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Vassallo: Why Saturday's Loss Was So Painful for Alums

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Following this outstanding football program for 50 plus years left Saturday’s loss in a nightmarish sense like we’ve never known here. Let us place the 63-point blowout in proper perspective.

The great Johnny Vaught coached here for 25 seasons. During that tenure, he had one losing season, 1949, when the team finished 4-5-1. Also that same year, Vaught would experience his most lopsided defeat coming at the hands of Kentucky, 47-0, on October
1. All in all, he would take the Rebels to 18 bowl games, winning 10, and at one stretch, five straight. He would also register a .745 winning percentage over the quarter century that he coached.
With the embarrassment still ringing fresh in our ears from the Tuscaloosa Trainwreck, this football program has now hit rock bottom. There is only one direction from here, up. The very first game after changing the name of the mascot was anything but positive. Somewhere along the road, we have lost our identity and the new image has gotten quite ugly…fast.
Maybe returning to our roots that made us a national power in the first place is where we need to go. There may not be another John H. Vaught waiting in the wings, but we need to find out.
The blame game after Saturday should not be directed entirely at the coaches. They were not the ones on the field missing tackles, missing blocks and dropping passes. Casey Stengel was once asked after winning five straight World Series what was the secret of his success. Casey responded…”Filling out the lineup card.” Nick Saban can definitely relate to that.
Now that we are in unchartered waters as a football team, we all must stay focused on the future and hope better decisions are in store for this once great program. Knee-jerk reactions are not what we need now. Common sense and determination are the only options we have.

Steve VassalloSteve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. Currently, Steve is a highly successful leader in the real estate business who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at sovassallo@gmail.com or call him at 985-852-7745.

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