Missed big time

Ole Miss might as well had not left Oxford. Their performance today in the Peach Bowl is beyond putrid.

I don’t like the Rebels, period. I dislike Ole Miss more than any other SEC school. I get tired of Ole Mss thinking they are more refined and more cultured than the ‘rednecks’ which populate Auburn, Gainesville, Fayetteville, and especially Starkville. Rebel fans think because they eat on tablecloths during tailgate parties, they are more civilized than their peers at LSU. Because their students wear coat and tie or dresses to games, they’re more sophisticated than Missouri.

I’ve been to Oxford enough times to know that if Ole Miss weren’t there, it would be just another small Mississippi town with a few gas stations, a few restaurants, and not much else. Other than having Ole Miss there, Oxford isn’t much except for a bigger town on a four-lane highway from I-55 in Batesville to Tupelo, the birthplace of Elvis and the largest city northeast Mississippi.

One thing about Ole Miss that galls me is the total control Greeks have over that campus. If you are not a member of a fraternity or sorority, you have absolutely no chance to getting elected to a position in the student government, which means the Greeks have almost unlimited access to the faculty at Ole Miss. I would not be surprised if Greeks often get grading breaks not afforded to non-Greeks.

Problem is, if you don’t have a family member who was in a fraternity or sorority, or your family does not have money, good luck trying to get in. People like me would have less than zero chance.

Sadly, the Greeks run student life at Alabama as well, although it isn’t reported, simply because there’s too much other news coming out of Tuscaloosa (read: Nick Saban’s football dynasty). The Greeks have run Alabama since the days Bear Bryant and George Wallace were students, and that’s over 80 years ago.

Ole Miss, which beat Alabama in October but stumbled later with losses to LSU, Auburn and Arkansas, is getting destroyed by TCU in the Peach Bowl, the first of the six ‘access bowls’ now under the control of the College Football Playoff committee. The Horned Frogs, who finished No. 5 in the CFP rankings released Dec. 7–one spot shy of qualifying for the playoff–have steamrolled the Rebels throughout and lead 42-3 in the fourth quarter. TCU is aiming for its second 12-win season in its last five, pretty remarkable considering the Horned Frogs were among the doormats of the old Southwest Conference for the last 35 years of that conference, from 1960, the year Bob Lilly graduated and went on to his Hall of Fame career with the Cowboys, through 1995, the last year of the conference.

TCU originally was going to be accepted into the Big 12 when it formed to give the new league a foothold in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but Ann Richards, then the governor of Texas and a big mouthpiece for Baylor, threatened to torpedo the Big 12 if the Bears were not taken in. Texas, Texas A&M and Texas Tech were eagerly accepted by the rest of the Big Eight; it just came down to Baylor and TCU. SMU was not an option due to the lack of a baseball team; Rice is too small; and Houston has a history of numerous NCAA rules violations.

The Horned Frogs are coached by Gary Patterson, who grew up in Rozel, Kansas, a tiny dot on the map between Larned and Jetmore. Patterson has led TCU to unprecedented heights, heights not seen since the glory days of the 1950s under Abe Martin.

Ole MIss has played in a couple of Cotton Bowls and a couple of Gator Bowls in January over the past 25 years, but today’s Peach Bowl can truly be called the Rebels’ first bona fide major bowl game since Archie Manning propelled Ole Miss past Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl of January 1, 1970. That year, there were only four games on New Year’s Day, and if you played in the Cotton, Sugar, Rose or Orange, you must have had a pretty good season.

Ole Miss went 7-3 in 1969, but they caught a huge break when 9-1 LSU turned down the Sugar Bowl. The Bayou Bengals were hoping for a Cotton Bowl berth against top-ranked Texas, but the Cotton instead snatched up Notre Dame when the Fighting Irish ended their 45-year prohibition on playing in bowl games. LSU was offered a spot in the Bluebonnet Bowl vs. Colorado, but said no, meaning it sat home at 9-1.

Sadly, too many 6-6 and 7-5 teams are playing bowl games hardly anyone cares about. The attendance reflects that. I’m sorry, but no way 6-6 Miami and 6-6 South Carolina should have been in a bowl. Same for 6-6 Arkansas and 6-6 Texas. I think eight wins should be the bare minimum.

About David

I am a sportswriter for a group of weekly newspapers in small towns across northern Kansas. I grew up in New Orleans, went to college at LSU and wandered in the wilderness until Hurricane Katrina finally put me on the path to my current job.

Posted on December 31, 2014, in College Football, LSU Fighting TIgers and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: