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31 October 2007

Ole Miss to play West Virginia

According to CBS, Ole Miss and West Virginia will play basketball the next two seasons. The first game will be in Oxford and the second in Morgantown. Kennedy coached under Huggins at Cincinnati and the two are close friends.

30 October 2007

We play Saturday?

It's Northwestern St. week. I have to be honest, it's hard to get motivated about this week. I even thought this was the bye week. Most Rebel fans have written off football and is now focusing on Basketball, others are mired in self pity (ole miss self pity) and calling "off with their heads". Coach O will be here another year and I think Boone will be as well so we should all focus on how we can support this team.
The next two weeks will be difficult in football but with LSU & State up and coming things will improve. Also, there is a basketball game on Friday.

28 October 2007

Loss #7

Ole Miss v. Auburn = boring game.
I was glad to see the Rebels stay in the game until the end. But, as usual, we lost. And let's face it, Auburn isn't so hot this year. So it's official, even though it was pretty much assumed, another losing season. Four in a row. I am tired of losing. Our next home game against Northwestern State will probably be our smallest crowd at Ole Miss in 10 years of so. But it's hard not to blame folks.
So where do we go from here. Basketball? Baseball? With LSU & State still to go on our schedule, we could prove spoiler and make ourselves feel a bit better. LSU will probably play for the NC, unless they lose again. Either Ohio State or BC will lose and that will open the door for a one loss team. We could keep LSU from playing in the NC. State is sitting at 5 wins. They will likely have to beat us to become bowl eligible. What a better way to end the season than to keep the dogs out of a bowl game? So it's time to circle the wagons and beat out two biggest rivals if for nothing else, pride.

24 October 2007

23 October 2007

10 Things to Feel Good About

Yes, Football is king in the south but fortunately for us there are other sports at Ole Miss. And in almost every other sport we are succeeding. Let's take a look at 10 things we as Rebel fans have to feel good about.

Baseball--

  • This year's class is the #25 class in the nation. (Collegiate Baseball).
  • One of only two schools in the country to host a regional in each of the last 4 season
  • Advanced to the Super Regionals in the last three seasons
  • Most SEC wins in the past 5 years in the conference
  • Only school to post wining record in league since 2002
  • Upgrading stadium to one of the best in the country
Basketball--
  • Andy Kennedy in his first season won the West.
  • Season ticket sales are up and the excitement is in the air for the first time in several years.
  • A new Basketball practice facility is in the works.

Volleyball--
  • First NCAA appearance in school history last year.
  • Poised to make a second appearance in the NCAA with a current record of 18-5, 8-4 SEC.

Women's Basketball--
  • Elite 8 appearance last season.
  • Renee Ladner Era begins.
  • OOC schedule includes teams from each major conference.

Tennis--
  • Ole Miss returns 7 of our 8 top players from last year.
  • Six straight SEC West titles
  • Sweet 16 last year and ended the season with a #7 ranking.
Soccer--
  • Three SEC West titles
  • Three NCAA appearances in the past 5 years

Track & Field--

  • Both Men's and Women's teams finished the 2007 NCAA Outdoor Championship with their highest rankings in school history. (Men finished 12th, Women 27th)
  • Kirui won the national championship in the Men's 3,000 meter Steeplechase.

Golf--
  • Ole Miss men have won back to back tournaments for the first time since 1985.

Campus--
  • Our campus is one of the most beautiful in the country. The beauty, safety and host city all make Ole Miss an easy sell to recruits.

Alumni-- We Alumni who are currently playing in professional sports that focus the national sportlight on Ole Miss.
  • Eli Manning
  • Seth Smith
  • Patrick Willis
  • Deuce McAllister

21 October 2007

Blow out

Saturday was not fun. It started out well because we got the ball first and mounted a decent drive. Then Arkansas got the ball and it was downhill from there.
This is the first ball game in which I can't think of any positives. In the smoldering ashes of the blow out, rumors are now rising up on the message boards. The biggest one: Pete Boone will retire this year. It will be another one of those weeks.

19 October 2007

For your viewing pleasure

The Lexington Brothers on Mr. Jackson:

18 October 2007

Q&A with Razorbackexpats.com


The guys at Razorbackexpats.com took the time to answer a few questions about Arkansas and this weekend's game.


(1) How do you think the Arkansas players will react to the close loss to Auburn? Will they come out flat or motivated?


It's hard to say. I'd imagine that they're feeling pretty bad after three straight last minute SEC losses, plus all the controversy swirling around the program. It's certainly possible that Houston Nutt will use this as a "circle the wagons" opportunity and get them properly fired up...it's happened before. My guess, though, is that they'll come out flat but will play better as the game goes on.


(2) What is the morale of the team and the fan base at this point in the season?


Hard to say about the team....like I said above it could go either way, but I certainly wouldn't blame them for feeling pretty low by now. The string of tough losses plus fan uprisings like the banner and booing have to hurt (even if things like the banner are claimed to be only about the coaching staff). As for the fan base, things are bad and getting worse. There's a huge amount of unrest about the program and its future right now - just check out the comments and articles on our blog or any of the other Razorback blogs to get a first hand taste. There's a lot of bitterness left over from the end of last season and the whole Malzahn/Mustain controversy, and the disappointing results this year have only added to that. I think Nutt has lost all but his most die-hard supporters by now.


(3) Is Nutt in trouble?


Oh yeah. I really can't imagine a scenario where he's the coach next year. Best case for him is that he gets to resign with some dignity still intact and then goes on to another decent job in another conference. Worst case is that he needs a police escort to safely get him past the angry mob surrounding his house, I suppose.


(4) What are the keys to an Arkansas victory?


Well, for starters if we have a lead in the 4th quarter it would be really nice if we didn't blow it. Beyond that obvious statement, the key to every game so far as been to establish at least a tiny semblance of a down field passing game so McFadden and Jones aren't battling all 11 guys on defense. Aside from a few stretches that hasn't really happened much this year.It would be great if McFadden and Jones could pop a couple of their trademark long runs, of course. The Auburn game was the first one in quite awhile where they were both contained, so I'm hoping they'll get back on track. Also, I know you guys have a good passing game so we need to keep the big plays there under control, of course - we had some problems with that against Alabama and Kentucky, but did a much better job against Auburn.


(5) It seems Arkansas has a one dimensional offense right now. Is this because of your QB play or does this have to do with play calling?


Probably a little of both. Casey Dick isn't going to be on Mel Kiper's short list of 1st round NFL picks any time soon, but you certainly can't put all the blame on him. He's had moments where he's hit some really nice passes, so I know the potential is there. He's certainly not being helped by the rather lackluster play calling, that's for sure. Perhaps most importantly, he hasn't really had a whole lot of people to pass to this year...our two top returning receivers, Marcus Monk and Ben Cleveland have been injured all year (Monk may play on Saturday; Cleveland is out for the year) and no one else has stepped up as a consistent playmaker.


(6) Is this win a must for Arkansas to make it to a bowl game this year?


It's crazy that I'm saying this, but I guess it is. I mean, technically we could still beat South Carolina, Tennessee or LSU instead, but no one is feeling great about that happening at this point. Right now our best chance to get to that six-win mark would be against you guys and Mississippi State (although neither of those games are gimmes by any means) plus our four incredibly weak non-conference opponents. Thank God for North Texas State, at least.


(7) How is your defense this year?


Not as good as last year - we lost a few stars to the NFL - but it's getting better. Our secondary in particular was torched by both Bama and Kentucky (who both scored more than 40 on us), but we looked a million times better against Auburn. Reggie Herring's defenses tend to start slow and improve over the course of the season, so hopefully that trend will continue this year.


(8) What did you think of the controversial call at the end of our Bama game?


To be honest, it seems like it comes down to a lot of judgement calls about various rules and regulations that I'm not intimately familiar with. I'm sure if I were an Ole Miss fan I'd be incredibly outraged...I can certainly understand that sentiment. And if I were a Bama fan, I'd probably think the call was correct!


(9) Will McFadden win the Heisman this year?


No way. It's too bad, because I really think he's the best player in the country and definitely deserves it. But the Heisman typically goes to the QB or RB on a top 5 team, and with our three losses (and counting) we're certainly not going to be in that conversation. Unfortunately, he's being hurt by a lot of things largely beyond his control.


(10) What are your predictions for the game?


Maybe someday I'll learn my lesson, but I'll stick with the optimistic route for now. Hogs win, 24-14.

17 October 2007

Battle for the Bottom

One team will finally have an SEC win this year. One will be the only team without an SEC victory. Who will it be? Even the winning team will probably be thinking ahead to basketball season this year.

I like Ole Miss chances in this game. I think we can move the ball on Arkansas and put up some points. The obvious key will be to stop the run. If Arkansas continues to have a poor passing game perhaps we can load the box and slow them down. Another concern for me is our special team coverage. We much keep them backed up and make them go the distance of the entire field to score. Also, Arkansas probably doesn't have the refs on their side so that always helps.

Regardless, I expect a full house of Rebels Saturday to cheer the Rebs to victory. (Our first SEC victory of 2007)

16 October 2007

Faulkner for a mascot, the play and more

A few stories floating around:

ESPN discusses "the play". This was a pretty fair assessment of the situation.

CBS throws out the suggestion that Ole Miss should have Faulkner as our new mascot. -- Let me think about this idea for awhile and get back to you.

College Hoops says Ole Miss is the 143rd best basketball team in the country this year. -- What are these guys Smoking?

14 October 2007

States: Year to date

Rushing:
National Rank:98th 113.71 per game
SEC Rank: 12
Arkansas: (nat/SEC) 3/1

Passing:
National Rank: #45 243.3 per game
SEC Rank: 4th
Arkansas: (nat/SEC) 110/11

Total Offense:
National Rank: 80th 357.00 per game
SEC Rank: 8th
Arkansas: (nat/SEC) 21/2

Scoring Offense:
National Rank:95th
SEC Rank: 12th
Arkansas: (nat/SEC) 19/4

Rushing Defense:
National Rank:98th 194.57
SEC Rank: 11th
Arkansas: (nat/SEC) 63/8

Pass eff. Defense: 127.63
National Rank:68th
SEC Rank: 11th
Arkansas: (nat/SEC) 6/3

Total Defense:
National Rank:95th 436.57
SEC Rank: 12th
Arkansas: (nat/SEC)

Scoring Defense:
National Rank: 68th 27.43
SEC Rank: 11th
Arkansas: (nat/SEC) 41/8

13 October 2007

Refs, Bama beat Ole Miss by 3

Not much to say at this point. The Ole Miss players played their hearts out to come up short again. Of course, Bama was aided by the review officials in the booth. By rule it should have been Ole Miss ball with a chance to win or tie with a field goal. Even if he stepped out of bounds on his own, Bama touched the ball first. Therefore, Ole Miss ball with a chance to win.

12 October 2007

Its time to beat Bama Blue

We've only beaten Bama Blue 8 times since the late 1800's. There have been a lot of close games but in realty we are to them what Vandy is to us. The Bama game is usually one of our biggest games of the year. I would put it third on the list behind LSU & MSU. Of course to hear a Bama fan talk they are out biggest game of the year. (A bit inflated but not unusual considering the source.)

I was born in Huntsville and grew up in Tennessee , a few miles (spitting distance) from the Alabama border. I had to endure Bama, Auburn and Tennessee fans growing up in the late 70's- early 90's. We only beat Bama once during that time that I can remember. It was a good one, the year that the Bear Bryant museum was dedicated. Shortly after that victory, bricks went flying and one ended up in the coaches office. He was gone after that year. I also remember the year we went up 21-0 over Bama and lost the game 62-21.

A friend of mine here in Ohio asked me who to pick in the Ole Miss v. Bama game. I said, I think we have a great shot of beating Bama but you might want to go with history. I told her the series record and she said, I'm going with Bama. I couldn't blame her.

Oddly enough it seems that we always feel as though we have a good shot at Bama but end of losing in the end. We should be use to losing to Bama and I suppose we are.

8 times in 50+ tries... It blows my mind. I am a glutton I suppose but I wouldn't have it any other way.


Hotty Toddy! Beat Bama Blue!

11 October 2007

Q&A with The Tide Druid

The Tide Druid was kind enough to answer a few questions about Alabama and this week's game.



(1) How do you evaluate QB Parker up to this point in the season?


If you look at his stats alone, he hasn't done horrible: 8 TDs passing, 3 TDs rushing with 1200 + yards and 4 interceptions. But, he just hasn't been able to play a consistently good game. He does have a bad habit of staring down his main targets. He is also prone to throwing off of his back foot when pressured, which usually ends up with Alabama punting. Most people want to blame him more than anyone else on the offensive side of the ball. Still, he has been able to score when it comes to crunch time. He's great with a no huddle or 2 minute offense. With the regular offensive play calling, he is adequate.


(2) How about your young O-Line, how are they doing so far?


They've been both good and bad at times. When they have given Wilson protection, we've been able to move the ball. But, they've also been a little to comfortable, allowing more pressure than a group this talented should. Andre Smith is a stud, but has been a little inconsistent at times, as have the others. Expect a new set up for the O-line on Saturday. Justin Britt's mother had a car accident (she'll be ok), so he probably won't play since he's been with his family most of the week. Antoine Caldwell (center) will be moved around as Evan Cardwell takes his place.


(3) What do you think the keys are to a Bama victory?


Ball control by the offense. Though our defense is thin, we've been playing better than most people expected. The problem is that our offense has a tendency to go 3 and out for long stretches of time, forcing our already thin defense to stay out on the field way too long. They end up tired when it matters. This would help to explain such events as the Arkansas comeback, the last FSU score, and the Houston comeback.


(4) What concerns you the most about Ole Miss this weekend?


My biggest concern is that Ole Miss comes out like they have something to play for, while Alabama comes out flat again. If we get behind quickly, I don't know how we'll react on the road.


(5) What's your prediction for the game?


The national nail bitters association should have a field day with this one. Alabama will either start hot, or end with a sudden offensive flourish after struggling most of the game. Ole Miss should be able to move the ball more as the game goes on. Both teams will have their fair share of mistakes I'm sure. To be honest, this game will probably come down to who keeps their mistakes to a minimum in the 2nd half. I think Alabama is capable of winning, but I'm not sure if they will.

09 October 2007

Top 3 Ole Miss v. Alabama games

(1) 1969: Alabama 33 Ole Miss 32-Archie Manning set a single-game SEC record with 540 total yards with the Ole Miss record of 436 yards passing. This was the first prime time regular season telecast of a college football game. I wasn't alive for this game but I've heard the story of this game over and over.



(2) 1988: Ole Miss 22 Alabama 12- Ole Miss defeated Bama on their homecoming and the day the Bear Bryant museum was dedicated.



(3) 2001: Ole Miss 27 Alabama 24- This was the first victory for Ole Miss after a long drought that dated back to the 1988 victory.

07 October 2007

Rebel Basketball--OOC Breakdown--2007/2008


The basketball season is just around the corner and I thought I would take a look at the out of conference competition this year.



Projected Finish : 5th (SPN)

Last Year's record: 18-16/ 13-15

Players to watch: Swingman Stanford Speech (12.3 ppg/ 5.1 rpg)

Game info: Nov. 10 / Oxford


South Alabama- Sun Belt

Predicted Finish: 3rd in the East

Last year's record: 20-12/13-5

Players to Watch: All SBC guard Demetric Bennett (15.5 ppg/5.5rpg) & Daon Merritt (12.7 ppg/ 5.3 apg)

Game info: Nov. 13/ Oxford


Lamar-Southland

Projected Finish: 1st (SPN)

Last year's record: (15-7)

Players to watch: Lamar Sanders

Game info: Nov. 16/ Oxford



Projected Finish: 1st in West

Last year's record: (18-14/11-7)

Players to watch: Tony Hopper (15.4 ppg/ 2.7 apg) & Jordan Payne (12.4 ppg/ 3.6 rpg): Returning 5 starters

Game info: Nov. 24/ Oxford


Troy- Sun Belt

Projected Finish: 4th in East

Last year's record: (13-17/ 8-10)

Players to watch: O'darien Bassett (15.1 ppg/ 2.1 rpg)

Game info: Nov. 27/ Oxford


New Mexico-Mountain West

Projected Finish: 5th

Last year's record: (15-17/ 4-12)

Players to watch: J.R. Giddens

Game info: Dec. 1/ Oxford


UCF-CUSA

Projected Finish: 7th

Last year's record: (22-9/ 11-5)

Players to watch: David Gomez/ Daniel Puckett

Game info: Dec 8/ Orlando


Winthrop-Big South

Projected Finish: 1st

Last year's record: (29-5/14-0)

Players to watch: Torrell Martin & Craig Bradshaw & Phillip Williams

Game info: Dec 13/ Jackson, MS


DePaul- Big East

Projected Finish: 8th

Last year's record: (20-14/ 9-7)

Players to watch: Jabari Currie & Cliff Clinkscales

Game info: Dec. 20/ San Juan, PR (San Juan Shootout)


LaSalle- A10

Projected Finish: 13th

Last year's record: (10-20 / 3-13)

Players to watch: Jerrell and Terrell Williams

Game info: Dec. 21 / San Juan, PR (San Juan Shootout)



Projected Finish: 4th

Last year's record: (25-11/ 7-9)

Players to watch: James Mays

Game info: Dec. 22 /San Juan, PR (San Juan Shootout)


Projected Finish: 5th

Last year's record: (20-11/ 9-7)

Players to watch: Jeremy Wise(17.5 ppg/ 53 3 pointers)

Game info: Dec. 28/ Southaven, MS



Projected Finish: 4th

Last year's record: (10-20/ 4-14)

Players to watch: Trant Simpson & Cornelius Hester

Game info: Jan. 2 /Oxford



Projected Finish: None
First year at Div 1
Game info: Feb. 11/ Oxford

It's Bama Week

Rebel fans have always been infatuated with Alabama. Maybe it's because we have only beaten them 9 times in 54 tries. (Yes there were two ties). Maybe it's because some Rebel fans feel that Alabama fans are a bit arrogant and dismissive towards Rebel fans. Regardless, this is a team we always "get up" for.

Despite the lopsided win-loss stat in this series most games have been competitive. The last two were very close. I don't expect any different Saturday. Well, I hope we come out on the winning side this time.

So what Bama sites should you check out this week? Here are a few:


06 October 2007

SHUTOUT 24-0 Rebels

It wasn't pretty at times, at least from the offense but the Rebel D finally showed up and shutout the bulldogs. The Rebels preserved the first shutout since 2003 by blocking a field goal with a few minutes left in the game. Mouzon returned the ball for a touchdown and the Rebels won 24-0.
It feels good to win after four straight losses. My Ole Miss house flag hangs proudly in Southwest Ohio tonight.

Hotty Toddy, bring on Bama.

05 October 2007

The rest of the season

Ole Miss is coming off one of the hardest stretches in college football with only 1 win and 4 loses. With a 1-4 record and the rest of the schedule slightly easier how well can the Rebels finish?
Any schedule in the SEC is a tough one. However, throw in a good top 25 OOC team and two top 10 rotating Eastern Division teams and you have a nightmare schedule on your hands. The Rebels have played their hardest foes, minus LSU, for the season but with Alabama, Auburn & Arkansas upcoming can the Rebels squeeze out a few victories?
Here is how the rest of the season breaks down:

Louisiana Tech: Ole Miss is favored in this game and probably should win. However, LA Tech has a spread offense which has given Ole Miss problems this year. I think the Rebels win this one and move to 2-4.

Alabama: Yes Alabama has Saben. Yes they started off well. However, they have started to falter lately. This is mainly due to the fact that they have a young team. They also have some line issues on both sides of the ball. Alabama always seems to somehow beat Ole Miss. I think we win our first conference game against Bama. The Rebels move to 3-4.

Arkansas: Arkansas looks flat and unmotivated this year. If they play this way in Oxford we win this one as well. Ole Miss has been very poor this year against the run and well we all know about Arkansas's running game. I think the Rebels will probably lose this one and move to 3-5.

Auburn: Auburn looked poor at the start of the season. They looked much better against Florida. I haven't been impressed with their offense this year. I think we have a good shot of winning this game but in the end I think we come up short. Rebels will move to 3-6.

Northwestern State: Not much to say. We should win this one. Rebels move to 4-6.

LSU: LSU is the best team in the country. Yes they are a rival and we took them to overtime last year in Baton Rouge. I think we can keep this one close. However, I think LSU will win. Rebels will move to 4-7.

Miss. State: Mississippi State is playing better this year. I still believe we have the better talent and will win this game in Starkville. Ole Miss will finish the year 5-7.

If the Rebels can pull off wins against both Arkansas and Alabama then we have a great shot of finishing with 6 wins. Of course it all has to start with a win this Saturday.

03 October 2007

Chat with La. Tech fans

I recently stopped by Bulldog Barks & Bytes, a La Tech sports website. I asked a few questions to La Tech fans.

(1) Tell us about your team. What are your strengths and weaknesses this year?
Strengths - QB play, WR's, Kickoff coverage, overall depth. Weaknesses - RB's, TE's, defensive front 7, Punting and Return game--atldawg
We are a team under construction after years of neglect. Strengths -- RB, punter, and a defense which is improved over last year.--Tech77
We are going to air it out like we have always done with Rattay and McCown. We had our top receiver out against Fresno so we had to run more, but he will be back and ready to burn you deep. Two of our other wideouts are small, fast guys. Phillip Beck and Philip Livas can really turn it on and we have been trying to use them more. We will use a lot of nickel and dime defenses to stop the pass and force you to run. The more you run, the more the clock runs and the closer we can keep the game. Bend but dont break defense. We are very experienced in the secondary so we have to depend on them.--Jay

(2) What type of Offense do you run?
Spread formations, 5 wide - to take advantage of our senior QB and talented receiving corp--atldawg
Mostly pro-set. Pretty vanilla.--Tech77

(3) What are LA Tech's Keys to victory in this game?
We probably dont have much of a chance, we have to create at least 5 turnovers--atldawg
our best chance at victory is your inept head coach. You guys have SEC/BCS talent. We have the left overs after you guys and the upper crust CUSA teams (Memphis and USM) get though picking. We are just going up there for a paycheck and have no chance at a W.--maddawg
Win the turnover battle, win time of possession, pass well enough to open up the running game. --Tech77

(4) Is there anything else you would like Rebel fans to know?
Cant comment for everyone, but I think you guys are on the rise. Sure wish you would have beaten Florida--atldawg
We are a work in progress. We believe we will be much better in a couple of years.--Tech77

(5) What are your predictions for the game?
Ole Miss 31, Tech 10--atldawg
Ole Miss 28, Tech 14.--Tech77

01 October 2007

Georgia Game: Pics

Here are a few pictures of the Georgia game sent to me by HTB fan Jody.


For health reasons stay away from the message boards

Did I listen to the same game Saturday? Maybe I was stuck in horizontal world. A world in which the Rebels played very well the first three quarters, despite players dropping left and right from injury. If you get on the message boards you would get a very different impression from what I got on Saturday.
Folks on the message board are in deep states of depression. They want to fire the AD and fire the coach. Some are already posting potential coaching lists. I have to wonder if these are teenage boys posing as serious Rebel fans. When I was 12 and Ole Miss lost, I felt the same way as a lot of the posters do. Now, I give myself an hour to sulk and then I try to be real about the situation.
Here is the skinny: The Rebels played a top 10 program tooth and nail for three quarters. We had a few mishaps and Georgia scored three touchdowns very quickly. Yes, Georgia ran all over our defense but our offense kept up with them most of the way. Is a 4th quarter meltdown acceptable? No, of course not. Does it mean we have the worse team in the SEC and the worse in our history? No.
Let's get real Rebel fans. We can't fire our coach, even if we only win one game this year. He has to have at least next year. Yes, we are 1-4. We've lost to Florida, Georgia, Missouri & Vandy. Three in the top 25 and two in the top 10. This is a difficult schedule. Is it fair? Perhaps not, but it is what has been handed to us. Most other teams would be in our situation if they had our schedule. Maybe they would have beaten Vandy but Missouri, Florida and Georgia are difficult teams to beat for anyone.
This kind of talk on the message boards only hurts the situation. People read these boards. Recruits read these boards. For once, let's all collectively agree to stand behind this team. If at the end of the year things need to be discussed, then we do it. I expect nothing less from our fans than to support the Rebels in good times and bad times. That means smart, reasonable and well thought out posts. It also means being in the stands to support the Rebels when you can, even at games like LA Tech.
(Picture by Hotty Toddy Blog fan Jody)

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