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Still plenty of season for UM

Like most Oxonians, I woke up Sunday morning with a sick feeling in my stomach following Saturday night’s disappointing outcome between Ole Miss and Florida in Gainesville.

The Rebels fell behind quickly and never found a way to catch up. It was upsetting to say the least to watch painfully as the No. 3 team in the nation certainly didn’t resemble the team that went into Tuscaloosa two weeks before to dismantle the Crimson Tide.

It was heart-breaking.

But what was even more disappointing was the reaction afterwards.

Many Ole Miss “fans” were quick to jump off the bandwagon that has become even more crowded over the last few years with the success of the Rebels under head coach Hugh Freeze, who has brought a new attitude to the football program since his arrival in Oxford.

Social media went wild Saturday night and for the next several days afterwards as fans vented their frustration with the tough defeat.

So the question begs, who let’s who down the most? The team with the high expectations disappointing fans when they suffer a loss or the fans that don’t stand behind the team with the high expectations?

I think the disappointment lies with both, but it’s also just like a marriage. You support one another “in sickness and in health.”

The problem is there are so many fans that have forgotten or were not around during the lean years for the Ole Miss football program. The years when not having a losing season was the goal and earning a bid to the Independence or Liberty bowls were considered really good seasons. And nothing against those two bowl games, but the expectations have been raised tremendously and Ole Miss has been shooting for New Year’s Day bowls the last few years.

And after last year’s incredibly successful campaign that ended with disappointment, many of the Ole Miss faithful felt this was “the year” for the Rebels. And it certainly started out that way with the huge win at Alabama that catapulted Ole Miss into the national spotlight for the second year in a row.

That bright light has caused many of “Rebel Nation” to raise the bar and when they feel those expectations are not met, they lash out on chat boards and social media. Many fans have become spoiled with success. There’s nothing wrong with expectations to be the best, but many cross that line when those expectations are not met.

There’s still plenty of season remaining and a lot to still play for.

I think it’s time many of those with the negative attitudes jump off that proverbial bandwagon or get on board and let’s get back behind the Rebels the rest of the season.

Rob Sigler is the managing editor of the Oxford EAGLE. Contact him at rob.sigler@oxfordeagle.com.