Quote of the Day:
“And we’re ready for the kickoff……the ball sails high into the air and the Bulldogs let it bounce (silence for several seconds). I can’t see who’s got it…..there may have been a whistle on the play……a Bulldog is holding the ball aloft in the Auburn End Zone area……it appears to be a touchdown…….It IS a touchdown. Touchdown, Mississippi State.” Jack Cristil (this is actually a paraphrased memory of his call of the opening kickoff returned for a touchdown by State against Auburn in the mid-90’s. Jack had lost his cool complaining that State had been penalized fifteen yards before even taking the field and was completely lost. I think Sweet was with me that day, though I doubt he remembers it).
BR’s “Freestyle” post about probable new Ole Miss quarterback Jeremiah Masoli reminded TB, and just in time, that I hadn’t posted my annual Football in Julypalooza. So here it is. This year, the Julypalooza looks at the approaching college football season through a deluxe crystal ball, one capable of seeing all, not merely the records of each team. But first things first–Mississippi State goes 7-5, Ole Miss 6-6, and USM 8-4. Alabama wins the SEC championship, but loses to Texas in the BCS Championship game.
More specifically, Mississippi State is a team on the rise. By Mississippi’s standards anyway. Here’s why–Dan Mullen is an impressive young coach. He is a future star in the SEC, ready to take over the leadership mantle from a peaking Nick Saban and the fading Urban Meyer (due to health), Les Miles (due to not having Saban’s players) and Steve Spurrier (because he’s old as hell). Don’t worry, I have only had a single cup of the Kool-Aid. He won’t do all that at MSU. But he will have two good seasons to prove to the big money folks at Florida that he’s ready to take over there. Then Meyer can retire and regain his health the way he wanted to last year. It’s in the league’s interest for the coaching transition to go down this way too. That’s why MSU will get just enough calls to go their way, and will stay off probation this year and next. I’ll even go so far as to say MSU will be relatively successful five years out since they will have the players Mullen brings in for awhile after he’s gone and because we won’t get nailed with probation until after Mullen’s golden-boy hands are completely washed of Starkville. Oh, and we’ll also have (relative) success because of improved quarterback play and a stout defense that Jackie Sherrill says will be as good as some of those he coached in the late 90’s.
Ole Miss is tougher to call. They have a strong defense and a weak schedule. They are coming off back-to-back Cotton Bowl winning seasons but they have no quarterback. The solution appears to have dropped into their soul-selling laps in the form of disgraced former Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli. But will the Masoli pickup backfire? I say it depends. If the team believes in Nathan Stanley, Masoli will be an instant wedge, cleaving a deep and bitter division between factions. If Stanley sucks half as bad as he appeared to last season however, the team will rally around any chance to save them from that suckitude. I lean toward the latter probability. The Rebs will follow him to another bowl appearance, but they are destined for a stadium built back in the mid-twentieth century rather than a brand spankin’ new beauty. And they will struggle for a couple of years after this one, partly due to the fact that the SEC needs Mullen to spruce up his resume, and the league doesn’t take kindly to the two Mississippi schools stealing enough wins to make everyone in the Magnolia state happy.
Southern? Hell, I don’t know. They always win between 6 and 8 don’t they? They will be back in a bowl and….wait a minute….the clouds in my crystal ball are beginning to part…..I can see clearly now…..oh, it can’t be…..no, I’ve not lived a pure enough life to have something like this happen….but, if the crystal ball says it, it must be true. Southern will play Ole Miss in the Liberty Bowl. That’s gonna be fun.
What else? Tulane will suck. SMU will suck. Bama will win a lot, but they still suck.
More specifically, MSU will beat Auburn. Book it. Ole Miss will lose to Vandy. They are due. LSU will fire Les Miles at the end of the season. Spurrier will retire this year. Sweet will get killed in Thursday Pickin III (The Return of Thursday Pickin’). Feidt’s Follies too. Quail and Zeek will return to the TBU. Cowbells will be outlawed for good after this season, because Ole Miss is a bunch of pansies and they cry about them like clockwork every time MSU goes on the rise.