As I was watching that rather insane finish to the LSU-Auburn game the other day, it struck me how crazy and fragile the whole SEC balance of power is. A play goes a few inches longer (or shorter) here and there and not only are the standings completely different, but people’s reputations and careers are changed forever.
Of course, that thought made me ponder how thin the line is between the Hogs’ wildly disappointing current season and something much, much better. Consider this: if any number of single plays had turned out differently in the Alabama, Kentucky and Auburn games we could very easily be undefeated right now. It’s not even that much of a stretch…the Alabama and Auburn games were essentially decided on the final play, and the Kentucky game came down to a couple of key moments.
Imagine that: change just three plays out of the hundreds already played this season and suddenly the Hogs are a top 5 team, D-Mac is on top of the Heisman race and the only banners seen at home games would be the good kind. Instead, we’re struggling to become bowl eligible, McFadden is largely off the Heisman radar and Houston Nutt is facing a full-on fan revolt.
Having said that, even if those three plays had gone differently the Hogs would still have the same deep flaws that we all know about, so perhaps it would have all caught up with us at some point (you could certainly also argue that with some smarter coaching those three plays would have gone our way). Or maybe this is just karmic payback for the close (lucky?) wins against Vandy and Bama last year. But it’s still fun/painful to think about. How would you feel about the team/season if the SEC West standings looked like this?
Miss St 1-3
Ole Miss 0-5
Three little plays. Crazy, huh?