Kicking The Ole Miss Tires
As I sit and read through and post on certain SEC football articles I notice an occasional poster who just can't get it right. They can neither see the whole picture or understand how to sharpen the contrast. These people have only one view point and it is theirs. They are defensive and arrogant. Their bases for interpretation is formed on half picture circumstances and sheer bias. One of these type posters is an Ole Miss fan.
This person regularly propagates the blogosphere with flaming comments and name calling for anyone who must disagree with his tenets. You are a "moron", "idiot", "DA", or "stupid" for just not seeing his point of view, or better yet for not kowtowing before him as if he was the omnipotent one.
Well, I had finally had enough of his bravado that stated that Ole Miss was the best team in the nation and will win the 2009 SECCG as if it were fact. His basis for argument was the realization that OM won its last six games and beat solidly a highly ranked Texas Tech team in the Cotton Bowl.
So, let us revisit those last six wins.
But, before we begin, I could easily put another SEC West team's name in this article and it may actually fit in some places.
First up is Arkansas. A team who finished the season 5-7. This game was an emotionally charged game. Nutt was coming home and the Hogs needed to play up. With a defense ranked 72nd you think that the Ole Miss' 29th ranked offense could have had their way with them. But they didn't. Ole Miss escaped thanks to Joshua Shene's 28 yard field-goal. This gave the Rebs enough points to not have to sweat that last minute Hog touchdown, and the ensuing onside kick, to make it 23-21. This was Arkansas fifth loss in 8 games.
Next up Auburn, a team who had already been beaten by Arkansas. A team who had already lost to Vanderbilt. A team who was beaten by 8-5 LSU earlier in the season. A team who had the 104th ranked offense in the nation but still managed to pass for 319 yards against the Rebels big defense. A team that was trailing OM in the fourth quarter by 3 points until the Rebs with 6:45 left on the clock added 7 to the score for a 17-7 victory. A team that finished with a 5-7 record. But, it is a win for OM and proves they are great.
Louisiana Monroe comes to town. The Tide couldn't beat them in 2007 so this should definitely be a struggle for the Rebels. Hardly, ULM, with its stellar 4-8 season couldn't perform their '07 miracle in '08. But, with the ULM 109th ranked defense who could blame the Rebels for a 59-0 shellacking.
Lets keep it with the Louisiana schools, LSU had already lost to UF, UGA, and Alabama. However, LSU had a winning record last season. They went 8-5 for the season with their last two losses coming from OM and Arkansas. A solid win for the Rebels but LSU was already on it's way down and was merely trying to get through the season.
Mississippi State and the famous Egg Bowl. Ole Miss trounced all over that behemoth of a team nicknamed the Bulldogs. With State's 113th ranked offense it is a wonder that the mighty Rebel defense managed to keep MSU's score at 0. The Rebels should feel confident that they are the best team in the league after adding the 8th loss to their instate rival and taking home the Egg. The Rebs were playing with somebody else's dead meat.
Now comes the only legitimate opponent in this six game winning streak. It is five weeks after the Rebels won the last game and they now face the tenacious Red Raiders in the Cotton Bowl. Texas Tech had only lost one game prior to this one and it was a doozy. The OU Sooners put such a whipping on the Raiders that we truly saw how one dimensional most of the Big 12 could be, all offense and very little defense.
The Raiders ranked 79th in defense and it showed. But, where the Rebels shine in this one is that the Raiders' offense ranks #4 in the nation. A true quality win for the Rebels. And, in my opinion, the only one in this six game stretch. Give yourself 5 weeks to prepare, and have that underdog mentality because no one thinks you can win and guess what, you can catch a team with their pants down. Just ask the Tide.
Well, now, according to this Ole Miss blogger the Rebels are the best team in the nation by virtue of a 6 game winning streak with a strong performance in the Cotton Bowl. And, per this bloggers undeniable facts that by virtue of beating those six teams the Rebels are going to win every game next season and if you don't believe him then you are an idiot!
So, what have we learned here. Well, we learned that OM won six straight games to finish the season. That is good. Four of those six teams had losing records and were on the downslide before they met OM. That is bad. One of those six teams had a great record. That is good. That team with the great record had a poor defense. That is bad. But that team had a great offense. That is good.
I am not denying that Javen Snead is a great quarterback. He was third in the SEC last season and appears to be the second best in the league behind Tim Tebow for this season. However, just in the SEC west there are great defenses like Alabama, LSU, and Auburn who could be your albatross on any given Saturday.
If you want to say look at the stats from the first part of last season to the second part for Jevan the only compelling issue of turn around importance are his INTs. Otherwise, here are some simple stats:
In the first 6 reg-seas-gms, 1272 pass yds, 154 att, 85 comp, for 55%
In the last 6 reg-seas-gms, 1006 pass yds, 144 att, 81 comp, for 56%
Last 6 gm win streak, 1298 pass yds, 154 att, 83 comp, for 58%
First 7 reg-seas-gm, 1464 pass yds, 185 att, 101 comp, for 55%
Average total defense for the first 6 reg-seas-gm was 25.50 (Samford FCS rank 28, used)
Average total defense for the last 6 reg-seas-gm was 46.67
Average total defense for the last 6 gm-win-streak was 59.33
Average total pass defense for the first 6 reg-seas-gm was 30.17
Average total pass defense for the last 6 reg-seas-gm was 41.83
Average total pass defense for the last 6 gm-win-streak was 57.50
Now, based on these numbers, you will have to excuse me while I say that though Snead is a great QB and though his INTs went down in the last 6 game winning streak, his numbers certainly didn't increase by leaps and bounds but the defenses he played were on average poorer than the ones he played in the first half of the season.
Even if I were to take out the lowest passing yard game in the first 7 games of the season I would still have 1280 yards which would be only 18 yards shy of the 1298 yards he threw in the last 6 game win streak, which was against inferior passing defenses on average and on the whole.
Oops, I just remembered the reason why Ole Miss is going to beat every team next year besides the last six game win streak. The Rebels beat UF at home. The Gators only loss of the season came from an 11:00 am wake up call by the Rebs. But, like I said, be an underdog and let your opponent underestimate you and then you can catch them with their pants down.
To say that Ole Miss will not be good next year is false, but to say that Ole Miss will be the best team in the league or country is also false and any blogger that states to the otherwise is merely posting an opinion, including me. However, if OM is going to win every game next year then they must do it mistake free.
My opinion is they will not play mistake free.
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