true sip of Memphis.

Ole Miss opens as 3.5 points underdogs against Auburn, because why not

Let’s go burn some money.

Ole Miss football’s record is currently 5-2 after narrowly coming back to beat Arkansas in Little Rock, 37-33, on Saturday night. The game was weird and wild and pretty much everything we’ve come to expect from this rivalry, because something decidedly unexpected comes to pass every damn year.

What this means for the outlook of Ole Miss’ season from here forward is anyone’s guess. The defense refuses to show up, and Jordan Ta’amu’s heroics can carry the team only so far. Scottie Phillips has emerged as a real run threat, which is very good and great, but this Rebel outfit could fail hard just as much as they succeed in any given week.

That being said, Auburn is hilariously bad this year. The Tigers lost to LSU, 22-21, then rocked Arkansas, 34-3. They beat Southern Miss by 11 then perished at the hands of Mississippi State, 23-9. Just before Ole Miss kicked off with Arkansas, Auburn closed out a 30-24 loss at home to Tennessee. And Tennessee is extremely bad right now.

So it comes as no surprise, then, that the betting line for Auburn AT Ole Miss should immediately get weird. And it is.

The Tigers are currently 3-4 with some questionable losses on the schedule, and so it’s laughable that they should open as 3.5-point favorites in Oxford this week.

The Tigers have been all over the map this year, and it’s rather ridiculous that they’ve been favored in every game they’ve played up to now. Washington may not be the team we all wanted them to be this season, but it’s genuinely funny that with every Auburn loss the Huskies slip further and further from the CFB Playoff. This was, after all, the first MAYHEM WEEK of the 2018 college football season, and it included Washington’s first conference loss of the year.

Auburn with a home loss to Tennessee thus opens as a field goal favorite over Ole Miss in Oxford. Sure. Why the hell not. There’s very little reason to think that this game will play out in an un-chaotic fashion, because this game involves 1) Ole Miss football, which is always already a CHAOS TEAM, and 2) Auburn football in 2018, which is currently very weird.

If you’re degenerate enough to throw money at this line, mercy on your soul.

Arkansas vs. Ole Miss made no sense, which makes sense

The Rebels pulled out a win in Little Rock.

Arkansas, a 1-5 team that got blown out by North Texas, was up by six points over Ole Miss, a 4-2 team that wields one of the best offenses in college football. The Rebels had just missed a field goal early in the fourth quarter and looked ready to roll over against perhaps the only winnable opponent on their SEC schedule. Matt Luke, the interim-turned-permanent head coach whose job status has been a hot topic since his team was eviscerated by LSU two weeks ago, could no doubt feel the seat of his pants warming. If you’ve paid any attention to this rivalry over the past half decade, that all makes perfect sense.

Three years ago, a fourth-and-25 fluke in overtime handed the Hogs a win. Two years ago, a Chad Kelly fumble on fourth-and-the-game decided the match. Last year, a fumbled handoff finished a 24-point Razorback rally in Oxford.

So when Luke Logan’s 28-yard field goal attempt sailed right with 14 minutes left in a 33-24 game, Rebels fans can be excused for turning off the TV. We’d all seen this show before. The Ole Miss defense had been scorched by a running back from Last Chance U and, at times, a backup quarterback. When starter Ty Story left the game after a hard hit in the second quarter, replacement Cole Kelly immediately stroked a 39-yard touchdown to put his team up 24-10.

But something strange happened on Saturday night in Little Rock. Down nine points midway through the fourth quarter, the Rebels mounted a 10-play, 84-yard drive capped off by a two-yard touchdown lunge from backup running back Isiah Woullard. After giving up a first down on third-and-13, the Rebels defense made a rare stand and gave the ball right back to the offense, which embarked on a 97-yard journey to the end zone to take a 37-33 lead. That ended up being the final score.

The Rebels offense, which had been frustratingly impotent for three quarters, averaged 10.5 yards per play on those two game-winning drives. Quarterback Jordan Ta’amu went 7-of-10 for 106 yards and ripped off key running gains of 27 and 15 yards. Running back Scottie Phillips took the lead on five-yard scamper with 42 seconds left.

Those 42 seconds were, theoretically, plenty of time for an Arkansas offense still wielding a timeout to march downfield against one of the country’s worst defenses. To that point, the Razorbacks had averaged 6.8 yards per play while racking up 476 yards of offense, 299 yards of which had come on the ground. Rakeem Boyd, one of the feel-good stories of the most recent Last Chance U season, put up 107 yards rushing on just seven carries before being injured in the second quarter.

But on the first play of the potential game-winning drive, Kelly, back in the game after yet another injury to Story, sailed a pass into the arms fo Rebels DB Zedrick Woods. Ole Miss, humiliated by Alabama and LSU, has its first SEC win of 2018.

It’s hard to understate the impact of the win for Luke. A loss to 1-5 Arkansas on the heels of blowouts to the Tide and Tigers would have ratcheted up pressure for Ole Miss to can its first-year head coach. A stretch run of Auburn, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt and Mississippi State doesn’t offer a ton of winnable opportunities, so getting a fifth win against the Razorbacks was critical.

The Rebels will be kept out of a bowl game thanks to NCAA vengeance, but hitting the six-win mark will be an important accomplishment for a Rebel coaching staff very much at risk of losing the fan base. 3-3 South Carolina and 3-4 Vanderbilt are winnable games—S&P+ gives the Rebels more than a 60 percent chance to take each. Potential blowouts still loom against Auburn and Mississippi State, but taking down the Razorbacks in Little Rock bought much-needed space.

Ole Miss vs. Arkansas: Advanced box score

Rebs 37, Hogs 33

Every Sunday, I post numbers that help tell a broader story than what a traditional box score may offer. Looking at Bill C.’s stat profiles is a great way to quickly figure out a team’s strengths and weaknesses once you become familiar with the stats. If you’re curious, here’s a glossary with detailed definitions, but I’ll include some of the more pertinent stuff here.

Ole Miss and Arkansas have to play football against each other

CHAOS REIGNS SUPREME..

This is the party we came for. It’s Ole Miss and Arkansas in a chaotic battle that will destroy us all. This rivalry will never NOT deliver something insane, and that’s why we have to play this game every year. College football is madness, and this particular game is always madness.

Normally this space would be devoted to simple information about game time, offensive outlook, defensive match-ups and more. If that’s your interest, please look elsewhere because we are here to hook the CHAOS FACTOR that this game will undoubtedly provide.

There’s absolutely no way to know how this game is going to turn. Don’t even bet Vegas’ line — whatever the hell it is — and just bet Ole Miss-Arkansas straight up.

Arkansas’ defense is shall we say fairly decent. Ole Miss’ offense is shall we say fairly streaky. These teams’ recent history would foretell a record of stable, do-it-yourself football, and that’s exactly what we’ve —

Not gonna finish that sentence. Are you ready?

Here’s how to watch Saturday night’s game:

How to watch:

Where: War Memorial Stadium, Little Rock, Arkansas
When: 6:30 p.m. CT
TV: SEC Nttwork
Online streaming: WatchESPN

Ole Miss in Little Rock: A history

The Rebels play better in Little Rock than in Fayetteville. All of it’s weird.

If you’ve remotely paid attention to Ole Miss football over the years, you are very much aware of the destruction that awaits the Rebels when they travel to Fayetteville to play Arkansas. Since 1994, Ole Miss has vomited out a 2-9 record in their visits to the place that you reach roughly 27 hours after making that northward turn off the hellscape that is I-40.

However, this year the football gods have perhaps smiled upon Ole Miss, via Razorback fans not wanting to drive multiple hours, and assigned this game to Arkansas’ state capitol.

It’s seemingly good news for Ole Miss because in the history of the two schools exchanging blows, the Rebels have gone 8-6-1 in Little Rock, while their record in Fayetteville is 4-712-1*.

*While emotionally correct, the actual record for Ole Miss in Fayetteville is just 2-11.

Since the game is in Little Rock, perhaps Ole Miss can produce something that is non-trash, strictly based on the difference in the two records. While we await kickoff, let us relive the showdowns in the city that houses Arkansas’ legislative body.

So, year by year, or sort of:


1913/1914

Two games, two wins for Ole Miss. Say what you will about William Driver, head coach and head coach for two seasons only, but the man RAN LITTLE ROCK.

What brought about the end of the William Driver era? My first guess is World War I, but here are some notable losses from those two seasons:

  • VMI
  • Hendrix (8-6 loss, but I believe this is when touchdowns were worth a bushel and people were charged a nickel for attempting a forward pass, so I’m not sure how to interpret this loss)
  • Oauchita
  • Southwestern
  • Texas A&M (game was played in Beaumont, which should’ve resulted in people being thrown in prison)

1924

Under the direction of Chester Barnard, Ole Miss lost this game 20-0. But what’s really impressive is that he won his first two games, and then lost the next five by a combined score of 129-2. Though he rallied his team to win the last two games of 1924, clearly he was the HOUSTON NUTT OF 1924.

1952

Johnny Vaught’s visit to Little Rock as Ole Miss’ head coach, and he promptly tracked mud all through the house, didn’t bother using a coaster, and you better believe he left that toilet seat up in a 34-7 Ole Miss win.

1954/1956

Ole Miss lost both games by a combined score of 20-0, which included 1954’s 6-0 loss/punt orgy. I assume during both games it was raining, 33 degrees, and everyone in the stadium wished they had stayed home and watched it on the 64-inch ultra 4k radio.

1958

Ole Miss won 14-12, and I’m convinced it was because someone who was probably a mentor to Houston Nutt decided to go for two in the first quarter.

1960

Due to their generous spirit, Ole Miss gave Arkansas the gift of losing 10-7 to an eventual national champion. Somewhat related and because I am petty, I hope it was such an emotionally devastating loss that it is a never-ending source of lament for older Arkansas fans.

1982/1984/1986/1988

Whether it was Steve Sloan or Billy Brewer leading the Rebels into Little Rock, it went not great! Ole Miss was 0-3-1 during this decade, which, upon reflection, may have been part of a long con to convince Arkansas to keep playing Ole Miss in the state capital because since the 1988 loss, Ole Miss’ record in Little Rock is 3-0.

YOU SLY GENIUS, DOG BREWER.

(kisses fist, points to the sky)

1990

The 1990 version of this kinda-rivalry is one of the first Ole Miss games I can remember watching. It was also my first introduction to the soul-crushing feeling one gets when staring into the face of inevitable doom.

After Ole Miss took a 21-17 lead with 13:45 to play, a stalemate broke out, with Arkansas unable to score and Ole Miss most likely squandering chances to put the game away (I can’t remember if that happened, but it most certainly happened). On the last possession of the game, Arkansas had the ball at its own 36 with 59 seconds remaining.

Did the Ole Miss defense offer any resistance and make the Arkansas offense put in work? They did not!

The Razorbacks reached Ole Miss’ five-yard line with 12 seconds left and then this thing, which makes no sense even today, happened:

A couple of things to note here:

REC SPECS

Arkansas coach Jack Crowe going with the LETHAL short-sleeve dress shirt and tie combo.

DON’T HURT ‘EM, JACK.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention David Kellum’s confusion over who made the hit. Excited shouting paired with throwing darts as to who made the hit is radio gold. Pls unblock me, DK.

1992

Ah yes, 1992, the last hurrah of the Dog Brewer era. Ole Miss went 9-3 that season, which included a 17-3 win over Arkansas and a Liberty Bowl victory against Air Force. The following two seasons would produce a 6-5 and 4-7 records, respectively, and NCAA supermax prison probation.

FUN FACT: The cheatin’ that was going on in 1992 was essentially cited as a reason present-day Ole Miss should be sent back to NCAA supermax prison.

BONUS FUN FACT: If you think NCAA investigations are a collaborative effort between investigators and the institution in seeking truth and fairness, why do you still work here?

2012

You may recall a former Ole Miss head coach by the name of Hugh Freeze. If not, you probably know him best as the current offensive coordinator of the Arizona Hotshots.

In 2012, fresh off his first SEC win the previous week against a miserable Auburn team (a perfect 0-8 in the SEC that year), Freeze took his squad of young men who shouldn’t be slandered to Little Rock. It was a back and forth contest, with Ole Miss winning 30-27 on a last-second field goal.

Other than the field goal, the only thing I remember from that game is that at some point in the second half, Freeze called the exact same wide receiver screen play to Donte Moncrief (MIKE SHERIDAN STILL CAN’T BELIEVE BLACK PEOPLE ARE ABLE OWN NICE CARS WITHOUT GETTING SECRET PAYMENTS FROM WHITE PEOPLE) three straight times. When I say the exact same play, I mean the same formation and no attempt to make Arkansas think something different was going to happen.

The results were positive gains, maybe a first down or two, and Arkansas fans who have never been more livid about anything in their entire lives, which included 10 years of Houston Nutt. I can still hear their screams, and I weep because I was unable to bottle them for future consumption.

I have no idea what will happen tonight (other than assured CONSTERNATION), but I rest in the fact that it will probably be better than a four-touchdown loss in 40-degree weather with sideways rain in Fayetteville.

Arkansas has given up a lot of points, but that isn’t the defense’s fault

I spoke with Adam from ArkansasFight.com, and he gave us some very good insights. This Arkansas team isn’t really the same one that lost to North Texas.

1. QB Ty Storey and RB Rakeem Boyd seem to have emerged out of nowhere this season, having not done much at Arkansas before Chad Morris took over in Fayetteville. I’ll ask about their actual ability later, but were they highly anticipated players who the fans have been waiting to see on the field, or is their rise to prominence within the offense something that was unexpected? Similarly, has Morris unearthed some other players on the roster and gotten unexpected production from them?

Ty Storey definitely had hype coming out of high school, but the hype was squelched when he started getting passed up year after year. The little we did get to see him on the field last season did not give us very much hope for this year. However, you’re exactly right that he seems to be coming into his own now.

Rakeem Boyd was hyped mainly because of the Netflix series Last Chance U, and at the start of the season, we thought it was just that, hype. However, over the last few weeks, he’s starting to become the running back we all hoped we had.

2. Now onto that question about ability. Boyd is averaging 6.4 yards per carry this season and managed to surpass 100 yards on just 15 carries against Alabama. What’s his running style like? At 6’0 200 lbs, I assume he’s somewhat of a bruiser, but his long runs suggest something different.

Rakeem Boyd is filling the gap that we currently have in the running back decision. Once Rawleigh Williams III had to retire due to injuries, everything was put on Devwah Whaley. Now, Rakeem Boyd is helping filling in those voids. You’re exactly right that Boyd is somewhat of a bruiser. He’s not a shifty running back like we had with Alex Collins where he waits for the holes to open up. Instead, he tries to shoot through the gaps and hit the next gear. We haven’t had someone with that second gear in awhile, and Boyd might just be that running back.

3. Defensively, things haven’t gone as well for the Razorbacks (don’t worry ... we’re horrible at defense too). What’s the biggest problem on defense, and what’s the biggest strength?

Believe it or not, the defense was our shining light this season. John Chavis has really done a great job with our defense thus far. Chavis loves to create chaos with his defenses and you can tell with how the Razorback defense plays that they are always trying to strip the ball to get a turnover.

This is something that we haven’t had in Arkansas in years. If you cross out the Alabama game, our defense was putting up some pretty incredible numbers, but that was always overshadowed with how poor our offensive output was. The problem we still have with our defense is it seems to be we’re lacking fundamentals and we have huge brain farts at times. When you’re not the most athletic player on the field, you need to rely on fundamentals and technique. The “chaos” way of doing things sometimes takes precedent over that, which can be a roll of the dice at times.

4. Chad Morris was rumored to be a candidate for the Ole Miss open head coaching job, but we ultimately hired Matt Luke. How has Morris’ tenure been perceived by the Arkansas fanbase so far? Obviously, the results have been rough, but is he on a long leash based on the state of the program left by Bielema, or are losses to North Texas and Colorado State already driving fan sentiment towards the idea it was a bad hire?

When Chad Morris was hired, there was a lot of similarity to when Bielema was hired. Most people said “who’s that?” but then got more and more excited as they learned more about their past. I believe Chad Morris’s style was what Hog fans have been clamoring for after the Bielema approach of “we’re going to out-Alabama Alabama.” However, the losses to Colorado State and North Texas really put sour tastes in our mouth. Putting in Cole Kelly after interception after interception after interception in the North Texas game had fans calling into question his coaching philosophy with a resounding chorus of boos in the stands.

We all know it’s going to take some time, but some fans are tired of ALWAYS hearing that excuse. Half-way through the season, it seems we’re finally seeing progress with this team and that’s really all we want to see. Bielema only won 3 games his first season, however the team showed fight and grit in every game. This Chad Morris team is now showing that fight, so now I think he’s pulling people back on his side. This Ole Miss game in Little Rock is a huge game for this program.

5. What’s your prediction on the game? Give a score and how it gets there.

I’m a pessimist at heart with the Razorbacks. I love them, but they also burn me quite a bit. It’s easy to think we can beat any team after putting 30+ points against Alabama (don’t remind me what they scored on us). However, I’m in a wait-and-see mindset.

Our special teams are capable of giving up touchdown after touchdown, so that immediately makes me doubt we can get a win. However, our offense finally seems to be getting on the right page and making strides with our playmakers. Besides the Alabama game, our defense has not been that big of a worry. Little Rock is known to have magical games and devastating losses.

My feeling is this one could go either way, but since this is going up on Red Cup Rebellion, I have to pull for the Hogs. Let’s go 38-31 Razorbacks.

Should Ole Miss go back to playing games in Jackson?

Arkansas plays a game in its capital city. Should Ole Miss?

Tomorrow, Ole Miss and Arkansas will revisit their annual 60 minutes of insanity and maybe answer the question as to who between them will finish last in the SEC West.* Despite this being an SEC contest, this game will be held in War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Arkansas, a venue that is decidedly not of a quality expected in the Southeastern Conference or, really, any P5 conference. This seems strange! Little Rock is nearly a three-hour drive southeast of Fayetteville, requiring a certain level of travel and logistics that would be befitting of an away game, and precluding many fans—particularly University of Arkansas students—from attending in person.

*Come on, search your heart. You know it to be true.

So why do they do this? Is it a good idea? And, if so, should Ole Miss (and other SEC programs) do the same?

To be fair, there are a few good arguments for Arkansas having a game take place in Little Rock, even if only once a season. For starters, Fayetteville is in the far northwestern corner of the state of Arkansas. Little Rock, on the other hand, might as well be the bullseye in your Arkansas-shaped dartboard (why did you buy that, again?). For many Arkansas fans, particularly those from areas around West Memphis or Texarkana, a game in Little Rock is much less of a slog to get to and from. So there’s a geography plus for Little Rock.

There is also the added benefit of playing in the state capital, and doing so in a manner that’s inclusive to the entire state, that unifies the state behind the Razorbacks in favor of, say, Arkansas State. If anyone has spent time near or around Arkansans, this benefit of creating a rabid and borderline disturbingly-dedicated fan base is readily apparent. Seemingly everyone in the Natural State backs the Hogs, and having games in Little Rock certainly contributes to that.

Also, there’s a golf course next to the stadium that fans tailgate on. That’s kinda like the Grove! That’s really nice. In fact, it’s such a nice idea, that the University of Michigan copied it!**

**probably

So the answer to this is rather simple: Arkansas does this as a nod to the fans. Every year, they have a “home” football game off of campus, but in an easier-to-attend location. They are being accommodating, and the fans return the favor with their dedication to plastic hog hats and spirit fingers. It actually makes a lot of sense.

So should Ole Miss play in Jackson?

Ole Miss used to play a good share of its home games in Jackson. The main argument for doing this, as far as I can tell, is that Veterans Memorial Stadium in Jackson was, for some time, larger than Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. It also had lights, something which Vaught-Hemingway did not have until 1990. This meant that all of Ole Miss’ night games prior to that season were held in Jackson out of a necessity. Also, Jackson, much like Little Rock, is centrally located within Mississippi. Getting to Oxford from the Gulf Coast is a hassle. Getting to Jackson from the Gulf Coast is also a hassle—thanks, Highway 49!—but it is not nearly the same type of affair.

And perhaps such a decision would be good for better cultivating an Ole Miss fan base within the state of Mississippi, something which Ole Miss has not done particularly well relative to other SEC West programs.

But the arguments for just cannot outweigh the single argument against this move, and that’s that Veterans Memorial Stadium is just not a venue fit for SEC football. Or any football. I know that several high school games are played there, and that Jackson State plays there, and that an NFL preseason game was played there a dozen years ago (for real, the Saints played the Colts there in 2006 for some reason), but Jackson—and Jackson State, and the state of Mississippi—would be much better served by a newer, or more well-renovated football venue.

In addition, while Arkansas is a program that is beloved throughout its state, football programs in Mississippi don’t enjoy the same sort of privilege. Ole Miss and Mississippi State dominate certain regions of the state, and split interest amongst themselves elsewhere. Add to that the strong Southern Miss loyalty in and around Hattiesburg, and the creeping influence of LSU and Alabama in Mississippi, and it feels like a bit of a lost cause for Ole Miss to try to win over fans with a game in Jackson.

Ole Miss, one could argue, has as much a fan presence in the Memphis area as it does in Jackson. Keeping games in Oxford, and staking out north Mississippi and the Memphis area as “Ole Miss country” makes sense. It may be dumb, it may not be that ambitious, and it may be provincial, which is perfectly on brand for Ole Miss anyway.

All of this is to say that having at least one game a season in Little Rock works well for Arkansas; it probably would not work as well for Ole Miss, so we should just keep our football to ourselves in Oxford. That’s fine.

The LEGAL College Football Betting Guide: Week 7

PUT THE COFFEE DOWN. Coffee is for degenerate gamblers only.

On Aug. 1, 2018, betting on sports became legal in Mississippi. Federal and state law Now protect your God-given right to drive to Biloxi and blow hard-earned money on the over/under of some Tuesday night MAC game. To help guide you through the first season of legal college football gambling (because you certainly weren’t taking advantage of gray-area internet gambling sites before!), we’ve set up this weekly betting guide.

If someone could meet me in Tunica on Saturday morning, I need to borrow approximately $1,000 in small bills to make up for my performance last weekend.

Week 6 was our worst yet, posting a 1-3 record and driving our season total to an abysmal 12-14. Last season, I guided you to a 68 percent winning rate, so the very moral and wise line setters are taking that success out on me this season.

But you know what? Screw ‘em. Every week is a clean slate and a chance to pay off your Toyota 4Runner for which you paid about five grand over market value.

No. 7 Washington at No. 17 Oregon

Bet Washington to win at -160

I’m not a believer in Oregon, mainly because of their game against Stanford, when they blew a 17-point lead late in the second half. They didn’t let an up-tempo, high-flying, run and shoot offense come back on them—they let the heavy-sets, plodding and scheme-sound Stanford come back on them. The Huskies’ only loss came against Auburn in what was really a road game in Atlanta to kick off the year, though Washington struggled to get past horrible UCLA last week. I think they show up motivated and for an early 12:30 p.m. local time kick. The Huskies take down the Ducks.

No. 10 UCF at Memphis

Bet UCF to cover the five-point spread

Memphis just isn’t the same this year. The loss of quarterback Riley Ferguson and wide receiver Anthony Miller has been more impactful to the offense than expected. Defending national champs Central Florida, meanwhile, continue to roll week in and week out. The Liberty Bowl can be a difficult place to play when it fills up, but unless Ole Miss or Tennessee is the opponent, it rarely does any more. The Tigers can keep it within 10, but the Knights will cover five. Take that money and run.

No. 15 Wisconsin at No. 12 Michigan

Bet the under at 49 points

This game is going to be something 24-17 or 24-21, because it is the epitome of Big Ten football and most of their games end in that fashion. It’s a top-25 matchup with conference division title implications, so the coaches are going to play things conservatively to stay in this game for as long as possible to help their job statuses. Shea Patterson in games vs legit college defenses has not yet had a breakout, so we’re going to bet against that happening this week. Michigan’s defense is stout enough to hold Wisconsin’s rushing attack in check for the most part until late in the game.

Ole Miss at Arkansas

Bet the over at 67 points

I know 67 points seems like a lot, but have you watched this game recently? It is akin to a tornado wrapped into a hurricane filled with bees, sharks and swords. Chaos and calamity will undoubtedly occur for 60 minutes on Saturday. If the game ended at 77-73 in regulation with the National Guard brought in at halftime to clear the stadium of all fans and only radio broadcasts allowed due to the shear insanity of this game, it wouldn’t be surprising.

So what’d we get right and what’s dead wrong? Comment or tweet @redcuprebellion with your can’t miss picks or what casino you’ll be imbibing, eating and blowing your nest egg at this weekend.

Ole Miss vs. Arkansas is college football’s most insane series

Chaos (cha-os): a state of total confusion with no order.

Octavious Cooley never knew the defender was behind him. The Ole Miss tight end, sprinting downfield after a 31-yard catch and run, was so busy stiff-arming an Arkansas cornerback on his left that he didn’t realize the safety was closing in on his right until the ball’d been punched out. It tumbled to the ground and just trembled there, as if tied to a string keeping it from rolling out of bounds, until a Razorback defender hurtled himself on top of it.

“Fuck,” I muttered over a half-empty Miller Lite. “We’re gonna lose this game.”

My friends, a group of Mississippi ex-pats sprawled around a TV in the northern suburbs of Washington, D.C., rolled their eyes. Ole Miss was leading 31-7 midway through the second quarter of a 2017 matchup in Oxford. The offense, fueled by a breakout performance from quarterback Jordan Ta’amu in his first game as the starter, was cruising up and down the field against an overwhelmed Hogs defense.

Ten plays later, Arkansas scored. They pilfered an interception on the Rebels’ next drive and scored again. They kept scoring in the second half and by the time the clock hit zeros, they’d rallied from down 24 points to win, 38-37.

My profane post-fumble prediction wasn’t a moment of clairvoyance born of some advanced football acumen. I probably muttered the same thing 10 times that game. It revealed no more foresight than if I’d said it when the Razorbacks won the opening coin toss. It was a simple acknowledgment that anything—a 24-point comeback, a last-second field goal, a fourth-and-25 prayer—can happen in this rivalry.

For the better part of a decade, Ole Miss-Arkansas has been the most insane and unpredictable series in college football.


I grew up about a 10-minute walk from Little Rock’s War Memorial Stadium, where this Saturday’s Ole Miss-Arkansas game will take place—a game in which Vegas favors the Rebels by a touchdown but which everyone familiar with this series knows might as well be a coin flip.

Football rivalry is fueled not by wins and losses but by proximity. Raised by a pair of Ole Miss alumni in the heart of Hog country, I developed as searing a dislike of the Razorbacks as one can reasonably harbor against a sports team. I hated Clint Stoerner. I hated Matt Jones. I hated Wally Hall, the local sports writer whose daily columns in the Democrat-Gazette were objective in the same way that propaganda in Stalin’s Russia was.

But, boy, did I hate Houston Nutt. After his ignominious departure from Fayetteville and subsequent flameout in Oxford, it’s easy to forget that Hooty Dale helmed a pretty successful SEC program for a decade in the hills of northwest Arkansas. The Hogs went 7-3 against Ole Miss during that span, including a four-year winning streak from 2003-07 to close out Nutt’s tenure—a streak that coincided with my four years of high school, when I had to trudge into class on Monday and endure my friends’ jabs.

Ole Miss and Arkansas had coexisted as division opponents in neighboring states since the Razorbacks moved over from the old Southwest Conference in 1991, but Nutt’s hiring at Ole Miss in 2007 elevated the rivalry to previously unknown levels of lunacy. In his highly anticipated return to Fayetteville that first season, the game swung on an offensive pass interference that backed the Hogs out of field goal range in the final minute. I remember being sprawled on a cold metal bleacher at the top of Razorback Stadium, as emotionally spent as I’ve ever been after a Rebels win.

Nutt made it two in a row against his former team the following year, thumping the Hogs in Oxford. A friend from Little Rock and I spotted a jubilant (and as far as I could tell, intoxicated) Nutt after the game as he waited in the back seat of an SUV parked outside of a pizza joint on the Square. “What do you think about Mitch Mustain?” I asked through the window, referring to the former Razorback quarterback whose transfer two years prior played no small role in Nutt’s departure from Fayetteville. “FUCK MITCH MUSTAIN,” Nutt replied gleefully.


That was the last win Nutt ever notched over Arkansas. Two years later, his Rebels blew a 17-point lead in a home loss to the Hogs, extending Ole Miss’ conference losing streak to 10 games. Nutt was fired two weeks later.

The arrival of Hugh Freeze in Oxford—and, a year later, of Bret Bielema in Fayetteville—ushered the series into the peak of its frenzied hysteria.

2012

After a four-play, 55-yard drive brought Arkansas even with just over two minutes remaining, the Rebels marched downfield for a game-winning Bryson Rose field goal as time expired, stunning the crowd in Little Rock.

2013

With the game separated by just three points late in the third quarter, Bo Wallace connected on touchdown passes of 75 and 55 yards in the span of three minutes to hand Ole Miss a 34-24 win.

2014

A top-10 Ole Miss team that had started 7-0 and shocked Alabama was dismantled by an unranked Arkansas team, 30-0, on a cold, rain-drenched October afternoon in Fayetteville. I will forever remember it as the most miserable sports event I’ve ever attended.

2016

After 10 fourth-quarter points gave Ole Miss its first lead of the game, the Hogs embarked on a 10-play touchdown drive, taking the lead with 2:20 left on the board. Facing an all-or-nothing fourth-and-16, Chad Kelly’s desperation scamper came up one-yard shy of the first down.

Of course, nothing encapsulates the batshit insanity of this series like Fourth-and-Twenty-Five.


Anyone who’s ever attempted to bounce a football straight up in the air knows its not an easy thing to do. Taking its original oblong form from the inflated pig livers it was once made of, the ball gradually slimmed over the decades, reshaped by the rise of the forward pass into what’s technically referred to as a prolate spheroid. The perfect agent of chaos. The creators of the Madden video game employ an entire team of physicists who spend hours dropping and throwing and rolling footballs and measuring the results—the group’s technical director estimates a dropped football can bounce some 30,000 different directions.

When you factor in all of the other variables that accompany 22 men in padded armor bashing each other on a 160-foot wide field, the odds of Hunter Henry’s desperation lateral bouncing to one of his teammates on an October night in 2015 was somewhere near nonexistent.

Seventeen lead changes and over 1,100 yards of combined offense hadn’t been enough to settle the game in regulation. The Rebels scored easily to open the overtime period, then bagged a huge sack to force Arkansas into an impossible fourth-and-25.

I don’t remember where I was watching. I don’t remember much about what had transpired in the game up to that point. But the play itself is seared into my memory. Brandon Allen takes the snap, vainly searching downfield as he drifts to his left. He fires to tight end Hunter Henry, who catches it on the far sideline some 10 yards shy of the first down. As Henry is twirled to the ground by a defender, he heaves the ball over his shoulder in an act of pure desperation, catapulting it back into a scrum near the line of scrimmage.

Not only does the ball defy the overwhelming probabilities of physics by bouncing straight up into the air and into the arms of a Razorbacks player, it bounces straight up into the arms of All-SEC running back Alex Collins, who scampers through the chaos for a first down. The Razorbacks score two plays later and eventually convert a game-winning two-point conversion.

The Rebels finished the 2015 regular season 9-3, one game behind Alabama, who they’d shocked in Tuscaloosa earlier in the year. Had Henry’s desperation heave bounced in any other direction, Ole Miss would have headed to its first ever SEC Championship game.

Arkansas v Mississippi Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

On paper, Ole Miss is the easy favorite favorite heading into Saturday’s game in Little Rock. The Rebels are 4-2, having lost badly to Alabama and LSU but won handily against their other four opponents. The Razorbacks are just 1-5 under first year head coach Chad Morris, including a road loss at Colorado State and a home blowout at the hands of North Texas. Vegas favors Ole Miss by a full seven points. The S&P+ analytics system predicts the Rebs by six, giving them a 64 percent chance to win. ESPN’s Football Power Index ups it to 70 percent.

Throw all of that out the window: Ole Miss has been the Vegas pick three times during its four-game losing streak against the Hogs. Applying logic and order to college football’s most deranged series is an exercise in futility. Quarterback’s playing flawless games throw interceptions at the most inopportune times, back-breaking penalties erase critical plays, the laws of physics take their pants off and start doing handstands.

There is no predicting chaos. You might as well be guessing which way a fumbled football will bounce.

Your college football Week 7 viewing guide

When the #Pac12AfterDark is coming.

Strong slate of early and night games, but don’t sleep on our friends out west.

We’re closer to daylight savings time than not, which means that we’ve officially landed in the heart of the 2018 college football season. Notre Dame is somehow ranked No. 5, Texas has snuck into the top 10, and Florida remains lingering around the middle of the top 25. It’s weird, but it’s college football.

This week offers up a fat platoon of afternoon bouts across the country that hold lasting implications for the complexion of this year’s Playoff and New Year’s Day bowls. One particular Pac-12 bout could play the entire conference straight out of the CFB semifinal. One other could elevate a left coast club to the final four, depending on what happens elsewhere over the remainder of the season.

In short, there’s a lot going on, and much of that is happening simultaneously. Let us here at Red Cup Rebellion Dot Com help you navigate the mine field that is this season’s Week 7.

Games’ watchability are graded on a scale of chaos factor, rankings implications, and sheer weirdness potential. These metrics are moving targets from week to week and explained below. Good luck, dear friends.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11

Georgia Southern at Texas State

6:30 p.m. CT on ESPNU and streaming online at WatchESPN

Um, it’s football, and it’s Thursday, and it’s not Eagles at Giants, which will be ugly. This will be ugly, no doubt, but ugly for Texas State, who probably won’t have an answer for Georgia Southern’s option attack. Whatever. Go to dinner or something.

Texas Tech at TCU

6:30 p.m. CT on ESPN and streaming online at WatchESPN

OR tune in for the Red Raiders in Fort Worth, where Kliff Kingsbury’s club will try to dismantle an unruly, if questionable, TCU shop. POINTS POINTS POINTS.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12

Arizona at Utah

9 p.m. CT on ESPN and streaming online at WatchESPN

Would you like to spice up your Friday night college football experience with some real craziness? Would you like to be unreasonably awake at like 12:45 a.m. CT wondering why you’re unreasonably awake? Please watch this game, because it will be very, very strange.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13 (EARLY GAMES)

Tennessee at No. 21 Auburn

11 a.m. CT on SEC Network and streaming online at WatchESPN

Spencer Hall and Ryan Nanni bet this game straight up on the Shutdown Fullcast and nearly made Holly Anderson throw up. It’s going to be something like football — football-adjacent, perhaps — and neither side will feel all that great about the game after it’s over. BET THE UNDER.

Pitt at No. 5 Notre Dame

1:30 p.m. CT on NBC and streaming online at NBC Sports Live

If Pitt pulls off an upset in South Bend, the CFP committee must finally #PutPittIn

No. 2 Georgia at No. 13 LSU

2:30 p.m. CT, CBS and streaming online at CBS Sports Net

A rematch of the 2003 SEC Championship game? Why yes, don’t mind if we do.

No. 7 Washington at No. 17 Oregon

2:30 p.m. CT, ABC and streaming online at WatchESPN

Here’s where the Pac-12 needs to watch out if the conference wants representation in the semifinal this year. The Huskies may very well burn their chance at the Playoff with a loss, especially because we’re on the wrong side of Week 6. WATCHABILITY IS HIGH.

No. 22 Texas A&M at South Carolina

2:30 p.m. CT, SEC Network and streaming online at WatchESPN

Someone has to win this game, right?

No. 15 Wisconsin at No. 12 Michigan

6:30 p.m. CT on ABC and streaming online at WatchESPN

Yes, we know this is going off against Ole Miss and Arky, but let us please remind you: MAD HARBAUGH FACE FOR THREE HOURS.

NIGHT GAMES (DOES NOT INCLUDE THE #PAC12AFTERDARK; THEY ARE A DIFFERENT SUBHEADING)

Okay, there are no real night games to pay attention to other than Ole Miss “at” Arkansas and whatever Wisconsin and Michigan are doing, both of which will doubtless be weird. Instead, we calmly move on to the:

PAC-12 AFTER DARK

No. 19 Colorado at USC

9:30 p.m. CT on FS1 and streaming online at FOXSportsGO

OH HELL YEAH. SOME MORE NATIONAL IMPLICATIONS. If Colorado runs their table from here out, and if Washington falls apart down the stretch against Oregon or some other conference opponent, the Buffs may just generate very real College Football Playoff Controversy, which we should all root for, especially those among us who are banned from attending bowl games this season.

Explaining The Alliance of American Football, which just hired Hugh Freeze

The former Ole Miss coach will be an offensive coordinator in a new developmental spring football league.

Early Thursday afternoon, I awoke from a short nap. I was working from home and figured I’d grab a couple of Zs during lunch because, well, I’m an adult and I can nap during the day if I want.

I rolled over and gabbed my phone, which greeted me with the following notification from ESPN: “Ex-Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze to be OC of Arizona Hotshots of The Alliance of American Football.”

My half-asleep brain made several feeble attempts to organize and analyze the information it had just been fed. Freeze was becoming an offensive coordinator at one of the Arizona schools? Had I missed news of a firing? Wait, no it says the Arizona Hotshots. What the hell are the Arizona Hotshots? Is that the Arena Football League? No, no, The Alliance of American Football. What the hell is that?

After tearing down the cobwebs in my mind, some quick research provided me the following information...

The Arizona Hotshots are a professional football team that does not yet exist and will play in a developmental spring football league that does not yet exist.

The eight team league is scheduled to launch in February of 2019, and while it won’t be a formal farm system like minor league baseball or the NBA G League, it hopes to fill a similar role.

“Our objective is to take some of those people who can’t quite make it and make them into quality NFL players,” former NFL exec Bill Pollian, who’s helped the league assemble personnel and coaching staffs, told ESPN.

The league will try to succeed where others, like the AFL and XFL, have failed. It already has a CBS TV deal and a Starter apparel contract.

“Since NFL Europe expired 10 years ago, there’s been a real desire and frustration by NFL personnel people that there’s a missing link as far as a developmental type league for prospects that weren’t quite ready,” said former Cleveland Browns GM Phil Savage told ESPN.

The league will look to bring in players on the fringes of NFL rosters who need development and reps. It’ll likely gun for big names like Johnny Manziel, Tim Tebow and Trent Richardson. The most notable name associated with the Alliance is Steve Spurrier, who’s been lured out of retirement to coach the Orlando franchise.

The other franchise cities are Atlanta, Birmingham, Memphis, San Antonio, San Diego, Salt Lake City and Phoenix, the new home of Freeze.

So how does Freeze factor into this weirdness?

The upside for the Alliance, which is trying to bring in headline-worthy names, is obvious. In addition to Spurrier and Freeze, the league will employ Mike Singletary (coaching in Memphis), Brad Childress and Michael Vick (both coaching in Atlanta) as well as Troy Polamalu, Hines Ward and Jared Allen as execs.

Rick Neuheisel, a longtime head coach in the Pac-12, will helm the team in Phoenix. In addition to Freeze, his staff will include former Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti.

It’s a bit more surprising from the perspective of Freeze, who many thought could return to the collegiate ranks next season as a coordinator or perhaps even a head coach. The NCAA’s shockingly light punishment of Freeze means he could do so without any limitations. Despite the whole using-his-school-phone-to-call-prostitutes thing, Freeze’s success in Oxford should make him one of the most coveted offensive minds on the market.

But perhaps a developmental league is just right for Freeze. After a year spent rehabbing his image and tweaking his offensive philosophy in an experimental league, he could reenter the collegiate market with a higher stock.

Or maybe this is all some oddly lucid dream. I’m going back to sleep.

JUCO guard Bryce Williams commits to Ole Miss over OSU

The Rebs add an explosive junior college guard.

Kermit Davis and his staff have been traveling all over the country, recruiting here and there from high school four and five-stars to junior colleges all around the Southeast. Now, all that leg work is paying off with their third 2019 commit.

Junior college shooting guard Bryce Williams, who most believed was heading to Stillwater to play for Oklahoma State, has verbally committed to Ole Miss. The Daytona State College prospect picked the Rebels over offers from the Cowboys, Florida Atlantic, Florida Gulf Coast, and Louisiana Tech.

In 24 games at Daytona State last season, he averaged 14.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game while shooting 45.9 percent from the field and 34.9 percent from three-point range. The Tampa, Fla. native joins Rodney Howard and Antavion Collum in the 2019 class. For now.

Williams is still awaiting a ranking from 247Sports at this time.

How does he fit in?

The 6’3, 180-pounder jumps off the film. He is an explosive guard who can attack the rim but also do damage from the outside. His skill set is multi-faceted, giving him options to either be a spot-up guy from deep, take you off the bounce and attack the rim, or toss you in a blender and pull-up for a mid-range jumper.

He actually reminds me of Terence Davis after watching him play. And this will be greatly needed since T.D. is gone after the 2018-2019 season. Depending on how he meshes with Kermit’s system on defense, he could be a change of pace guy off the bench who pushes tempo and forces the issue on both ends of the floor. Either way, he is a nice compliment to this class and will be a fun one to watch develop with this staff.

Highlights

Podcast Rebellion: Previewing Ole Miss vs. Arkansas

We brought in Twitter’s Macho Man to preview Saturday’s matchup in the Big Rock.

The good guys travel to Little Rock on Saturday for what seems like a turning-point game. Matt Luke’s team might be 4-2, but let’s be honest, there are times it feels like they’re 2-4. Arkansas is just 1-5, but the insane recent history of this series tells us that probably doesn’t matter.

Bunkie Perkins from SB Nation and the Twitter Hall of Fame is here to preview the SEC’s most unpredictable matchup. We discuss what exactly Arkansas is at this moment, why the Hogs and Rebels will almost certainly play a tight one, the infrastructure of War Memorial Stadium, the curious case of Ty Storey and Cole Kelley a.k.a. Baby Mallett and the dilemma that is the Ole Miss offense.

We also pick Week 7 games against the spread and give you EIGHT EXCLUSIVE LOCKS OF THE WEEK. Congrats on making money, jerks.


Week 7 is here, y’all, so go see Greg and the good folks at LB’s Meat Market, the inaugural sponsor of this here podcast, and the best protein for your Ole Miss grilling needs this weekend.

If you like gambling and good food, go see our good friend Kelly English at the Magnolia House in Biloxi’s Harrah’s Gulf Coast. Blackjack, slots, Southern cooking—what’s not to like?

When you’re looking to stock the cooler for football season, ask for Old Dominick at your local package store and be sure to cop their brand spankin’ new high rye bourbon, Huling Station. They’re located in downtown Memphis, trace their roots back to Italy, and take pride in providing you a true sip of Memphis.

Ole Miss-Arkansas has been pure mayhem

Throw out the odds and statistics. Welcome to mayhem.

If the last few outcomes of Ole Miss-Arkansas football have taught viewers anything, it’s that approaching this matchup with calculated reasoning is about the dumbest possible thing you could do.

So far this season, the Razorbacks look nothing like what offensive-minded Chad Morris had planned to deploy in Fayetteville. They’re 1-5, the low point being a 41-17 home loss to North Texas. Still, there’s plenty of prior evidence that suggests Morris is in fact a very good coach, and they could very well form an identity mid-season. Before last week, no team had scored more than 23 points against Alabama this season—the Hogs put up 31.

Ole Miss, meanwhile, remains as fragile as ever against Power Five competition, but their season-opening win over Texas Tech shows they’re capable of taking out teams with less firepower.

As two of the SEC’s most volatile programs give it another go on Saturday, expecting the unexpected has become the norm.

Arkansas has won four straight vs. Ole Miss, and it’s getting harder and harder to explain away these losses.

It’s not that the Rebels have played poorly against the Hogs. The past three matchups have been decided by a total of six points and in each case Ole Miss played objectively better football. I can say that rather definitively using Bill C.’s win expectancy, which takes the most important stats of a game and says how often you could have expected to win. Think of it this way: based on your statistical performance, you could expect to win this game X percent of the time.

Based on post-game win expectancy, the Rebels should have won each time, but they’ve found new and exciting ways to disappoint fans every time.

The heartbreak of November 7, 2015 was the game of the year.

Everyone remembers the 4th-and-25 lateral in overtime that cut off Ole Miss’ path to Atlanta, but the stats suggest the Rebels should have sealed the deal in regulation. Fueled by an otherworldly game from Chad Kelly, a ruthlessly efficient Rebel offense posted a 61 percent success rate, compared to Arkansas’ 48 percent.

To make up for their relative inefficiency, Arkansas enjoyed 12 gains of 20 or more yards that evening. The Razorbacks were consistently backed up, but Brandon Allen completed 14 of 18 for 194 yards on passing downs. Dave Wommack’s defense had countless opportunities to kill drives in these situations, but remained helpless through four quarters.

The 2016 loss was the last time Ole Miss was relevant (on the field, at least).

The following October, Hugh Freeze’s team rolled into Fayetteville ranked No. 12 in the AP Poll after convincing wins over Georgia and Memphis. This would be the start of a three-game skid that felt a lot longer, and the Rebels haven’t been ranked since.

Given how poorly the Ole Miss offense performed in the second half (five of their seven drives were scoreless), they probably deserved to lose this one. It certainly didn’t help that they gifted Austin Allen’s squad an average starting field position of their own 33-yard line, while Kelly and friends had to start at their 25 on average. Their win expectancy of 70 percent was rooted largely in their edge in gaining chunks of yards at a time (5.8 yards per play compared to Arkansas’ 5.1), but the Hogs’ plodding, ball-control approach won the day.

Last year’s tilt was supposed to be Jordan Ta’amu’s coming out party. Instead, it was remembered for a blown lead.

With Ta’amu making his first start in the wake of Shea Patterson’s season-ending injury, Ole Miss raced out to a 31-7 lead midway through the second quarter. But a pair of quick turnovers spotted the Hogs two touchdowns heading into halftime and a mind-melting fumble in the fourth quarter polished off the collapse: Razorbacks 38, Rebels 37.

Ole Miss offensive coordinator Phil Longo had built the lead with four explosive touchdown drives that lasted an average of 59 seconds. The big plays weren’t always there later in the game, but they were just functional enough that they could have held on to win, had they taken care of the ball. Instead, they turned the ball over three times, and Arkansas scored a touchdown immediately following each of them, including on a scoop-and-score that brought them to within two points. All things considered, the defense did their part in holding off the Razorbacks, forcing a turnover on downs, interception, and fumble in the second half — too bad it didn’t matter.

To win it, Arkansas’ kicker drilled a 34-yard field goal, despite Matt Luke using all three timeouts in an attempt to ice him. The game didn’t really need this ending to make it memorable, but it bolstered the case that you can consistently rely on this clash to be hilarious and dumb.

Vegas is confident in an Ole Miss road win on Saturday, spotting the Rebels a full seven-point line. Recent history says to throw out the odds.

THE SEASON: ULM

That’s more like it.

Can Kermit Davis steal more blue-chippers from Memphis?

A recent report claims that Memphis is losing ground with the top-50 hoops prospect.

When highly-touted hoops prospect D.J. Jeffries de-committed from Kentucky back in July, it was a foregone conclusion in most ‘crootin circles that the four-star power forward would end up with the Memphis Tigers. Jeffries’ messy de-commitment seemed to coincide perfectly with Memphis’ hiring of Penny Hardaway, who coached Jeffries on the AAU circuit.

In early September, reports began filtering out that Jeffries’ recruitment was a three-horse race between Memphis, Ole Miss and Mississippi State. Then came a report this Tuesday from Isaac Simpson of Rivals.com...

Simpson didn’t elaborate on his vague statement that Jeffries’ recruitment to Memphis “may not be so positive,” but if true, that puts the Rebels in a very real situation to haul him in. His 247Sports Crystal Ball has already dropped Memphis into a close race with the two Magnolia State schools.

Jeffries, the No. 1 overall player in Mississippi and a top-50 prospect nationally, officially visited Memphis, Oxford and Starkville back-to-back-to-back in September. His dad said last month that Jeffries will ink during the early signing period, which begins November 11th, leading to speculation that a decision could come sooner rather than later.

Former Rebels coach Andy Kennedy began recruiting him in middle school and new head coach Kermit Davis picked up where he left off and appears to have positioned the Rebs in as good a spot as any.

And please believe that Jeffries is worth the price of admission. Here’s what I wrote about him last month.

At 6’7 and 200-pounds, he runs the floor like a guard, can dish with the best of them in transition, has a steady jumper, and can leap from the free-throw line for a dunk like it’s nothing. He is equally as capable moving without the rock, spotting up for three, and rolling to the hoop for a finish with either hand. He’s an outstanding athlete who could play anywhere from the two to the four in Kermit’s system.

If Ole Miss can land Jeffries, another blue-chipper could follow.

When Jeffries made his official visit to Oxford last month, he was joined by his cousin, fellow four-star Memphis native, Chandler Lawson.

Lawson played for Penny Hardaway at Memphis East for three years but opted to transfer to Oak Hill Academy in Virginia for his senior year in hopes of playing an even more extensive national schedule and improving his stock as a top 100 recruit.

Kansas and Memphis are heavy favorites for the nation’s No. 77 prospect, but Ole Miss recently received a few votes on his Crystal Ball. It’s certainly good news that Lawson left his official visit to Kansas (where his brother plays) without committing.

In addition to being kin to Jeffries, Lawson is friends with Dude Collum, a three-star Memphis product who committed to Ole Miss in mid-September. It wouldn’t be too crazy to expect the three to think about playing college ball together, right?

That’s what Davis and his staff are banking on.

Matt Corral and Elijah Moore look like the real deal

These two young guns could produce fireworks in the coming seasons.

It’s tough to find worthwhile takeaways from a game against a team like Louisiana-Monroe. Sure, it was great to see the defense keep the Warhawks’ offense in relative check (considering their number of offensive possessions), but I hesitate to look too far into what worked and what didn’t given the level of competition. S&P+ ranks ULM as the ninth worst team in all of the FBS.

That being said, this was the first time we got to see the backup offense operate with any level of legitimacy. Sure, Matt Corral played at the end of the Southern Illinois game, but that was mostly handing off—he attempted just two passes.

The ULM game was different. Corral was a perfect 10-for-10 passing with 143 yards through the air and two touchdowns. He added another 78 yards rushing on six carries, including a 61-yard touchdown run. Corral’s raw QBR (a QB metric developed by ESPN and set on a scale to 100) was 99.9. When adjusting for the difficulty of the opponent, that QBR drops all the way to 99.6. Yeah ... not much.

Corral was helped a lot by true freshman receiver Elijah Moore, who had four catches, three of which came from the California signal caller. That duo will be asked to do a lot next year, as starting quarterback Jordan Ta’amu and star receivers D.K. Metcalf, A.J. Brown and DaMarkus Lodge all leave the program. It was nice to see Corral and Moore connect well Saturday.

The Corral-Moore connection is even more impressive when taking situational context into account.

Here are the three completions between Moore and Corral, all of which came on the same drive in the fourth quarter.

  1. Third-and-11 on Corral’s first possession without all the elite receivers: Corral finds Moore for 13 yards and a first down.
  2. Third-and-12: Corral finds Moore for 16 yards and a first down.
  3. First-and-10: Corral finds Moore for a 24-yard touchdown.

That drive ended up being the last one in which Corral was allowed to throw the ball, but it’s instructive for how this Rebel offense might develop moving forward with Corral holding the reins.

Corral found Moore on the only two third downs he faced without the starting receivers, and Moore picked them up. He also caught Corral’s only touchdown with the two-deeps. Beyond that, Corral only threw five passes to the twos, and three of those five went to Moore. It’s pretty obvious there’s a real chemistry between these two. Expect to see Moore eat up targets next year as the rest of the receivers work to step up.

Things don’t look great for next year’s offense. The line will replace at least three starters (including first-round NFL Draft pick Greg Little), and the aforementioned receivers are all gone. That being said, Corral, Moore and current starting running back Scottie Phillips (destroyer of worlds), could help keep the offensive drop-off in check. At any rate, Moore appears poised for WR1 duties in 2019, and that’s just fine.

If Saturday is any indication, the unexpected recruiting coups of Corral and Moore might prove to be real linchpins to any long-term turnaround effort on the offensive side of the ball next season. We’re not here to talk about next season’s defense, so this is the end of the post.

Week 7 Ole Miss CONFIDENCE REPORT

We step back from the ledge before plummeting into the abyss, but will the relief be more than temporary?

We continue with our weekly series that assesses my confidence, using a scale of one to five Cowboy Hat-Wearing Matt Lukes, in Ole Miss’ ability to win the remaining games on its schedule. For a refresher on how this works or if you want to remember a time before losing to two SEC opponents by a combined score of 107-23, click here.

The big-picture good news about Ole Miss’ shredding of Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday is that the Rebels, from the start, finally shredded a team qualified for said shredding. The Warhawks were and are terrible, but we finally saw a combination of the Ole Miss offense leaving no doubt in the first half, while the defense did enough that it was a six-possession lead at halftime.

The question at present is can this combination carry over against the rest of the schedule, which includes six SEC teams and no more Louisiana-Monroes. However, the good news is there are no more opportunities to be run through Alabama’s wood chipper or ground into a fine paste by LSU.

Through Ole Miss’ two SEC games, we’ve seen a defense that has been excellent at showing no ability to look remotely competent, and an offense whose future NFL receivers can’t get consistent separation (for whatever reason) and a quarterback struggling to make throws. That blend has proven to have less of a punch than a mixed drink at The Library that you paid $40 up front for the privilege of being able to buy.

In the first quarter alone this season, Ole Miss has been outscored 42-10. Throw in the second quarter because you have to if you want a full accounting of the first half, and the deficit explodes to 77-13. That, friends, is what’s known as SEEMS BAD.

How Ole Miss goes about preventing games from running away from them before 30 minutes expire is of great debate among the people who somehow got sucked into being Ole Miss fans (OUR CROSS TO BEAR). It’s not exactly fair to the offense, but most of the talk focuses on what the Ole Miss offense can do because, other than play with 20 guys, there’s not much the defense can do right now.

The most common bit of hollerin’ solutions relates to giving our stocky son Scottie Phillips the ball more, which certainly isn’t the worst idea. The problem with that is running just to say we’re running it isn’t a sensible direction.

When teams show Ole Miss seven-man defensive fronts and there are only six blockers (five offensive linemen and a tight end), that makes no sense. In that situation, there is cash money to be made on the outside.

The issue at hand is why can’t Ole Miss make that cash money on the outside. There’s plenty of talent at receiver to make it, but it never came to pass (consistently) against Alabama and LSU. Why can’t those receivers make plays?

Is it related to scheme, does Ole Miss have a tell, are receivers not reading the coverages correctly, is Jordan Ta’amu not making the right reads (both in coverage and when to hand off), are they too obsessed with pushing the ball down the field, are they freaked out because they almost need to score on every possession? The answer is, I don’t know!

I do know that if there’s any chance at 6-6 or 7-5, Ole Miss has to win receiver-defensive back-quarterback battles with a high degree of consistency against talent. They do that and we’ll be amazed by the number of six- and five-man fronts we’ll see, which means Phillips can cook and the quarterback draw, which was so effective last season, can come back to life.

Arkansas

Do we think Chad Morris has stopped laughing from the first 30 seconds of film he watched on Wesley McGriff’s defense? Well, the joke is on you, Chad, because WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE OUR EYE DISCIPLINE THIS WEEK.

Related, some Arkansas tight end will catch like 12 passes for 175 yards. Of course, he’ll trail an Arkansas wide receiver who will top 200 yards. And let’s not sleep on an Arkansas running back who will coast to 125 yards on 15 carries.

The only reason this game is not DEATH AWAITS US ALL is that it’s in Little Rock and not in Fayetteville, the second* graveyard of Ole Miss football.

*Bryant-Denny is the first, as there is LITERALLY a cemetery next to the stadium.

CONFIDENCE LEVEL:

Auburn

The good news is that Auburn appears to be headed down the same path as Bobby Lowder and Colonial Bank. The bad news is they still have two weeks to get their stuff together before coming to Oxford, which they will because #WAOM and have never played anyone who is on their way to the bottom of the crater.

Teams rising from the crater, yes, but never those in full plummet. I can hear Gus now, after beating Georgia, crediting the Ole Miss game as the one that turned their season around.

CONFIDENCE LEVEL:

South Carolina

Normally, I use this space to besmirch Coach Boom, but I thought I should bring a stunning development to everyone’s attention. It turns out that there are no rules against firing your defensive coordinator in the middle of the season. Who knew!

CONFIDENCE LEVEL:

Texas A&M

In preparation* for writing this week’s edition of the Confidence Report, I read what I wrote last week. In this very space, I made mention of Matt Luke’s decision to kick a field goal on fourth down from the one-foot line, while trailing 28-3.

One week later, I am quite sure he regrets his decision, believing he should’ve kicked on third down.

*Preparation goes against everything I stand for

CONFIDENCE LEVEL:

Vanderbilt

Are Matt Luke and Derek Mason friends? Could they, hypothetically, get along well in an environment in which they happened to be close?

No reason, just curious.

CONFIDENCE LEVEL:

Mississippi State

Joe Moorhead may not get that Heisman on Nick Fitzgerald’s bookshelf, but that Music City Bowl MVP trophy will be a nice consolation prize.

CONFIDENCE LEVEL:

Podcast Rebellion: Oh look, another 11 a.m. kickoff

The haters, of which there are many, love putting us in the sun.

Oh joy, Ole Miss has another early kickoff. The Rebels’ Oct. 10 home game against Auburn has been slated for an 11 a.m. start, meaning we all have to get up early and stand around in the sun.

We also take a look around the conference and recap Week 6. Is Alabama just bored at this point? Is Arkansas getting better? Will LSU hit the skid here soon? Are the Aggies peaking at the right time? Can State continue to win despite having little-to-no passing game?


The Rebs might be on the road, but you can still go see Greg and the good folks at LB’s Meat Market, the inaugural sponsor of this here podcast and the best protein for your Ole Miss grilling needs.

If you like gambling and good food, go see our good friend Kelly English at the Magnolia House in Biloxi’s Harrah’s Gulf Coast. Blackjack, slots, Southern cooking—what’s not to like?

When you’re looking to stock the cooler for football season, ask for Old Dominick at your local package store. You’ve been waiting and it’s finally here, Huling Station High Rye Bourbon. Go get it off the shelves before it’s gone. They’re located in downtown Memphis, trace their roots back to Italy, and take pride in providing you a true sip of Memphis.

Podcast Rebellion: Oh look, another 11 a.m. kickoff

The haters, of which there are many, love putting us in the sun.

Oh joy, Ole Miss has another early kickoff. The Rebels’ Oct. 10 home game against Auburn has been slated for an 11 a.m. start, meaning we all have to get up early and stand around in the sun.

We also take a look around the conference and recap Week 6. Is Alabama just bored at this point? Is Arkansas getting better? Will LSU hit the skid here soon? Are the Aggies peaking at the right time? Can State continue to win despite having little-to-no passing game?


The Rebs might be on the road, but you can still go see Greg and the good folks at LB’s Meat Market, the inaugural sponsor of this here podcast and the best protein for your Ole Miss grilling needs.

If you like gambling and good food, go see our good friend Kelly English at the Magnolia House in Biloxi’s Harrah’s Gulf Coast. Blackjack, slots, Southern cooking—what’s not to like?

When you’re looking to stock the cooler for football season, ask for Old Dominick at your local package store. You’ve been waiting and it’s finally here, Huling Station High Rye Bourbon. Go get it off the shelves before it’s gone. They’re located in downtown Memphis, trace their roots back to Italy, and take pride in providing you a true sip of Memphis.

The GAME OF THORNBERRIES rolls into the other Grove

Our friend Bunkie Perkins returns to preview the Golfsharks’ trip to Nashville.

Red Cup Rebellion remains, for yet another season, in its truest and purest of forms … as a golf blog. RCR raises its handicap to again let Bunkie Perkins under the ropes to follow the Ole Miss Golf Team during their Fall 2018 season. This feature will preview the tournaments, the courses, the Ole Miss golfers, and the field each week, and as has become canon for this review, cover in great detail the many exploits of THE BY GOD NUMBER ONE AMATEUR GOLFER IN THE ENTIRE KNOWN UNIVERSE, THE 2017 NCAA GOLFING CHAMPION AND NUMBER ONE COLLEGE GOLFER IN THE SEVEN KINGDOMS ... LORD BRADEN THORNBERRY, FROM CLUBHOUSE OXFORD, FIRST OF HIS NAME, KING OF THE 19th HOLE AND THE FIRST TEE, MAKER OF BIRDIES, THE BREAKER OF PARS, THE RULER AND PROTECTOR OF AN EXPEDITED PACE OF PLAY … LONG MAY HE DRIVE.

The last time we saw our heroes:

The Golf Rebs went on a bit of a Midwest jaunt this week to the land of cheese and rampant heart disease to take on a Big 10-heavy lineup at the Erin Hills Invitational in Milwaukee, Wisc. The event started off fine enough for the Rebs, with the team carding a +2 (290) score after Day 1. The first day team leader, Cecil “Lil Precious” Wegener, dropped a -2 (70) on the field while LORD THORNBERRY did his normal LORD THORNBERRY thing and started off the event with a steady round of -1 (71). The biggest Day 1 surprise came from Senior Josh Seiple. Seiple, playing as an individual this week, started the event with a -2 (70) of his own.

Any promise that Day 1 may have had was quickly erased by wind and sideways rain on Day 2. Really, this looks like totally fun golf weather.

Squad Rebels struggled in the conditions and their team score after Day 2 ballooned to +18. Thankfully most of the field also had a tough time in tougher conditions and the team remained in fifth place after the second day. THORNBERRY, Wegener, and freshman Jackson “Pledge” Suber all had scores of +3 (75) on the day. Even with the conditions, Josh Seiple continued his excellent play. His second round even par (72) put him in the top three on the individual leaderboard headed into the final round.

Be it a pep talk from Coach Malloy, or a good night’s sleep, or an all cheese buffet for dinner the night before (I’ve never been to Wisconsin, but I assume that’s what they eat), the Rebels came out as a completely different team on the final day. The team went on an absolute birdie siege of Erin Hills in Round 3, carding 16 birdies and 2 eagles en route to a team score of -11 (277) to close out the tournament. The round was the second lowest shot by any team all week and got the Rebels into a fourth place finish at a total of +7, behind Marquette at +4, Arizona State at -4, and Northwestern at -6.

SIR THORNBIRDIES stormed up the leaderboard on the final day with a round of -4 (68). The score got him into a tie for 5th place. It was a historic finish for OUR LORD because the top 10 placement made him the all-time program leader in top 10 finishes in a career. The entire Ole Miss golf record book might as well just be a big picture of KING TED at this point. Not to be outdone, Josh Seiple continued his unprecedented tournament play in Round 3 at Erin Hills. The Senior capped off his week with a -1 (71) to finish the tournament at -3 and solo fourth place. The finish was the best of Seiple’s career and really gives the group some hope of more backend help for the team scores heading into the spring season.

Cecil Wegener continued his stellar play of late, getting into the house at even par (72) on the final day. He finished at T-10, his first top 10 this year. After two tough opening rounds, Ridgeland Freshman Jack Gnam, who was making his first appearance as part of the five-man team, rebounded with a -2 (70) on Day 3 to complete his tournament at +9 and T-39. Rounding out the scoring for the Rebels was redshirt freshman Charlie Miller. Miller, like Gnam, had tough sledding the first two days but absolutely went off on Day 3, carding a -5 (67) on the final day, a round that included five birdies on the inward nine.

Just a really promising final round for the entire team.

Golfweek Rankings:

Team: 53*; Individual: THE COUNT OF STROKES UNDER PAR: 115*; Jackson “Pledge” Suber: 71* (*don’t pay much attention to the rankings this early on in the season).

This Week’s Tournament:

The Franklin American Mortgage Intercollegiate, October 7-9.

The Course: The Grove – Nashville, TN

The less bourbon-smelling, sun dress-infested Grove of the two. A 7,300 yard par-72 Greg Norman design that is part of some real estate/sustainable community project that might be the most Caucasian thing I’ve ever seen. Look for yourself.

The Ole Miss team:

TED PUTTER JR. (Senior, Olive Branch, Miss.): Finished T-5 at Erin Hills with a score of -3, including a final round -4 (68). The placement made him the Ole Miss career leader in top 10s, a record that had previously stood for 30 years. Looks to make it a three-peat next week at The Grove — the other Grove, mind. He won the tournament in 2016 and 2017.

Jackson Suber (Freshman, Tampa, Fla.): Not the Pledge’s best week but it’s kind of hard to complain about a true freshman ONLY finishing tied for 33rd on the week.

Charlie Miller (Redshirt Freshman, Jackson, Miss.): Shook off two rough rounds to start the week to post an absolute gem of a -5 (67) in Round 3 to help the team spring into fourth place.

Cecil Wegener (Sophomore, Jackson, Miss.): Continues a great pace this fall. Backed up to Top 25s with a Top 10 at Erin Hills.

Josh Seiple (Senior, Castle Rock, Colo.): His best tournament of his Rebel career. Rounds of 70-72-71 to finish in fourth place as an individual with a score of -3. A great week for the Senior.

Jack Gnam (Freshman, Ridgeland, Miss.): Got his first team start of his career at Erin Hills. Finished T-39 but fired a -2 (70) on the event’s final day.

The field:

Middle Tennessee, Cincinnati, No. 14 Louisville, No. 32 College of Charleston, Kennesaw State, Kentucky, Liberty, Louisiana Tech, Memphis, Purdue, South Dakota State (my gosh, they have a golf team?!), No. 45 South Florida.

Top individuals who are playing for second behind the LORD OF THE SEVEN PINGDOMS:

No. 8 Matthias Schmid – Louisville; No. 38 Timmy Hildebrand – Purdue; No. 43 Ryoto Furuya – USF; No. 66 Hunter Dunagan – College of Charleston.

If you want to follow the action:

Golfstat and Ole Miss Men’s Golf Twitter are your top sources.

Next tournament:

The Warrior Princeville Invitational, Makai Golf Club, Kauai, Hawaii. October 28-30. The final aloha to the fall golf season.

Ole Miss opens as -7.5 favorite against Arkansas in Little Rock

The line could come down, but two possessions feels a bit high.

Ole Miss plays Arkansas this year not in Fayetteville, but in Little Rock’s War Memorial Stadium. That fact is significant because Ole Miss fares far better against SOOIE PIG when the game takes place not in Fayetteville. The Rebs have won the last two contests in Little Rock, and they’ve won the last two in Jackson, on what could be termed “neutral sites.”

Both clubs are all over the map this year. Arkansas played a ranked Texas A&M within a touchdown in Jerryworld a few weeks back and scored 31 points against Bama, but also lost to Colorado State and North Texas. Ole Miss has racked up 70 points twice this season — admittedly against second-class competition — and entirely crumbled in the face of No. 1 Alabama and No. 5 Alabama. Most of that blame rests on the Rebs’ Swiss cheese approach to football defense.

What all this preamble means is that the result of Ole Miss’ Saturday bout with Arkansas this year is entirely unpredictable, as it is every season. Fourth-and-25 perfectly sums up the kernel of the Ole Miss-Arkansas rivalry — yes, for its sheer insanity, but also for its typical stupidity. Here, let’s watch that again, together.

And that craziness brings us to this: the betting line that favors the Rebs in Little Rock, -7.5.

Hm.

That feels both too high and too low at the same time. SB Nation’s go-to sportsbook OddsShark currently holds the Rebs as -6.5 favorites, which also feels too high and too low. The Rebs have played like shit in both conference games they’ve faced this season, and Arkansas is never an uncomplicated foe, and again, Ole Miss has a bad defense and a streaky offense. A -7.5 line (or -6.5, for that matter) is utterly hysterical to consider, much less throw earned money at.

Thing is, if you’re degenerate enough to lay actual dough on this game, you better do so straight-up. Because there’s nothing in these teams’ mutual history that should make you like a touchdown advantage for Ole Miss. You’re better off burning those bills as kindling for the first fall backyard fire of the year.

Flip a coin for winner, and go with that. That’s what’s happening in Little Rock on Saturday.

Ole Miss opens as -7.5 favorite against Arkansas in Little Rock

The line could come down, but two possessions feels a bit high.

Ole Miss plays Arkansas this year not in Fayetteville, but in Little Rock’s War Memorial Stadium. That fact is significant because Ole Miss fares far better against SOOIE PIG when the game takes place not in Fayetteville. The Rebs have won the last two contests in Little Rock, and they’ve won the last two in Jackson, on what could be termed “neutral sites.”

Both clubs are all over the map this year. Arkansas played a ranked Texas A&M within a touchdown in Jerryworld a few weeks back and scored 31 points against Bama, but also lost to Colorado State and North Texas. Ole Miss has racked up 70 points twice this season — admittedly against second-class competition — and entirely crumbled in the face of No. 1 Alabama and No. 5 Alabama. Most of that blame rests on the Rebs’ Swiss cheese approach to football defense.

What all this preamble means is that the result of Ole Miss’ Saturday bout with Arkansas this year is entirely unpredictable, as it is every season. Fourth-and-25 perfectly sums up the kernel of the Ole Miss-Arkansas rivalry — yes, for its sheer insanity, but also for its typical stupidity. Here, let’s watch that again, together.

And that craziness brings us to this: the betting line that favors the Rebs in Little Rock, -7.5.

Hm.

That feels both too high and too low at the same time. SB Nation’s go-to sportsbook OddsShark currently holds the Rebs as -6.5 favorites, which also feels too high and too low. The Rebs have played like shit in both conference games they’ve faced this season, and Arkansas is never an uncomplicated foe, and again, Ole Miss has a bad defense and a streaky offense. A -7.5 line (or -6.5, for that matter) is utterly hysterical to consider, much less throw earned money at.

Thing is, if you’re degenerate enough to lay actual dough on this game, you better do so straight-up. Because there’s nothing in these teams’ mutual history that should make you like a touchdown advantage for Ole Miss. You’re better off burning those bills as kindling for the first fall backyard fire of the year.

Flip a coin for winner, and go with that. That’s what’s happening in Little Rock on Saturday.

Podcast: Could this offense be just as dangerous in 2019?

Next year’s QB1 looked damn good. Next year could be fun.

Well, that was fun.

Real fun.


Before you head to Little Rock this weekend or fire up the grill at home, go see Greg and the good folks at LB’s Meat Market, the inaugural sponsor of this here podcast and the best protein for your Ole Miss grilling needs.

If you like gambling and good food, go see our good friend Kelly English at the Magnolia House in Biloxi’s Harrah’s Gulf Coast. Blackjack, slots, Southern cooking—what’s not to like?

When you’re looking to stock the cooler for football season, ask for Old Dominick at your local package store. You’ve been waiting and it’s finally here, Huling Station High Rye Bourbon. Go get it off the shelves before it’s gone. They’re located in downtown Memphis, trace their roots back to Italy, and take pride in providing you a true sip of Memphis.

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