You might see where I'm already going with this.
This season thus far, Oxford is 4-0 and ranked in the top 10 in the Clarion-Ledger and AP polls. Ole Miss is 3-0 and ranked in the Top 25 in both major polls for the first time since defeating Oklahoma State in the 2010 Cotton Bowl. Both are coming off bye weeks to face teams that have beaten the Chargers and the Rebels at least 9 times in a row each.
Oxford and Ole Miss both run up-tempo offenses. Ole Miss is led by QB Bo Wallace who runs the ball effectively enough to keep him honest and has made better decisions this year - that being he has yet to throw the interception this year. Oxford is led by QB Jack Abraham who while has made some Sophomore mistakes has been largely effective in running the same type of offense. He is not the runner that Wallace is but runs nearly identical offenses with Oxford's college counterpart.
What is also interesting is the personal both teams have are also similar. Here's what I mean:
Ole Miss - Fr. DE Robert Nkemdiche, he is a force along the defensive line for Ole Miss and has proven why he was last year's top recruit. He has lived up to his billing.
Oxford - Sr. DE Darrius Liggins, a MSU commit, has really anchored the Charger D-Line which only features 3-down linemen. He has an interception, 20+ tackles, 2 sacks and is just a force with his tall, long statue that he presents opposing O-Linemen. Oxford's front-7 has limited the rushing to 4-yards per carry so far this year.
Ole Miss - Fr. WR Laquan Treadwell, has proven he can play with the best at the WR position. With Donte Moncrief in the same lineup, he makes for a difficult matchup.
Oxford - So. WR DK Metcalf, clearly Oxford's No. 1 WR target. He has shown twice than he can carry 3-4 defenders another 10 yards before he can be brought down. With Kyree White & Glenn Gordan are on the field at the same time that also needs attention, he will get his chances.
Ole Miss - Sr. QB Bo Wallace / Oxford - So. QB Jack Abraham, I've already noted what these two can do.
Ole Miss - Sr. RB Jeff Scott - He has been repeatedly compared to Dexter McCluster and against Vanderbilt, he looked like it.
Oxford - So. RB Kenzie Phillips - He may be a hair slower than Scott, but the speed coupled with his strength makes him a tough back to take down, normally needing a couple defenders to gang tackle. He has made two trips to the end zone with the starting point at least 35 yards away.
Ole Miss - Fr. S Tony Conner - Made his presence known real early he can play, getting an interception on his first defensive college drive of his career. Has wrecked havoc since. He is a South Panola product.
Oxford - Sr. S Conrey Meagher - has made 7 interceptions since last year in 15 total games, including 3 this season so far.
Ole Miss - Fr. OL Laremy Tunsil - Started against Texas and has out-performed other linemen for the job. He has looked like he's a 3-year vet. at the position in each game so far this year.
Oxford - Fr. C Colton Skidmore - Started as an 8th Grader last year against Clarksdale. He has great chemistry with Abraham when it comes to organizing the offense - and they will be together for another 2 years after this season.
If you have noticed, most of these players are underclassmen. Both teams do have a pair of Seniors helping to lead the way, but mainly underclassmen have been producing big time numbers against big time opponents. That's a scary thought in itself.
For Ole Miss, they have faced a tough opener against Vanderbilt, a rather easy game to SEMO, then another tough road game against Texas where they won with a nice second half push where Texas' D couldn't do anything to stop the tempo.
Stop me if you heard this before....
Oxford face a tough opener against defending MAIS AAA Champion Jackson Prep, then face a tough road game against Starkville where they won with a nice second half push where Starkville's D couldn't do anything to stop the tempo offense besides getting gassed by the end of that game. They also had a nice easy game against East Side. They have also beaten rival Lafayette.
Now both have big games against West Point and Alabama coming off of bye weeks. Neither opposition defense has shown they can stop other teams this season so far except once against a weak offensive opponent. The only difference is that West Point has lost a pair of games, Alabama escaped Texas A&M and are unbeaten.
The utter similarities these two schools have is uncanny.
With Oxford, many teams don't realize what they are getting into until it is too late. Coupled with exceptional Special Teams play with Cody Mills placing kickoffs in the end zone or punting it a ways down the field pinning opponents back, Oxford's defense for this past season and this season has been given more ground to defend and have been able to produce - no more so than what they did against Starkville: 5 Turnovers - 2 of which were in the Oxford Red Zone to stop long 9-10+ play drives, both being for.
Oxford's offense has always been potent - but this is the most diverse I've ever seen it. Everyone on the field must be accounted for because Abraham WILL throw it to everyone and everyone can make a play - and this offensive line is the most physical of any line I've seen - also led by several Freshmen and Sophomores. What makes this different than past offenses is this team more often than not will snap the ball 2-5 seconds once the play clock starts - and that has caused opponents to jump offside simply because of how quick Oxford is snapping the ball play after play.
This is almost as bad as the baseball post I made last April.
This is the biggest weekend Oxford may ever have in football. Last time I remember a weekend this big, Oxford traveled to Louisville and won in the 3rd Round of the 4A playoffs to reach the North Half game in 2003. Ole Miss played against LSU for the right to go to Atlanta. We got half of it, and an Eli Manning trip of his Center away from getting both.
I might die from the excitement if the 0's stay put by the time Sunday comes around.