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It Was as Crazy as We Expected: LSU 43, Ole Miss 36

The scoring was over at this point. But it took a long time to get there.
The scoring was over at this point. But it took a long time to get there.

We knew that some form of craziness was going to be on the menu when Houston Nutt and Les Miles squared off in this week's national game. The moon, as CBS drove home more times that necessary, was full. The grass was apparently tasting very good. Giggity was engaged. And it was 24-23 in Ole Miss' favor when the third quarter ended.

And we got all the bizarre twists and turns we could possibly have wanted. The teams combined for 32 points in the fourth quarter, and each had a pair of unsuccessful two-point conversions. There were five lead changes in the last 15 minutes, and the teams rang up 298 of their 890 combined yards of total offense in the last frame.

That wasn't the only way that things were surprising. Both quarterbacks were solid but not great, having arguably their best games against quality opponents. (Jeremiah Masoli's second interception came on a deep pass as time expired.) Houston Nutt was the one that went for broke on a regular basis, going 4-for-5 on fourth-down conversions. and it was Miles who played it relatively safe and managed the clock well, allowing precious seconds to melt away as LSU marched down the field for the game-winning drive.

The same drive might have been the death knell for Ole Miss' faint bowl hopes. The Rebels need to upset Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl and then have enough teams end up below .500 that the bowls need some teams with 5-7 records to complete the slate. And they need to make sure that those are bowls that would take the Rebels in the first place. One or two of those things happening is in the realm of reasonable expectations. Hoping for all three isn't a hallucination, but it's also not where you want to be with one week left.

For LSU, they remain in the BCS conversation, particularly if Auburn can defeat South Carolina in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 4. That would give the Sugar Bowl an at-large selection and a virtual home team that would fill the stadium. All they have to do is win against Arkansas, and then hope that the other Tigers also finish the year on a high note. That's not a sure thing. But it's a lot fewer bizarre bounces than Ole Miss needs.