Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State: Do the Rebels Have Any Pride Left?
Saturday is the 2011 Egg Bowl. This would be a virtually meaningless game if it weren't for the fact that the Bulldogs can slide into a bowl game by the skin of their teeth if they don't choke against the hapless Rebels.
What at one time was an exciting game, which was starting to gain national attention and becoming a Thanksgiving tradition, is now once again meaningless to almost everyone outside the state of Mississippi.
The question this year is whether the Rebels have any pride left at all. Will they be able to get motivated by the fact that with one last stand, they can at least rob their arch enemy of a winning season? Misery does love company, after all.
Ole Miss can do two things with a win on Saturday.
First, they can dump a cooler of ice cold Gatorade on their hated rival and give the highly hyped, but underachieving Bulldogs an unbelievably disappointing season. They can also begin to rebuild pride in a program that Houston Nutt has almost completely destroyed.
They could accomplish both of these things, but it is doubtful that they will, given how the Rebels have played over the last few weeks.
The Rebels have played the last several games as if they can't wait for the season to be over. There has been no fire, no passion, no pride and no hope. Once again, this losing attitude falls squarely on the shoulders of the inept coaching staff.
It is part of the coaches' jobs to make sure the players are motivated to play. Good coaches can get their players up at the drop of a hat. Bad coaches can't motivate their players no matter what's at stake.
It is pretty obvious what kind of coaches the Rebels have had over the past four years.
While all indicators point toward Mississippi State (an 18-point favorite) winning easily, the underdogs have traditionally had a way of turning the tables in this game. It can be done, but the Rebel players will have to do it on their own.
Houston Nutt has checked out, or cashed out might be the more appropriate way to put it.
Nutt has nothing at stake in this game. He couldn't be more relaxed if he were watching this game from his living room after finishing his Thanksgiving dinner. This may be a good thing for the Rebels, as this relaxed attitude may just spill over onto the team, allowing them to be loose and just go out and play.
So the big question in this years Egg Bowl is, "Do the Rebels have any pride left?"
Not only is the pride of beating their arch-enemy at stake, but there is one more factor at play. If the Rebels lose on Saturday, this team will go down in the record books as the worst team in the history of Ole Miss football.
No Rebel football team has ever lost 10 games in one year!
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