Do some teams really have a swagger?

Ole Miss is a program on the rise in college baseball. Does the green and orange of Miami and the burnt orange of Texas carry more weight with the fans and media? Is there really an aura that surrounds those two powerhouse baseball programs. Where does Ole Miss fit in presently?

The word swagger was mentioned a time or two at the Ole Miss post-practice press conference. It's a bit hard to define it.

Do Texas and Miami have it? Does Ole Miss have it?

Is it something you see or hear or feel? Is it more internal from within a program? Or is it more of a perception by fans and media?

Let's get a couple of things straight first. Texas and Miami should have it. Ole Miss should too, if for no other reason than the Longhorns and Hurricanes have had to travel to Oxford this year and last instead of the Rebels going to Austin and Coral Gables. So start with that. The Rebels have been a top 16 team for two seasons at least, and by hosting a Super Regional a case is made that they are a top 8 team both those years; especially since they were a top 8 national seed in 2005.

Still it's hard to define. But it's there.

One definition of swagger reads - To walk or conduct oneself with an insolent or arrogant air; strut.

Another says this - To brag; boast. Boastful or conceited expression; braggadocio.

Mike Bianco says swagger is probably more of a perceived notion from fans and media and onlookers than it is from within a program. And he says that's a good thing; otherwise it might go to one's head.

"If you're trying to swagger, then there's a problem with it," the sixth-year Rebel head coach said. "If you're trying to look confident and are worried about the way you look or the way you're perceived, then you don't have it."

That being the case, Ole Miss has it. These kids aren't worried about anything but winning.

Texas and Miami have every right to have it. Ole Miss does too. But does it take getting to Omaha to seal it?

Again it probably goes back to that feeling fans or media or others have when they see the bright orange and green of a Miami or the burnt orange of a Texas.

The red and blue of Ole Miss is beginning to have that same effect in baseball, starting at the local level and moving up.

"To me it's just a belief, it's a feeling," Bianco said. "But if you're trying to do it and you're trying to put it on, then to me it means you're not as confident. So to me it's more of what everybody perceives. It's hard to judge yourself."

Ole Miss-Texas. Ole Miss-Miami. That could be a headliner in football. Those could both be front page news in any sport.

That it's baseball and it's in Oxford and the winner goes to the College World Series certainly makes it that.

"If you've watched the way we've played the last few weeks, certainly we've played with a lot of confidence and we've played well," Bianco said. "That's what I've perceived. But this is another weekend. We've got to come out and play like we have for the last few weeks, play with that confidence, play with that belief, and basically play well. It's all about playing well for two or three days in a row. The teams that do that in the Super Regionals move on."

The bottom line also is that the Ole Miss baseball program is doing what its fans and supporters want. It wins.

Their chests are already poked out when it comes to baseball in Mississippi and even the South. This weekend is yet another chance for Ole Miss to break through, to take its belief, its confidence, its swagger to the College World Series in Omaha for the fifth time ever but first since 1972.

Miami, a program that was there two years ago, with 21 appearances worth of Omaha swagger and four national crowns, is the hurdle.

The Ole Miss Rebels feel they are up to the task.

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