Perhaps the heading is a bit dramatic, but certain hopes and dreams quaked, erupted, and dispersed last week—have you heard talk of Ole Miss or Georgia over the last week?—while other visions have only now become clear in the bonfire smoke and leafy haze of early October. The season marches on. It does not dwell. The past moves with it.
|Long thought to have run dry, the swamp now looks to be swallowing everything.|
Ole Miss punishes the wrong man, a stranger out of New Mexico State.
This game will start at high noon. This time makes sense for an old-fashioned shootout pitting a never was against an already has been. Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze doubts his program is of an elite status. They are in the room, I guess, but they are not centered. They sit over in the corner somewhere with a bottle full of sorrow. In the liquid’s hue dance the last embers of the old homestead. A mustached Aggie with a bandanna around his neck staggers towards the swinging doors. He trips. The table flips. Whiskey soaks into the sawdust. A man draws a gun. A blast shouts from the corner. The man who fired it walks out into the street, paying for nothing, and with no one caring about where he might go next. West, East, North, South? For the time being, the debacle in Gainesville is in every town and field.
Georgia and Tennessee to commiserate on the field of play around 3:30.
Neither team can quite win the big one, but one of these teams has to win this one. After a 38-10 loss Alabama game, Georgia can no longer pretend to have a legitimate quarterback. Greyson Lambert isn’t exactly awful, but neither is he good. Last week’s game featured a lot of mistakes on offense, special teams, and on defense, but the Dawgs may have lost the game on the first play from scrimmage. After a hesitant stutter step, Malcolm Mitchell ran free up the right sideline, Lambert watched the route develop, and fired at his receiver. The ball sailed wide of the sideline. Most likely, this drifting just wide of the target will epitomize Georgia’s season, just as Tennessee’s season appears so far to be a surrendering of leads that cannot help but remind Volunteer fans that their idea of self too might be slipping away into the ether. Entering today, the all-time series between these rivals is tied. It can’t stay that way, right?
LSU to snap a chicken neck and boil water in a pot.
LSU looks really good—special even. South Carolina does not. This game may die early and quick and with an air of certainty. Do not expect the body to dance around without strings in the barnyard. Expect the tiger to swallow it whole. I think we’re done here.
Arkansas to pay its yearly dues to Alabama.
The helmets look good on the field next to each other, like old time rivals from an age when uniforms were stubbornly simple, like the game itself. This game, however, doesn’t really seem to have much in the offering. The collection plate will go ‘round, and Coach Bielema will eye it as if paper currency were the raw material of the leper’s bandages. But by the time Saban conducts the last hymn, Bielema will have pulled out his wallet and placed every last dollar on the velvet pad of a brass bowl. Last week’s win against Tennessee for Arkansas doesn’t really suggest any other outcome today is likely. Tennessee, after all, is no Alabama.
Florida stakes a claim in Missouri.
No one saw it coming, at least that I know of, but Florida barnstormed the hell out of Ole Miss last week, moving to 3-0 in the SEC. Is a letdown possible? Sure. But a letdown now appears as unlikely to occur as the undefeated start once did. Mizzou has won the SEC two years running, which means there is no reason for the Gators not to take the new bloods seriously. No one saw it coming, but the boys from Gainesville are in the driver’s seat of the SEC East going in to today and most likely will still be in it once the day ends.
Bryan Harvey tweets @LawnChairBoys.