There is no need for analysis. Ole Miss will lose.
Geaux to Hell Ole Miss. It never gets old. I will teach my children (that I do not and likely never will have) to hate Ole Miss. Scratch that, I won't have to teach them. They will be born into it. Straight from the womb, right into hating Ole Miss. Because hating Ole Miss isn't a choice. It's a lifestyle. I hate Archie Manning. I hate Eli Manning. I hate Patrick Willis. I hate the Blind Side, book and movie. I hate your stupid black bear mascot. I would go into how richly I hate their history, but they have none. They are completely self-aware of it, too.
"We may lose the game, but we always win the party," is one of the dumbest things ever uttered in human life. First of all, it plainly acknowledges your own failure. Second of all, no, you don't win the party. You don't win any party. Well, I could think of some parties Ole Miss would probably win, but that would take this piece in a sociological and political direction, and I'd rather not acknowledge the obvious.
But seriously, Ole Miss sucks.
I don't have the skill of my tremendous colleague Billy at laying out the dynamics of the game. So I won't even attempt to imitate his style in this preview. Ole Miss really isn't any good. They are exactly .500 overall, but just 2-4 in the conference. They lost to Vanderbilt. They did beat Auburn and Arkansas. So there's that. Basically, if you have a pulse, you beat Ole Miss.
There's a lot of buzz about Hugh Freeze and all the "excitement" he's bringing to the Grove. I'm still trying to figure this one out, frankly. Sounds a lot like most every "exciting" thing to happen at Ole Miss, ever. "Full of sound and fury signifying nothing."
He was an odd hire to begin with. He cut his chops as a recruiting maestro, back in 2005. He's got that whole Michael Oher thing working for him. The fact that he had ties to one of the most prominent Ole Miss recruits in the past decade is basically why he got this job, which is saddening. But I guess, when you are Ole Miss, you are often scraping the bottom of the barrel trying to find a coach.
Not that Ole Miss had any expectations whatsoever this season, but I guess he's done sufficient. They have a pretty good offense (53rd in total yards, 58th in scoring). They have a pretty good defense (55th in total yards, 65th in scoring). But they aren't overly good at either.
But, as in most every year, we are their bowl game. We are their National Championship. Beating LSU is probably their top goal. It's a game they circle on the schedule. It's a game we sometimes we forget we have to play. We're sporting a near 20-victory lead on them historically, though we've only lost 3 of the last 12 meetings. It's a "rivalry" we're told. And losing to them is almost always embarrassing, even when we aren't very good, like 2008.
I would try to isolate what needs to happen for LSU to win, but that's almost an assurance. If the game was in Oxford, maybe a little more concern, but it's Senior Night... in Death Valley... where we never lose.
Plus, this team is hitting stride. I've never been in favor of the college football playoff system, but bias aside, LSU is a team I would be very afraid of right now. They are playing their best football of the season. Zach Mettenberger is asserting himself as the quarterback we all thought he would be.
And that should only continue against the nation's 70th best pass defense. The total yardage may not even tell the whole story to how bad Ole Miss is in passing defense. They are allowing a stunning 7.64 yards per attempt. Quarterbacks are completing over 65% of their passes against them. When you look at the list of quarterbacks they've played, this becomes even more astounding. They did, somehow, manage to mostly corral Manziel and Tyler Wilson, but they made AJ McCarron and David Ash look like superstars.
Still the main hope, the beaming ray of optimism, for Ole Miss is Bo Wallace. The flaxen-haired demi-god of Ole Miss football comes to us via the Junior College ranks. He beat out the rather unsensational duo of Randall Mackey (remember when people were sure this guy would "burn" LSU for us letting him walk?) and Barry Brunetti. He's played... well enough. He's completed 65% of his passes (better than Mettenberger!) and thrown for 2200 yards and 12 TDs (both better than Mettenberger!!!). He also has a 8.03 YPA and a 140.0 rating (OMG, still better than Mettenberger!!!!). So I'm sure some enterprising Ole Miss fan you know has talked shit in that sorta back-assed way they always do.
"Well, I'll you what now, that Bo Wallace gives us a shot. He's better than that QB y'all got."
No, he doesn't. And no, he's not.
Bo Wallace may become a pretty good player for Ole Miss, or he could fall off the face of the planet like Jevan Snead, who they also extolled of greatness. He did throw for 400 yards against Vanderbilt. So that should make you feel all warm and fuzzy.
I will tell you this now, Saturday afternoon is going to be the longest afternoon of Bo Wallace's life, just like it was for McCarron and Manziel and Shaw before him.
Any chance Ole Miss had of winning this game evaporated last weekend as we melted off the faces of their hated cross-state rivals. The only chance for this LSU team to lose was really in the event of a hangover from the emotional loss to Alabama. Didn't happen. LSU came back, handled their bidness and kept this team on track for a potential BCS berth.
I don't really have anything analytical or interesting to say about Ole Miss, other than they suck.
Geaux to Hell Ole Miss!