Saturday night’s Ole Miss–Georgia game reminded me somewhat of the 2003 contest between the Rebels and LSU, which also saw the Rebels’ QB falter in a late comeback effort after a close-run contest. Certainly the atmosphere at Vaught-Hemingway was comparable.
That said, not even Brent Schaeffer’s biggest boosters would say he’s the next coming of Eli Manning, and the 2003 LSU contest had much more on the line: a berth in the SEC title game and LSU’s national championship prospects and unbeaten record. Instead, this contest saw our prospects at bowl eligibility slipping further away, with the Rebels needing to win 5 of 7 just to have a shot at going to a bowl for the first time since the 2003 Cotton Bowl contest.
Realistically, I don’t see the Rebels making a bowl, despite the marked improvement in play on both sides of the ball since the Missouri contest—and had the Rebels played as well in the previous three contests as they did last night, we would be looking at a rather dangerous 3–2 or 4–1 squad with the whole division ahead rather than a team that will be lucky if it bests last season’s three win mark.
Update: Clarion-Ledger Ole Miss beat writer Robbie Neiswanger has more on this theme at his blog.