If you need to see sunshine and feel upper-70 temps, that’s unfortunate. The weather folks say that won’t happen.
But what needs to happen to create a warm fuzzy feeling heading into off-season workouts and August camp, that window void of football coverage except for arrests and suspensions?
The key here is to remember that spring football games are less like real football and more like WWF productions.
Winning and losing of jobs, or the effort at such, is done in the 14 practices leading up to “game day,” which is really more of a marketing event to get people on campus.
That marketing is a great idea, by the way, and spring football has so gained in popularity that the misguided idea of allowing full-scale “spring games” against different opponents has been discussed. There’s too much injury risk for that event in the spring. More would be gained if the NCAA allowed one such event prior to opening day as is already done with college basketball.
Back to this Saturday. Don’t get caught up in the statistics and touchdowns. The final score is meaningless, but the game is not without meaning.
Taking the lead
It would serve the Rebels well if one quarterback – either Barry Brunetti or Bo Wallace – was outstanding and not average.
If one takes a significant lead in the race it might affect preparation and how practice snaps are divided once August arrives.
If the offensive line, which has struggled this spring, provides running lanes on the inside, that would be another positive development. The Rebels’ best running has been on the perimeter, and with Jeff Scott and newly converted wide receiver Randall Mackey, there are guys who can get on the edge and make plays.
If Tobias Singleton, a former wide receiver, or Nick Parker can bang up inside for nice gains offense becomes easier.
How about Nick Brassell? After his brief spring appearance in Week 2 he was described by coach Hugh Freeze as an “NFL corner.” Would seeing him make NFL plays in the spring game bring confidence that Brassell can overcome his academic issues and be part of the plan in August?
The key Saturday is to consider the parts, not the sum of the parts.
No matter how you look at it, Ole Miss football faces an uphill climb in 2012.
In Freeze’s first opportunity to win the day by winning the game certain story lines can play out to give fans the confidence to believe that over time it will be a manageable journey.
Parrish Alford (email@example.com) covers Ole Miss for the Daily Journal. Read his blog at Djournal.com.