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BARNEStorming: Respect for the Rebels and other Thoughts Around the College Football World

BARNEStorming: Respect for the Rebels and other Thoughts Around the College Football World

So, this is what Rodney Dangerfield was always talking about in his act. No respect.

The speculation has continued about which teams will be included in the college football playoff. The scenarios have been bantered around about Alabama, Florida and Texas A&M from the SEC being included in the final four. Each contingency has included the Aggies winning out and the game the “experts” looked at was Saturday’s at Auburn as the only possible bump in the road.

Did they forget A&M still hosts Ole Miss next week?

Despite having to shut down football activities until three days before the game, Ole Miss has some weapons the Aggies must take seriously than they did against Auburn. It is doubtful Texas A&M has seen a wide-open passing attack than the one that is coming to Bryan-College Station Saturday.

The Landshark defense has shown improvement in the past couple of games, but again, the Rebels’ offense is not one teams want to face – especially one that is trying to look pretty for the playoff committee.

Even if Ole Miss were not to get the win, with all eyes nationally watching A&M, the Rebels could earn a lot of, dare we say it? Respect.

ANYTIME, ANYWHERE, ANYONE….AND THEY MEAN IT

Many teams have used that mantra, but in reality, it usually ended up being playing Louisiana Tech at home. Brigham Young backs up that boast.

A last-minute matchup proved to be the game of the year.

Liberty had to opt out of its game at No. 18 Coastal Carolina Saturday. No problem, No. 13 BYU was ready to step in and play. The Cougars did not receive official notice they would play until Thursday and immediately planned their journey from Provo, Utah to Conway, South Carolina.

Coastal held on for a 22-17 win in one of the best games of the season.

Each team was undefeated coming into the contest and had been criticized for the lack of a strength of schedule.

With COVID-19, BYU was blindsided and had to put together a rag-tag schedule at the last minute. And if anyone says the Cougars did not play anyone this season, keep this in mind: the original schedule included Utah, Michigan State, Arizona State, Minnesota, Missouri, Boise State and Stanford.

Those are teams from the Pac-12, Big 10 and the SEC. Is there another team that had a schedule against those three conferences?

With the win, Coastal Carolina is 10-0 and has wins over two ranked teams. That is one more than Ohio State has.

WELCOME TO HATTIESBURG

Ole Miss and Mississippi State made headlines about a year ago by hiring Lane Kiffin and Mike Leach, respectively. Jackson State hopped on the bandwagon and made a splash hire with Deion Sanders.

Under the radar, Southern Miss recently hired Will Hall to coach the Golden Eagles.

Hall does not have the name recognition as the other three coaches, but he does have an impressive resume as a winner. He took the Amory High Panthers to the 1998 Mississippi 3A State Championship before becoming a record-setting quarterback at Northwest Mississippi Community College where he was a two-time All-American.

He moved on to North Alabama where he won the Harlon Hill Award – the Division II Heisman Trophy – and took the Lions to the playoffs.

As a head coach, he had tenures at both West Alabama and West Georgia where he was twice named the Gulf South Conference coach-of-the-year and won three GSC titles.

He has also served as the offensive coordinator at Tulane and Louisiana, as well as the associate head coach at Memphis.

Look out Mississippi, this guy is going to make an impact in Hattiesburg.

HOW LOW CAN YOU GO?

Prior to the LSU-Alabama game, the ESPN website showed there were tickets available for the game for as low as 49 dollars. This is the top-ranked team versus the defending national champions. Plenty of tickets still left to be had? In Death Valley?

In contrast, the ESPN site had tickets still available for the Troy at South Alabama game.

They were priced at 50 bucks.

THE TRUE ROAD WARRIORS

With respect to Mel Gibson’s iconic movie role, he never had to travel the course Stanford is on for the next couple of weeks.

Stanford has been forced from its home after the government of Santa Clara, Calif., ruled there can be no contact sports due to COVID-19.

The Cardinal did not panic. They simply packed their white jerseys and headed to the Pacific Northwest.

This week, the team settled in Seattle where it made itself at home beating Washington 31-26. The Cardinal practiced at a local high school during the week and had its walk-through at a suburban public park.

Now they are headed to Corvallis, Ore., where they will spend the week before taking on Oregon State Saturday.

Should the Pac-12 decide Stanford’s postponed game against Washington State will be played, the Cardinal will again stay in the land of Bigfoot and spend that week in Pullman, Wash.

ONE LAST THING ABOUT THE CHANTICLEERS

Coastal Carolina had a good Saturday not only winning against BYU, but the school also hosted ESPN’s Gameday.

The small school in Conway, S.C., has garnered national attention, not only for its play on the field, but for the teal turf at the stadium, the post-game locker room antics and of course they lead college football in the number of mullets hanging out of the back of the players’ helmets.

In a year of misery, the Chanticleers are college football’s feel-good story of 2020.

But the popularity is at a fever pitch in the state.

South Carolina’s season went into the tank early and the Gamecocks fired their coach.

Clemson is looking like a bully these days despite losing to Notre Dame earlier in the season, but Dabo Swinney has not put his best foot forward in recent weeks accusing teams of being afraid to play the Tigers.

In the state, Coastal coach Jamey Chadwell has become much more likeable than Swinney and with Carolina’s struggles, the Chanticleer is much more ferocious rooster than the Gamecock. Yes, a Chanticleer is a rooster, and thank you Mr. Rigby for making me read “The Canterbury Tales,” in my high school senior English class so I would know that little tidbit of trivia.

Except for the Coastal Carolina opponent that particular day, it would be difficult to find any fan in America rooting against the Chants. Especially in South Carolina.

About The Author

Steve Barnes

Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers. He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio. A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series. Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time. He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk. Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.

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