Another Stepping Stone?

Beating Troy convincingly is what should have happened. The Trojans were outmatched, but if one will allow a sports journalism "reach," this dismantling could be viewed as another step in the right direction.

The Spirit's Ben Garrett wrote succinctly last week after the Rebels played an average game against Arkansas and were still able to beat an SEC opponent by 10 points, marking a distinct program-going-in-the-right-direction moment.

Ben was on the money, no question.

To be able to do that against any SEC foe is not something we have grown accustomed to, but puts a fine mark on the progress being made by Hugh Freeze, his staff and these players.

Allow me to submit another stepping stone of sorts in the development of a rising program. . .

. . . I understand it's a reach, but let me submit that easily handling Troy, SEMO and Idaho has some significance as well.

It's probably overstating the point, hence the "reach," but I can remember in the not too distant past when we, as a collective fan base, would enter these games - scheduled to be wins - with just a smidgeon of trepidation.

Which Rebel team will show up? Will they let these guys hang around and hang around until they allow it to be a real game? When are they going to push the accelerator?

Longtime fans have seen many examples of some former Reb teams playing down to the level of their competition. Ole Miss would normally win those games, but sometimes not without some anxious moments.

Flash forward to 2013.


Bo Wallace
Associated Press

This Rebel team is not a world beater. It's a good, solid football team, but not a "great" football team. I think the 7-3 record illustrates that point.

But what it is, it says here, is a consistent team, no matter who they are playing.

That piggybacks off of Freeze's mantra of "60 minutes of passionate football" every week to a certain extent, but it also points to more, in this humble opinion.

It points not only to the passion this team has, but to the buy-in and belief in what these coaches are preaching to them daily.

Be consistent in your every day life and it will spill over to football.

Then, teams like Troy, SEMO and Idaho will be putty in your hands and you can beat an Arkansas without your 'A' game, to blatantly steal a quote coined by Tiger Woods.
Being accountable, which goes hand in glove to consistency, sometimes has some tough lessons, but once learned, they pay major dividends.

Ask Cody Prewitt, one of the best young men on the team. He missed a class or two this week and had to sit out a quarter or two against Troy.

I'll take all wagers that Cody will not make that mistake again. It worked for Serderius Bryant and Senquez Golson and Charles Sawyer, players also with suspensions this year - they have been stellar since.

And it will work for Prewitt.

Consistency.

You can apply a lot of words to Alabama's reign at the top of the college football world. Talented, well-coached, passionate, whatever superlative you want, but number one, in this book, is their consistency.

They play the same way regardless of who is across the line of scrimmage from them - Georgia State or LSU.


Cody Prewitt
Josh McCoy

I suggest the Rebels have gained a certain amount of consistency as well. Except for one game when they were not hitting on many cylinders (at Auburn), and some "bright lights" that got them in Tuscaloosa, this has been a very consistent team.

Freeze has been smart not to try to peak them for every game, picking and choosing his spots as needed, but even when there have been games when the fire just didn't seem to be there, they have played pretty consistently.

Consistency is one calling card for all great teams. Every coach will put consistency at the top of their list of winning qualities.

Ole Miss has not always had that quality in years past. It seems they are gaining a modicum of that now. There's certainly more consistency to be gained, but there's definite improvement in that important area of development.

To me, that's another stepping stone in the right direction.

Maybe I'm spewing drivel. Maybe that's stretching things a bit too far.

But give me consistency in anything and I will give you, most of time, success.

Stay on the path of consistency, guys. It has paid off and it will continue to reap rewards.


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