Rivalries are what make sports great.
The passion and loyalty you have for your team combined with the hatred you have for your rival can’t be described.
But sometimes, scenarios work out where you, against every instinct in your body, have to pull for the team you can’t stand. That’s the case for Ole Miss fans this weekend while they watch SEC football during the Rebels’ bye week.
Ole Miss (7-3, 4-2 SEC) is no longer in control of its own destiny in the SEC West thanks to a miraculous lateral by Arkansas tight end Hunter Henry. However, the past is the past, and all the Rebels can do is move on.
Alabama, who got a dominating win against LSU last weekend, now controls the division, but a stumble by the Crimson Tide would reset things and put Ole Miss back in the driver’s seat.
For that to happen, Ole Miss must pull for Mississippi State to upset Alabama in Starkville, Miss. on Saturday.
Think about it. That’s fans chanting Hail State instead of Hotty Toddy. Fans pulling for the team with the darker colors, and no, we aren’t talking about navy.
That’s the predicament losses to Florida and Arkansas have put Ole Miss in. But if the Bulldogs pull off the upset, all of a sudden, that Nov. 21 showdown against LSU in Oxford, Miss. would instantly become a de facto SEC West championship game.
Alabama is an eight-point favorite this weekend, so it won’t be easy.
The Rebels need Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott to have the game of his life, as much as they may hate it. Ole Miss needs Bulldogs defensive lineman Chris Jones, who nearly flipped to the Rebels on National Signing Day in 2013, to have a Robert Nkemdiche-esque performance.
It’s not a good scenario for Ole Miss to be in, but it’s all the Rebels can hang their hat on.