Saturday, October 11, 2014

Ole Miss and Mississippi State are Number 3

Tearing down the goalpost at Ole Miss last Saturday.  The post was then carried by fans out of the stadium.
Entering college football play today, the teams from Mississippi State and the University of Mississippi are tied in the national college rankings for #3.  That is rather remarkable (great piece in The New York Times about it here).  Both teams are featured on the latest cover of Sports Illustrated.  I am by no means an expert on college football history, but I bet it is a rare thing for two teams from the same state be tied at such a high ranking.  If the national championship playoffs were held today the state of Mississippi would likely send half the teams.  Amazing.

Ole Miss Rebel fans covered the $75,000 in fines and associated costs (in just four hours) levied against the University for storming the field following their upset win last week over the famed Alabama Crimson Tide.  Earlier in the day though the Mississippi State Bulldogs impressively crushed the highly ranked Texas A&M Aggies. Both teams enter number three after defeating Top Ten ranked teams last week.

I understand the reason for the fine by the SEC. I guess tearing down the goalposts and carrying them out of the stadium and through the streets and into apartments can be seen as disruptive.  But I regret that we live in a time when such spontaneous, unruly, mass celebration is viewed as punishable.  A residual aspect of America's terrorized society?  Could be.  Unruly crowds are scary.  Better to keep a tighter grip on the people.  Political correctness and all.  

But I digress...  

The Mississippi State Bulldogs took care of business at home today by solidly beating the #2 ranked Auburn Tigers 38-23 in an early match-up of Top Four teams.  This is the third Top Ten team the Bulldogs have beaten so far this year.  A true sign of a strong football team.

Texas A&M received the privilege to play these two hot and powerful Mississippi teams back-to-back today, hosting Ole Miss.  The Rebels really dominated the #14 ranked Aggies in a 35-20 victory. 

Both Mississippi teams remain undefeated.  Both manhandled highly ranked teams.  #2 Auburn lost, of course. So it begs the question will the Bulldogs and the Rebels remain tied and move up to the #2 spot together?  Now wouldn't that be something? 

Some feel at least one of these teams deserves to leap over #1 Florida State.  Could they both move to #1 together?  That's not likely. Right now, on paper, it seems the Bulldogs have the edge for any leapfrogging, given they have beaten three Top Ten teams.  I don't recall a football story quite like this one in my lifetime. I would say it surpasses the historic Kick Bama Kick rivalry between Auburn and Alabama last year. There is no football like SEC football.

Late Note:  Mississippi State did leap over Florida State for the #1 national ranking.  Ole Miss remained at #3.

Very Late Note: Two weeks later the SEC became the first college football league in history of have 4 teams ranked in the Top Five.

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