Monday, October 13, 2014

Monumental Mississippi Meltdown

@Scotto taking on the infamous chicken fried hotdog
during the Ole Miss debacle.
Ahhh yes! Now this is true Aggie Football blogging! Back when we started Aggie Rundown, there was plenty of criticism to hand out and there were so many discussions to have that we were basically printing money. Then, all of a sudden, Johnny became fantastic and we could no longer complain. Well here we are now, looking back at the worst two losses in the Sumlin era and wondering what in the world happened? Lucky for you, we at Aggie Rundown are quite skilled in filling you in on what you should and should not worry about, where we’ll likely go from here, and how to make sense of the mess going on in the SEC West right now.

What to make of these monumental losses

Well for starters, Miss State and Ole Miss are both really good teams this year. Alabama, Auburn, and LSU have all fallen victim to the senior laden schools from Mississippi this season. While Alabama lost in a tight game that came down to the end, both Auburn and LSU were handily taken to the woodshed just like A&M. These are two schools who have been recruiting quite well as of late and are hitting their stride at the right time, but don’t forget that A&M is still 4-2 against both schools since joining the conference, so it’s not like the sky is falling. Specifically talking Ole Miss, consider this; their senior QB, Bo Wallace had a rather fantastic day by opening up the pass game (178 passing yards and 1 TD) with his running abilities (50 rushing yards and 2 TDs). Still, we gave their offense 3 TDs. Now, you know what didn’t happen to the three year starter, Bo Wallace, the last two years? He didn’t beat A&M, and he didn’t Bama. He’s never beat A&M until last week and he’s never beat Bama until two weeks ago. The reality of the situation is that Johnny Manziel was good enough to leave early for the NFL and Bo wasn’t. That means Ole Miss gets to return a three year started and A&M doesn’t. Hypothetically speaking, does anyone think the game goes the same way if Johnny were slinging the rock in CS last night? Or how about if both Johnny and Mike were still around? Well (like LSU and Alabama) we were punished for our success over the last two years by early departures to the NFL, something Miss State and Ole Miss didn’t have to deal with because of their lack of success over the same period. Sumlin has seen 8 players drafted over the last three years where Ole Miss has seen 1. More specifically, in just the last two drafts, Sumlin has seen 5 years of extra eligibility drafted in the first round where Freeze has seen none. I’m NOT saying that’s an excuse for losing, but I am saying things have lined up really well for the Mississippi schools to finally dish out what they’ve been eating the last two years.

What do we do now?

Well, first off, we need a change in our offense. Period. Now, I don’t personally believe that Sumlin needs to step in and take over play-calling from Spavital (though that is a very real option), but either the play calling is off or the playing is off so, if it’s not Spavital’s doing, then it must be on Kenny. I’m eerily reminded of the early days of 2010 when Jerrod had a hype-filled first few fluff games that led to his notorious “dark-horse Heisman” bullshit and then he dropped 3 games in a row where Jerrod had useless inflated stats that did not at all reflect how much he was hurting our offense. You know why else this reminds me of that year? Because Kenny is throwing ducks all over the field, he’s afraid of the deep ball, and he’s completing a high percentage of short throws that are becoming overly predictable. We can’t run the ball because they aren’t respecting our deep passing game and then we get down early, resulting in us throwing more to try and catch up. So, in my expert Aggie Rundown opinion, we need to let Kyle Allen see the field. Afterall, unleashing future Miami Dolphins starting QB, Ryan Tannehill, was the second smartest decision Sherman ever made while at A&M (second to recruiting Johnny, obviously).

How the West is won

Does Arkansas win a divisional game? Does LSU? Will they demand to fire Les Miles after this impossibly difficult season? (Actually, those tigers just might be dumb enough to do that, but I digress). Ole Miss, Miss State, Alabama, and Auburn are all still in the hunt for the West. Right now, Miss State is ranked #1 in the country and Ole Miss is sitting still at #3. Auburn and Alabama are just behind at #6 and #7, respectively, as the highest one loss teams in the country. But each team still has two more matchups against another team in the foursome, so there's still plenty of football to be played. The key here is that the Mississippi schools don't have to leave their state for any of those remaining games against the Alabama schools so I think the Mississippis sweep the Alabamas and Ole Miss ultimately wins the SEC as they are the home team in what will be the biggest Egg Bowl this side of Easter Sunday. Look, in this day and age (with #5 Baylor taking the lead in the Big 12 by defeating #9 TCU) you have to set aside your preconceived notions about the smaller college football brands because Ole Miss and Miss State have arrived and that will only make for more and more exciting meaningful games in Kyle Field.

Speaking of Kyle Field, how about that environment! Man, those 110,633 fans were really loud for two and a half Ole Miss possessions. Rumor has it the place got loud again in the third, but Aggie Rundown was busy trying to run down some chicken friend hotdogs in the bellows of the new student side during this portion of the game, so we cannot confirm.

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