The “what-ifs” of college football are sometimes more entertaining than reality, so when a reporter asked Michigan quarterback Shea Patterson on Tuesday about his time at Ole Miss, Patterson responded with something that Rebels fans will think about for a long time.
“I would have stayed at Ole Miss if it weren’t for the situation we were in,” Patterson told MLive.com’s Aaron McMann while the Wolverines are in Paris. “I can live with throwing an interception in the National Championship Game. Or to get there, in the playoff. It might be hard to live with that — but I don’t know if I could have lived with not being able to get the chance to compete for one.”
That situation Patterson is referring to is familiar with fans of both Ole Miss and the SEC. The Rebels were put on probation in December, a punishment which includes a two-year postseason ban, because of infractions that occurred under former coach Hugh Freeze.
Patterson was seen as the future at quarterback for Ole Miss last season, starting in seven games and throwing for 2,259 yards and 17 touchdowns before suffering a season-ending knee injury against LSU in late October.
Now at Michigan and ruled eligible to this season by the NCAA just last week after a long appeal, Patterson is hoping for brighter days in Ann Arbor. But he still keeps in touch with the man who helped bring him to Oxford in the first place.
“Oh yeah,” Patterson said when asked if he had talked to Freeze. “He sent me a ‘good luck’ text. We have a good relationship.”