Jevan Snead, Rebels Overrated?

Lee TawilContributor ISeptember 25, 2009

COLUMBIA, SC - SEPTEMBER 24:  Defensive end Cliff Matthews #83 of the South Carolina Gamecocks sacks quarterback Jevan Snead #4 of the Mississippi Rebels during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on September 24, 2009 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

There was a ton of talking about the Ole Miss Rebels leading up to their Thursday night game against the South Carolina Gamecocks. After all, the Rebels were ranked number 4 in the nation, which was their highest ranking since 1970.

Many people would say the guy responsible for that high ranking was Jevan Snead, a quarterback who transferred out of Texas after his freshman year. He came into this season with high expectations and was considered an early possibility for the Heisman Trophy.

Thursday night’s game should definitely make Snead’s stock plummet dramatically.

Not only did the Rebels lose the game 16-10, but Snead looked abysmal. Snead was 7 for 21 passing with 1 touchdown and no interceptions. If you think that the no interceptions makes his game a little less awful, then think again. Of his 14 incompletions, I saw at least 2 of them that should have been picked.

He seemed to be unaware of the pocket collapsing, as most good quarterbacks should be, and he was sacked 4 times in the game. 2 of those sacks came by Eric Norwood, who is the all-time sack leader in South Carolina history.

Whether this game was just a bump in the road for Snead and the Rebels is yet to be determined. I know one thing for sure, they better get some things fixed on the offensive side of the ball, especially up front. To have such a weakness on the offensive line can hurt your team worse than anything else. If there are no holes for running backs and no time for the quarterback to throw, your team will stand no chance at winning football games.

What puzzles me is the fact that the Rebels can have such problems on their offensive line and were still able to acquire a top 5 ranking. All this proves is that the rankings in the beginning of the season do not usually mean much, especially for those teams that make huge jumps out of nowhere. Their rankings are usually based on favorable match-ups that they had in the first few games, and then when they play a team of a little better quality, their true colors come out.

To me the rankings are a big joke, and I feel that everything should be based on conference records and a playoff system, but that’s a discussion for another time. At the end of the day, Snead will only be as good as his offensive line, and the Rebels will only be as good as their record indicates. Right now, based on their record, they are average at best.