Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Odds of Ole Miss Winning the SEC: 14-1

Odds to win the 2014-15 SEC Championship per Bovada:

Alabama 7-5
Auburn 5-1
South Carolina 5-1
Georgia 6-1
LSU 13-2
Florida 12-1
Ole Miss 14-1
Texas A&M 25-1
Mississippi State 40-1
Missouri 40-1
Tennessee 50-1
Arkansas 100-1
Kentucky 200-1
Vanderbilt 200-1

Ole Miss is exactly where one would expect in comparison to the rest of the West - behind usual suspects Alabama, Auburn and LSU, but in front of A&M, Mississippi State and Arkansas. I'm a little surprised at how wide the difference is between Ole Miss (14-1) and State (40-1), but I don't disagree. 

The cool thing about 14-1 is that it means the Rebels aren't exactly long-shots to win the conference according to the guys in Vegas. While Alabama is the clear favorite, these odds makers clearly think Ole Miss is within striking distance.

That's a fun way to start the season. 

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Jake's Take 7.28.14

The one where long, lost Nate comes back:

Preparing to Re-Enter the Football Orbit

It's July 28th, and we are finally just one month away from the August 28th season opener between Ole Miss and Boise State. The players report Friday. Practice will start soon thereafter, and before we know it football season will be officially upon us. We've waited a loooong time for this. So long, that I thought I'd refresh your memory as to exactly what it is we've so anxiously awaited:

1. Butterflies. That's the only way I know to describe that excited feeling in your stomach on the morning of game day. You know the feeling. It's the one that makes your pulse quicken, puts a skip in your step and a smile on your face. Kick off is coming!

2. Belief. The belief that this really could be the year. I've had that belief just about every season of my Ole Miss fandom, save the Billy Brewer probation years and Hugh Freeze's first season when just about everyone thought Ole Miss might win three games if Freeze was lucky (glad we were wrong on that one). When it comes to Ole Miss football, I must confess, I think with my heart, and my heart has an uncanny way of working out the way the Rebels could finish 12-0 almost every year - including this one. Therefore, when I wake up on GameDay, I'm not worried about whether Ole Miss will win. Instead, I'm contemplating how the Rebels will win. Optimism is a beautiful thing. It's what gives the sky that radiant blue color in the fall. You know the color. It's a deep, vibrant blue. It's the same sky that hung over your head for the previous seven months of the year, and {newsflash}...it didn't actually change colors. Your outlook on life did. That's how deep college football has gotten inside our heads.

3. Plans. You haven't had any for seven months. Sure you may have gone out to dinner with some friends or been to beach for a few days, but you haven't had any real, set in stone, I know exactly what I'm doing for the next four months, plans. With college football back, now you will. You're road-tripping to Atlanta, weekending in Nashville, grilling steaks with friends, Groving, eating on the Square... PLANS. You've got them all mapped out, weekend by weekend, for the next four months (5 months if Ole Miss goes 12-0) you know where you'll be. There's no weekend like a college football weekend.

4. Cloud 9. When was the last time you walked on Cloud number 9 with your feet bouncing on air and not a single care? Unless you got married or had your first child in the last 10 months I'm guessing it was on October 19, 2013, when Andrew Ritter kicked that game winner against LSU. That's a long time to live without the best feeling in the world - beating a rival SEC school. Winning is a hard-core drug to the football-lover's soul. After you've felt it once, you just want to feel it again. It's time to go back up there.

5. Total Immersion. You've been walking around like a lost puppy for seven months. You memorized the football previews. All the talk shows are saying the same things they said since the spring game. Right now, you're just muddling through... But when game week finally arrives you will go into what I call "the College Football Deep Dive." It's our version of the Abyss and it is beautiful. You'll study that week's opponent, read all the pregame stories, watch Hugh Freeze's Monday press conference on YouTube, talk to your friends at the office about how the game should go, listen to the call-in shows, study the weekend game schedule, make your predictions for your Pick 'Em contest, plan the menu for Saturday, plan how you will accomplish unfootball-related things in a way so as not to interfere with football... EVERYTHING will revolve around football. In fact, you may want to go ahead and beginning planning for this with your spouses, friends and relatives about now. There are only a few weeks left to prepare, and you're not coming up for air until mid-January.

One month until college football!

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