Thursday, February 08, 2007

Work Left To Do

ESPN recently put the Ole Miss men's basketball team in the "Work Left To Do" category to finish out the season. The Rebels still have ALOT of work to do before they can even be mentioned as a possible tournament placement. The first test in the home stretch begins with Alabama this weekend. This game is for the lead in the SEC Western Divisional race. A place the Rebels have not been for several years. A win could also give the Rebels their first winning season in over a decade.

However it is going to be a tough test. Alabama is a very talented team that has had it's ups and downs this season. They have been great at times, but also very bad. Their past few games have come down to the wire, and the Tide has barely won. How MSU let them drive the lane to score the winning basket last night is still beyond me.

I feel like the Rebels are ready. They dominated Auburn a week ago and took Wednesday off. It was a much needed rest for a team that has already faced its fair share of challenges this season. If this team plays like they did last week, they can hang with the Tide, and for that matter any other SEC team. I hate that we had a break in action when we probably had the most all around confidence in a team in probably 5 years. However I think they will carry this confidence over. The win on the road at Auburn will do wanders for a team like Ole Miss has not had many big wins like that on the road in quite sometime.

The crowd should be a big factor in this game. It is opening baseball season in Oxford, a sport that every Ole Miss fan alive loves to watch at OU Stadium. Granted it will be cold, I still predict a big crowd will be in force. Why our wonderful administration has not moved the baseball game forward an hour or so, is still beyond me. This would give fans plenty of time to see both of the games. It is obvious in my book the gametime should be changed for first pitch.

If for some reason you can not make it to Oxford this weekend, the game will be televised on FSN at 4:00. I want someone that is watching to give me a postgame of how the "White Out" marketing campaign goes. It should be a good crowd in Oxford this weekend. I know all the talk will be about the let down in the recruiting classes. But that is not why I am going to Oxford, I am going to watch a battle for the SEC West and to hopefully see Ole Miss basketball return to the top once again.