Hugh Freeze and the Ole Miss Rebels did the unthinkable against No. 6 LSU: upset the Tigers.
Decimated by injury, especially along the defensive side of the ball, Ole Miss pulled together as a team to kick start the second half of the season with a surprising, upset win over the arch-nemesis Tigers.
Forget about game stats and individual performances, they’re not the big takeaway from the win.
The Rebels, in only their second year under Hugh Freeze, now know they can win the “big ones.”
Don’t get me wrong, as Freeze would suggest himself, this is still a very young team finding its way among the SEC elite.
But having lost momentum from a 3-0 start after a disappointing loss at Alabama, having lost one they should have won on the Plains and having lost to Johnny Football for the second-consecutive year in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, the Rebels could have easily come out flat against LSU.
But they didn’t.
In fact, they did just the opposite.
Coaches did their job following the A&M loss and players continued to “buy in” to what Freeze and Co. have been selling Ole Miss players, fans and faithful from the day first he was hired.
To the casual football fan that watched the game, he probably figured that Ole Miss just got really lucky and hung on to beat the Bayou Bengals. That’s incorrect.
Will the Rebels now move to the top of the SEC food chain?
Of course, not.
Are they sliding their way up and making other teams take notice?
You better believe it.
Freeze is building something special in Oxford, and Saturday night was a a prelude of what’s to come. Give him another couple of years to bring in more top-notch recruits and let younger players gain experience along the way, and Ole Miss will be dangerous. Very dangerous.
With Idaho, Arkansas, Troy, Missouri and State left on the schedule this season, the Rebels are in prime position to improve upon last year’s turnaround 6-6 regular season campaign.
Whether they win six, seven, eight or even nine regular season games in 2013, they’re on track.
SEC clubs, you’re officially on notice after last night.