Sunday, October 19, 2014
My Sunday Feeling
As I type this the Tulane Green Wave are trying to hang in there on the road against the University of Central Florida whatever that is. The Greenies were getting hammered, as per usual, but have managed to cut it to seven.
I have watched much Tulane football over the years. I have seen many different Green Wave teams from Bowl caliber (such as last year) to hide-your-eyes Godawful. This year's offering from the brain trust on Willow Street is just mid-range terrible. But if they fooled around and won nobody would pass out or anything. Apart from UCF's George O' Leary that is.
Down the street the Razorbacks are preparing to host the Georgia Bulldogs who are gracing the People's Republic of Hillcrest for the first time. The Razorbacks haven't won a conference game in over a year. They are 3-3 and by all rights should have been 5-1, having blown winnable games against Texas A & M and Alabama. I don't anyone would be too surprised if Arkansas pulled an upset other than my friend Joan who is a Georgia alum. She might take to her fainting couch.
Stuff happens. But I don't believe for 5 seconds that anyone could predict that Mississippi State would be the #1 team in the nation with Ole Miss nipping at their heels at #3.
Of the two programs, the Bulldogs have had a little better success over the last 20 years. And I have long believed that the Ole Miss boosters that thought another Johnny Vaught was going to appear and get them back in contention for the national title were positively hallucinatory. But look at them now.
I have seen more Ole Miss football in recent years than MSU's product. The Rebels have put out some pretty crappy teams. Tulane used to thump them with some regularity when I was in law school there. Or at least that is my recollection. I don't recall the Greenies ever playing State when I was there. But many of my memories from those days are lost in the fog of alcohol.
One of my best friends is an alum of MSU. And I managed to find 2 female former residents of StarkVegas here in Little Rock. Both were great gals but they tended to be a little high strung when it came to Bulldog football.
Still, while I could perhaps envision that one or the other would be pretty good, the notion that both schools could be in the top 5 in the polls much less one of them occupying the top spot would be along the lines of changing the gravitational constant of the universe.
They are both doing with great coaches and by keeping the African-American athletes home. Mississippi State has had an easier job of this than has Ole Miss which, shall we say, has something of an image problem in this regard. Deposed former Rebel Head Coach attributed much of his problems in recruiting to the "mamas" of potential athletes that remembered the events depicted in the film "Mississippi Burning." And indeed, a fraternity there on campus got shut down after one of it's members puckishly placed a noose on the statue of Civil Rights icon James Meredith there on campus. Like last Spring.
The politicians would refer to this as "bad optics."
But crazy or not, Ole Miss and Mississippi State are undefeated and heading for a confrontation for the ages in the mutual hate fest known as the Egg Bowl. But as Lee Corso might say, "Not so fast my friend." The odds of any team running the table are low. Indeed, you can make a case that Baylor is better than anybody in the Magnolia State. They got beat pretty bad by West Virginia. And they don't play in a murderer's row like the SEC West.
So to my friends in Starkville and Oxford, my advice is to enjoy it while you can. Because the odds of this happening again are pretty slim.
But what do I know?