On last saturday's College Football Gameday on ESPN, when it came time to pick a winner in the Arkansas-Ole Miss matchup, after guest Lavell Edwards, former coach of BYU made his choice of Ole Miss, it was Lee Corso's turn at the mic.
Lee Corso, who so often is a good barometer on the show (if you're a betting man, just take the team Corso picks to lose) made what some considered to be a very un-PC remark.
"Ole Miss. Arkansas shot their wad last week at Florida," Corso intoned to snickering from his cohort Kirk Herbstreit.
"Can you say that?" Herby asked.
To those who know the term only for its adult content, slang for, well you know, I suppose it would be considered too risque for daytime TV.
For men of Lee Corso's generation, however, Corso is probably pretty near my 80 year old Dad's age, the term has a different meaning. Even though Lee Corso does ads for Hooters, I seriously doubt if the former coach at Louisville and Indiana meant it the way Herbstreit took it.
Shooting a wad is a muzzle-loading term. A wad is paper that wraps around the ball and gunpowder. In Civil War times, or about the time Lee Corso took up football, in the heat of battle, it was common for a shooter to forget to drop a ball down the barrel before packing wadding, hence a wasted shot.
Nothing shot but the wad.
Oldtimers like my Dad used to use a phrase for a politician who did poorly on Election day. "That SOB didn't get enough votes to wad a shotgun," they said in the days of paper ballots.
I got the meaning even if many others thought Corso was using slang. Which brings us to Lee Corso's central point. Did the Arkansas Razorbacks "expend all their energy" in a wasted effort, which is another meaning of "shooting one's wad?"
I don't think that is the case.
This Arkansas team just reached the last leg of a brutal stretch in the schedule.
In the last six weeks—remember the Hogs had their bye week in Week Two—Arkansas played Georgia, at Alabama, Texas A&M at a neutral site, then undefeated Auburn, at undefeated Florida and at an Ole Miss squad that was picked by some, erroneously I thought, to win the SEC West.
Name one football team outside the NFL that played that tough a schedule over a six week period.
Not only were the Hogs playing a second-straight game on the road against an SEC opponent, but an SEC West opponent whose coach would rather beat Arkansas than nearly anything, other than send text messages, maybe.
This Arkansas squad came out flat against Ole Miss, a team who wanted this game bad enough to give their coach a Gatorade bath after victory was secured. Maybe that was due to coming up short in Gainesville the week before.
However, this team had improved every week for three straight weeks leading up to SEC West foe Ole Miss. Far from "shooting their wad" in the slang sense, this team has a lot of good football yet to be played in the 2009 season, in my opinion.
Some even thought the Hogs might win out before the Ole Miss loss to finish 9-3.
That was overly optimistic. Getting to 8-4 will be difficult with a trip to Baton Rouge looming in the last week to face SEC West power LSU.
I picked the Hogs to finish 7-5 before the season, hoping for better, of course. A 7-5 record looks realistic now, but South Carolina at home on Nov. 7 won't be easy. SEC West opponent Mississippi State may not be easy, either, but 7-5 is my story and I'm sticking to it.