If I was perusing the latest copy of Southern Living and I most certainly was not while waiting for the cable guy to fulfill his arrival in the last thirty minutes of a six-hour block, it might mention a high society event this weekend in Oxford, Mississippi.
Ladies in their pearls and sundresses, coyly trying to hide inebriated eyes behind Louis Vuitton sunglasses and secretly hoping the guy talking has a trust fund. Men wondering whether their wives see wandering eyes underneath a low-pulled hat and a stumbling gait. And football, glorious college football, not beginning until late in the Saturday evening so that its patrons can be fully imbibed with all of the bourbon Kentucky has to offer.
Texas and Ole Miss meet this weekend in the only regular season clash of Big 12 and SEC teams. It’s not the Champions Bowl but does anyone want to see Alabama toy with Kansas State in September?
The Rebel faithful carry a hefty reputation for their tailgating exploits in the Grove. The Longhorn fanbase would travel to Tahiti on motor boats if it meant being able to condemn an offensive coordinator for a screen pass.
Two programs with forgettable ties to racial history, two schools with maniacal tendencies toward pre-game festivities and Exhibit A as to why the bottom-half of the United States adores everything about this sport.
Hugh Freeze has ignited the Rebels with a spread offense that might make Houston Nutt run off Gus Malzahn a second time. He’s proselytizing through the Delta, nabbing recruits, Hollywood royalties and JUCO quarterbacks with the ability to extend his contract.
Bo Wallace won’t win the Heisman in Oxford but he’s a capable signal-caller and a team coming off two wins in 2011 needs that more than any theatrics. He’ll face a Longhorn defense that’s been susceptible to big gains in the initial weeks and a secondary frothing at the mouth for a quarterback willing to test them.
On offense, Texas picked and prodded Wyoming and New Mexico in an effort to boost the confidence of their own quarterback, David Ash. If he doesn’t find seams and second-level completions against a blitz-happy Rebels unit, there’s reason to worry. If he does, there’s reason to be optimistic heading toward conference play. Either way, there’s reason to drink.
I’m intrigued by the reception those wearing burnt orange receive Saturday in Mississippi. When Ohio State and Texas hooked up for a home-and-home in 2005 and 2006, the actions of a purported few in Columbus necessitated a public apology from Buckeyes officials. It soured the return game the following season though I can’t imagine the same occurring in Oxford.
Because what’s there to be mad about?
Ladies in all shades of orange, blue and red frolicking with a glass of wine among tents drawing eyes that provoke disagreements between friend-friend and husband-wife. Men praying equally hard for a win and that the flask lasts until halftime. And football, glorious college football on an early autumn Saturday among SEC and Big 12 programs. It’s a place to watch and be seen this weekend in Oxford. And should the heavens open and it rains voraciously on Ole Miss and Texas? Well that’s why you don’t wear white after Labor Day.