Halloween night 49 years ago, LSU, ranked #1 in the country, trailed Ole Miss, ranked #3, early in the 4th quarter of a bitterly contested gridiron battle typical of the heated rivalry. LSU's Billy Cannon fielded an Ole Miss punt at the 11 yard line and broke at least seven different tackles down the right sideline, returning the punt for a touchdown. Billy Cannon was a horse in his day, and won the Heisman trophy that year for his outstanding play on both offense and defense. Later in the 1959 game, Ole Miss was at the LSU goal line needing a touchdown to win. On fourth down with just inches to score, the Ole Miss ball carrier was stopped short of the goal line by, you guessed it, Billy Cannon.
Yesterday afternoon down in Death Valley, the good folks at LSU decided that whupping lowly Ole Miss at home would be a great backdrop for honoring Billy Cannon and they made a grand show of unveiling his number and name pasted on the stadium. The only problem was lowly Ole Miss didn't get the memo.
Last weekend Troy sent most of the LSU faithful home early by leaping out to a 31 to 3 halftime lead. LSU then proceeded to score 37 unanswered points in front of a nearly empty stadium. It was the greatest comeback in LSU history... the previous being a 28 point come from behind win against Ole Miss in 1979. Yesterday afternoon down in Death Valley, the fans stuck around for the sure to come comeback win over Ole Miss. Again, my Rebels didn't get the memo.
To be honest, I was afraid that just maybe they had gotten the memo and couldn't relax and savor the win over our arch rival even with our QB taking a knee in the waning minutes holding a 31 to 13 lead. We have lost too many ball games recently in the last few minutes.
Remarkably, given the fact that Ole Miss has few friends, the Rebels are the only 4 loss team in the AP Top 25 for this week. Frankly, I don't care about the ranking, or even the fact that we are going to a bowl for the first time in five years. Just beating the despised LSU in Tiger Stadium is enough to make all well in this corner of Rebel Nation.
Now, if we can put the Mississippi State Bulldogs out of their misery on Friday, I will consider the season a success beyond my expectations. Hopefully, they'll get the memo.