Five months ago, Ole Miss was picked to be dead last in the SEC, I did not really know what we would have with Oxford Football, Oxford had just won 5 State Titles in 5 different sports in the previous 12 months, Ole Miss was picked by many to go 3-9 in Hugh Freeze's first year, and Mississippi State fans were already claiming a fourth straight win over Ole Miss.
Today, Ole Miss finished 5th in the SEC West out of 7 teams - although in a lot of people's minds, we really finished 4th because MSU finished 4th but the Rebels beat them - and managed to get 3 SEC wins, Oxford Football defeated Lafayette on national TV, went 11-2, and made it to the 2nd Round of the 5A playoffs, Ole Miss went to and won a bowl game - a game no one even thought was going to happen to Ole Miss a few months ago, and most Mississippi State fans are being ugly about losing to Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl and losing in the Gator Bowl (and really have been just ugly about everything in general).
The only thing missing is Oxford winning a State Title - we are still working on that.
What I've seen happen in the past five months is that many fans that are used to winning are not used to losing anymore. I first saw that with Lafayette fans, one with the only provoking done is donning my normal Oxford hat just went off on me when I attended their next home game during Oxford's off week. I knew if Ole Miss does win over Mississippi State, it would get ugly.
Ugly it did. It did not help that the video department posted Dan Mullen's speech he gave after winning at Ole Miss two years ago that "we'll never lose to this team again." There were some people that had given insults or had given an Ole Miss punchline everyday or every other day that scolded on the Ole Miss fans doing the exact same thing the past near 1100 days that the many Bulldog fans had been doing. They refuse to (#we)believe that today. Excuses of course.
Now Ole Miss Basketball has knocked off a ranked Missouri team, came back from behind against Vanderbilt on the road and are off to a 3-0 SEC start. Something unheard of at Ole Miss - really unheard of in any sport.
I've been used to winning and losing a lot because of my active involvement in many sports, pick'em games, fantasy games, and the fact that it is rare to have the New York Giants, Cincinnati Bengals, Cincinnati Reds, New York Yankees, Oxford, Ole Miss, Duke Football to win in every sport every year. As a Bengals fan, I'm used to a lot of losing. Ole Miss has done a lot of losing before this year came. I'm used to winning with Oxford of course and the Yankees. Reds won a lot this past year too - and suffered a 2-0 choke job to the eventual world champion San Francisco Giants.
Ole Miss has went from the punchline of the SEC to at least get back to the middle of the pack in all sports. Oxford Football has gotten the Lafayette monkey off their backs. Ole Miss has gotten Dan the gorilla off their backs. The Ole Miss Basketball team is (so far) looking like they will get the NCAA ape off their backs.
I can't wait to see the next five months. NCAA Tournament and Omaha anyone? I hope so anyways. Maybe Oxford Baseball will make it to Pearl too and win the whole thing.