While SMQ's own Golden Eagles may be battling for a coveted spot in the Conference USA championship game, late November in Mississippi these days really means only one thing in terms of college football: the Egg Bowl. And while Eli Manning's merciful graduation may have spared the rest of the nation the awkward annual Tirico-Corso Thanksgiving pie contest and some thrilling last place football, in the Magnolia State, these rites of Autumn remain the best most of the state believes we can offer. And so our beloved tradition endures!
It's an egg. Wanna fight about it?
In a rare effort to savor the flavor of one of his home state's foremost sporting events, SMQ took the opportunity tonight to catch a stray edition of The O Show, the weekly dissection of Ole Miss' latest efforts by coach Ed Orgeron, taped from an undisclosed location overlooking the field in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. This week, the coach could barely contain an enthusiasm resulting in borderline lucidity following his team's stunning, 23-20, overtime near-upset of LSU Saturday in Baton Rouge. A few highlights:
* The O Show theme song is "Lights Out" by P.O.D. Sample lyrics:
Chiggy-check, microphone check.
It's Lights Out, Game Over.
If you wanna you can check my stats.
It's Lights Out, Game Over.
Make way cause the kings is back.
Little known fact: "Lights Out" was picked by hitting "shuffle" on Oregeron's iPod, though the show, ironically, never checks the stats from Saturday's game.
- In order to beat LSU, Oregeron said his Rebels coming in "knew we had to do a very good job on defense. We knew we had to do a very good job on offense and we had to make something happen on special teams." The kind of insight only available to those with years of veteran wisdom in the long toil towards the top of the profession.
- SMQ is not an aficionado of coach's shows. But on most, he imagines, no kittens are ritually fricaseed to cleanse the program of the evil spirits of defeat (bad year for feral cats on campus), and coaches, during film review of the last game, generally speak. Orgeron, on his own show, barely utters more than a grumbly cliche at any point, and restrains even from ripping his clearly terrified host's arms from his body and heaving his remains through the pane of glass separating them from the field below during film review. Yes: the O speaks not during film review, roughly half the show, a glorified tape roll of grainy, jerky, disjointed, out-of-context high and lowlights that go to confirm one important element of Ole Miss' season: Patrick Willis is a badass. And also that JaMarcus Russell cannot be tackled under almost any circumstances.
It also revealed how Ole Miss came so close to winning - the Rebels led 20-7 with nine minutes to go - without cracking 200 yards total offense, getting any plays longer than 22 yards or forcing a single LSU turnover: dem teams, dey's special.
- Its first touchdown was set up by a 49-yard kickoff return by Marshay Green in the second quarter
- After the earlier fake puunt-capades, and a personal foul penalty on LSU following the touchdown, Ole Miss tried an onside kick from the 50 and recovered in Tiger territory, setting up the second touchdown.
- Green took the second half kickoff 64 yards preceding the first of two third quarter field goals.
- When LSU scored on fourth down to tie the game at 20 with under a minute remaining, Ole Miss came up the middle and blocked the winning PAT to force overtime.
- Oregeron had no grumbles to add to any of this.
Oregeron: Keeps the fire just a little bit hotter, that way you'll learn.
A visit with head equipment manager Ken Crain by The O Show correspondent Jenna Wix. Hello, Jenna! A quick Google search reveals Wix is a former pole vaulter for Ole Miss, who has since embraced broadcasting while foresaking, you know, articulation, and cleared the bar into SMQ's heart. A future sideline babe par excellence, he thinks.
- A later feature gets inside the cornrowed head of true freshman defensive end Greg Hardy, who looks awesome from the clips, but also like a wide receiver trying to play defensive end. At 235, he's still managed three sacks and four forced fumbles.
Two exchanges of the night:
- And to close the show, gaining a little confidence, a little pep as his 22 minutes in the lion's den approaches its end, the host turns the topic to the Egg Bowl. A game Ole Miss can win! Whatcha think, coach?
No, no, it's the Egg Bowl! Pump them up for territorial hatred! Okay, setting you up and...
"We're gonna be ready."