Ole Miss, USM make this week an exciting one

By By Stan Torgerson / sports columnist
Nov. 17, 2003
If you're a Sam's Club member you recently received their Christmas catalog. The inside front page featured two potential gifts, a diamond ring at $250,000 or a necklace at $300,000. The ring was labeled "one of kind" and I'm certain it is.
But if you're considering a Christmas gift in that price range I've got a better idea. It costs less and it is truly one of kind, guaranteed.
Find two tickets to the Ole Miss-LSU showdown, two others to Southern Mississippi-TCU, take a couple of days off work and see them both.
To the best of my knowledge two Mississippi football teams have never before played for their respective conference championships in the same weekend and to the best of my belief it is not likely they will ever do so again.
Yes, the tickets are the hard part. But if you're considering spending $250,000 or $300,000 for a bauble she'll only wear three or four times a year, and then only if accompanied by an armed guard, you should be able to afford admission to a couple of college football games and the cost of a short vacation.
You've certainly heard the theory that "enough money will buy anything." Find a couple of poor guys holding tickets bought at the season's beginning whose mortgage payments are overdue, tell them even if they sell they can still see the game on TV and make them an offer.
A commute from one field to the other idea is not new. You must remeber the race driver who ran at Indianapolis in the afternoon, then hopped a charter and flew to the Carolinas or some place to drive in a NASCAR event that same evening. He didn't win either one but he sure had fun trying.
And you won't even have to do that. The Golden Eagles face TCU on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN, and the Rebels meet up with LSU on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
Granted the Ole Miss game will run a bit over three hours. With LSU's Rock of Gibraltar defense against the run the Rebels will probably throw the ball often and, what with the clock stopping on incompletions and retrieving the football, passing drags a game out longer than when running the ball dominates the offense' game plan.
But figure out a way to get to the Oxford airport in a hurry, even if you have to rent a deputy sheriff with a blue light and siren. Whip on down to the airport that serves Hattiesburg and Laurel midway between the two cities. Another obliging officer should be able to get you to Hattiesburg in perhaps 20 minutes. Flight time should be about an hour or less, depending on weather and the maximum air speed of the plane in which you are flying.
You'll be back at Southern Miss to continue the celebration surrounding the Eagles' Conference USA championship.
O.K., so you may miss part of the party. But I guarantee you will have a once-in-a-lifetime experience that nobody else in the world can, or has had or will ever have. It may put you in the Guinness Book of Records.
I wouldn't make this suggestion if it was so darned important. Ole Miss will surely have the largest crowd their stadium has ever seen. The athletic department will count the fans, the cheerleaders, the band members, the media, every policeman at every entrance and even the players to arrive at that number.
As for Southern on Thursday, it will be sellout time at The Rock. They too will not miss a living creature in the head count and that may include the eagle mascot.
For those of you who have to watch your nickles and can't afford paying some scalper blood money to get tickets, Ole Miss-LSU will be on CBS at 2:30 and Southern Mississippi can be seen on ESPN at 6:30.
And for those of you who could afford my plan and the tickets but are afraid of flying, I don't have any time for you anyway. Gather around your televsions and see if I care.
These are championship games that will determine which team is the best of the SEC and C-USA. It is probably the biggest football weekend in the state's history.
As for me, I'll be in Oxford. Look for me in the Grove, celebrating. In Hattiesburg, USM fans will be out all weekend. My prediction? They'll be celebrating too.