October 14, 2006
Series record: 42-9-2 (.792)
Alabama has lost two games to Ole Miss since 2000 and that is two too many only being this far into the young century. Hopefully that can be chalked up to the chaos of our 4,385 coaching changes since the year 2000.
Even though the Tide beats the Rebels four out of five times, one victory in particular holds a special place in my heart. October 14, 2006 will mark the 17th anniversary of that game.
In 1989, Alabama was playing Ole Miss in Jackson. In the late 1980s, there weren't dozens upon dozens of televised games each week as is the case now. So, you had to listen to games on the radio since pay-per-view wasn't widespread.
Ole Miss was up 21-0 almost before I had a chance to sit down on the couch after turning the radio on. Being young and therefor full of the folly of youth, I gave up listening to the rest of the game that day and decided to go over to a friend's house to play football in the yard (I was in middle school at the time.) I rode my bike over to my friend's house and by the time I arrived, Alabama was back in it though still trailing. We went inside and listened to the rest of the game on the radio and the Tide went on to win 62-27 in a monumental comeback. That was the first and last time I gave up on my team.
Orgeron: That mutha is crazy
Ed Orgeron is in his second season in Oxford and is looking to shake things up with the addition of JuCo transfer Brent Schaeffer at quarterback. Orgeron named Schaeffer the starter before it was certain he would even academically qualify to attend Ole Miss. Another transfer, running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis (from Indiana) is expected to step right in and see significant playing time as well. I'm not sure what that says for Ole Miss' chances this year that they're pinning so much hope on a QB that didn't go through spring drills with the team and a RB from a lower-tier Big 10 school.
Ole Miss' defense was middle of the pack in the SEC last year and proved good enough to thoroughly frustrate Alabama's middle-of-the-pack (sans-Prothro) offense. They lost six defensive starters, but retained most of their DBs. Considering Alabama will likely be fairly run heavy this year, this is good news.
Alabama beat the Rebs 13-10 in Oxford last year and won off of a last second field goal from Jamie "Money" Christensen to preserve the Tide's undefeated record. It was Bama's first game after losing Tyrone Prothro and it provided a glimpse of the offensive impotence that would be present the rest of the season (barring a track meet against Utah State.)
By game seven of 2006, John Parker Wilson should have a pretty firm handle on the offense and I imagine there should be a much more comfortable margin of victory for the Tide than there was last year. Hopefully we won't have to be so dependent on the run at this point in the season and can vary our attack more. Defensively, I'm not terribly worried about what Ole Miss will throw at us unless I've grossly underestimated the abilities of their newcomers and overestimated our new group of starting defenders.
Predicted record after this game: 5-2
Charlie's Angel Kate Jackson attended, but did not graduate from Ole Miss