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Posts Tagged ‘D.T. Shackelford’

No. 93: Mississippi

The healing can begin. But first, major surgery. Scalpel: excise the nasty taste of a program record for futility in SEC play — 14 straight losses and counting. Suction: rebuild the roster, beginning with those gone, those who returned and those willing to do what it takes to return Mississippi to competitiveness in an SEC West that’s nothing if not unkind to those unable to maintain a heavy foot on the gas pedal. Calipers: gauge not only where you stand today but where you want to be tomorrow, when the Rebels stand a better chance of reclaiming a permanent spot in postseason play. Suture: but not until the wound has been cleared of any potentially infectious debris. Rehabilitation: hit the weights, work late into the night, study your film, send out scholarship offers to any quick, strong, agile and hostile recruit with two arms and two legs. Ready? Send the Rebels up to the Operating Room. Dr. Hugh Freeze will do the honors.

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    No. 65: Mississippi

    Houston Nutt’s first two teams in Oxford could score points and get stops. That’s how you win 18 games over two years in the SEC, folks. Last year’s team could still score points but was terrible defensively, allowing a program-record 422 points — nearly a touchdown more per game than Mississippi’s previous low-water mark. What happened in the span of one season? The Rebels were equal opportunity offenders, allowing opponents to move the ball at will through the air and with ease on the ground. Better yet, what happened to this team, this program? The two-year upswing under Nutt hit a massive speed bump, raising some questions about whether the former Arkansas coach can continue to win in Oxford while using his own players, not those left over from the previous coaching regime.

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      The Countdown

      A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.