(WLBT) - So Joe Moorhead is actively politicking to keep his job.
Or at least that appeared to be the case on Monday. The Mississippi State coach opened his weekly press conference with a prepared speech that outlined his failure in preparing his players in that embarrassing loss at Tennessee, but he still believes that he is the right coach to lead the team to greener pastures.
“To get to this point to where I am without a certain level of success and a certain level of confidence,” said the embattled Bulldog coach. “But this game and the SEC has a way of keeping you honest.”
This coming on the heels of MSU Athletic Director John Cohen having sat in on Moorhead’s postgame press conference following the Knoxville debacle.
I can’t imagine that was a welcomed sight for Joe. But like he said, the SEC can beat you down with a quickness and then laugh and spit on you as you meekly reach out a hand for support.
According to the very scientific and always reliable coacheshotseat.com, Moorhead ranks second, behind only Arkansas’ Chad Morris, in a group nine (!!!) SEC coaches deemed to currently be on the hot seat.
Rounding out that list is Ole Miss coach Matt Luke who, while Moorhead was making pleas in Starkville, was up in Oxford essentially saying that the Rebels will continue with the John Rhys Plumlee-Matt Corral dual-quarterback system... as long as it works.
“We’ve got two really good quarterbacks with two unique skill sets,” Luke said. “Based on the gameplan, If we think it gives us the best chance to win the game, we’ll do it.”
And right here is where Robert Burns says something about mice and men.
Like with every two quarterback system, there will come a reckoning and one will have to eventually take the reigns from the other and be ‘the guy’ in a pressure situation. Granted, that decision does not have to be immediately made. Corral is still on the come back from injury and Plumlee is still learning the offense. In a way, consider this second half of the season an early start to the quarterback competition for next season.
But if Luke is even on campus for that remains to be seen. Three wins to secure a bowl appearance would remove that doubt. The same probably goes for Moorhead who has had his own quarterback headaches this season.
Barring something along the lines of divine intervention, the Bulldogs are probably going to lose to LSU this weekend, and again against Alabama on Nov. 16. Between that though, they have winnable games at Texas A&M and Arkansas, plus a walkover with Abilene Christian.
Ole Miss also has to deal with LSU, plus a trip to Auburn before an out-of-conference bout with New Mexico State. Considering the chance of, at best, one win in those three, that makes this Saturday’s showdown with Texas A&M pretty important.
What I’m trying to get at here is that I foresee a world where MSU and Ole Miss enter this season’s Egg Bowl with both teams sitting on five wins. Not only would the usual bragging rights be on the line, but so would a bowl trip and, quite possibly, the fate of the two head coaches.
Let the countdown to Thanksgiving begin.