Monday Morning Update

Spanning the globe on a Monday morning …

Some fun with numbers here looking ahead to the Egg Bowl.

I’ve heard pessimists from both sides of the Ole Miss-MSU argument lament the issues of their team and express fear of how those will be exploited Saturday night.

There are interesting similarities here. Ole Miss is first in the SEC and MSU second in passing offense, and both offenses could thrive as Ole Miss is No. 8 in pass defense efficiency and MSU No. 10.

The Bulldogs struggle to run the ball, but that won’t matter if receivers are consistently open in the Ole Miss secondary. Ole Miss has run the ball much better since Laremy Tunsil has been back at left tackle. The Rebels had 152 on the ground and averaged almost 5 yards a carry (4.9) against LSU.

This from ESPN:

State’s rushing defense is No. 10 in the SEC at 165.2 yards a game allowed.

I don’t see Ole Miss dominating this game on the ground, but that could be a matchup that allows the Rebels to move the chains a couple of times. In a close game that could be the difference.

One of the biggest numbers right now is 70 percent — as in 70 percent chance of rain Saturday. My first thought was that could benefit a team that runs better, but State successfully threw the ball in a monsoon at Missouri a few weeks ago.

And this:

In other news …

From the Baton Rouge Advocate, columnist Scott Rabalais updates the Les Miles situation while offering high praise for Ole Miss’ play. The Rebels’ deserve praise for their play, particularly the throwback to Evan Engram that Rabalais points out. It should also be noted that LSU at times appeared dysfunctional. That’s pointed out as well.

Hugh Freeze was asked what he thought about the Miles job discussion conversation.

“I think Les Miles is a wonderful football coach and a wonderful man. This sport is a difficult thing to please a lot of people. You just keep your head down and make sure you’re doing what’s right for the university and for the young men in your locker room and staff. You sure hope like heck that the scoreboard validates you enough to keep giving you those opportunities. He’s a friend of mine. He’s always been very kind to me,” Freeze said.

The reality is this. Fan bases at LSU and Georgia — and any given Power Five school in any given year — want to compete for conference and national championships on an annual basis.

There’s only one coach in the country right now that can be hired who brings that guarantee, and even that guy, Nick Saban, was 7-6 in his first year at Alabama. There’s no guarantee that any coach who could take over at LSU or Georgia would immediately bring the desired┬áresults. The question both of those schools must answer is are they willing to blow things up — to seriously alter their status quo and rebuild?

If they are then they can bring in a new coach and a new staff and build for the future. Maybe they get a quick fix next year. Sometimes a fresh face organizing someone else’s talent yields quick results. They did for Miles at LSU. Those results are not always sustained.

It is interesting right now the number of Power Five jobs open and those that could come open. It’s possible that Miles and/or Richt could leave where they are and land in a new Power Five location for 2016.

And speaking of the closest thing to a guarantee in college football, will┬áSaban jump to the NFL? Probably not, but it doesn’t sound like rebuilding another college program is out of the question. …

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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  • JB

    Yes, the Egg bowl is very important for Ole Miss to win, but in reality the Alabama Crimson Tide controls Ole Miss destiny to higher and a more important bowl appearance, Despite the fact that Rebels beat the Tide earlier in the season,is of little importance should Bama beat Auburn, if so Tide meets the Florida Gators for SEC Championship. The egg bowl could just be only for the State bragging rights..

    • Lee814

      I disagree JB. I think the Rebels should put more focus on the Egg Bowl and forget about Alabama. Win the SEC or not, Ole Miss is not going to the playoff. If Bama loses to Auburn (highly unlikely) and OM goes on to win the SEC championship, the Sugar Bowl is the best the Rebels can do. But, with a win over MSU, the Rebels have a good shot the Sugar Bowl anyway. If Florida loses to FSU and then Bama in the championship game, they will likely fall considerably in the rankings, which would open the door for a 9-3 OM or MSU in the Sugar. Forget about the Iron Bowl and focus on MSU.

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