Football: Stability is the Key

The loss to Alabama this past Saturday was tough on everyone associated with the Ole Miss program. Losing will never be taken lightly by men with the desire to win as strong as David Cutcliffe and his staff. There is still much to play for during the 2002 season. Team goals such as winning the SEC West and being the first Rebels team to play in the SEC championship game are still a possibility. The bet here is that one more forward step will have been taken when this season is reviewed.

In an age of parity and limited scholarships, the best indicator of future potential is consistency. Over the past three seasons, no program in the SEC West has won more football games than Ole Miss. Hanging around at the top will eventually net a division title and even a conference championship in time.

The key to upward mobility in the college football world is stability and longevity. Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech and Bill Snyder at Kansas State are two examples of coaches who took their programs to new heights after steady climbs up the NCAA mountain. Even Mississippi State has a division title to show for their commitment to Jackie Sherrill.

The loss to Alabama was not a step forward but it shouldn't be seen only as a backward step. History shows that steps are measured by complete seasons rather than any single game. Yet another winning record and bowl game will continue to lay the solid foundation required to move to the next level. Currently, the Rebels' record stands at 5-2 and both are well within reason. Who knows, perhaps even a division title or SEC championship lies ahead. If not this season, then almost certainly in the not too distant future.

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