I’ve read a lot of the analysis of this weekend’s game with Ole Miss, but I can’t seem to fall in line with the "letdown" worries.
It’s true that this game sets up as a possible letdown or "trap" coming after a big emotional win and another big road test next week. It’s also true that Ole Miss played us much closer than we would have liked last year.
Why am I having trouble getting properly worried for this game? The first is that Ole Miss isn’t a particularly good road team. Zero road wins in the SEC under Orgeron. They barely escaped a bad Memphis team and lost by double-digits at Vanderbilt. If this game were in Oxford, I’d be a lot more concerned.
The main reason for my mindset is the effect of the Bama win. Some emotional wins are draining, leaving you empty and unable to get back up for the next game. But others have a way of lifting pressure and getting a team on a roll. We saw that after Auburn in 2002. Georgia was a completely different team in those last three games of 2002 once the pressure of winning the SEC East was removed. It’s impossible to predict, but I think that the Bama game will have that kind of effect on this team.
There was a lot of doubt and pressure on the team after the South Carolina loss. While the season will surely still have other tests and struggles, the step forward in Tuscaloosa was significant. Not only was it a big shot of confidence for the team, but the win also got rid of a lot of the woe-is-us mentality from a fan base badly needing an SEC win. The crowd will be into the game. Is it enough to start the Dawgs on a more consistent roll into October? I’m going to take a shot in the dark and say it is. If you want solid reasoning, others have that down much better than I. This is strictly gut-feel stuff today.
You’ll notice I don’t do predictions very often. Some of that’s a result of superstition, but I figure it’s usually a crap shoot most of the time anyway. But for some reason I think the Dawgs start building on that Alabama win this weekend, handle an opponent they should beat, and cover the 15.