Lessons Learned From the BBVA Compass Bowl
A marginally factual and hastily thrown together preview of tonight's main event will be up later this afternoon, but for now, a few memories of spending multiple hours in and around Legion Field, where Ole Miss proved that 6-6 was a generous record for Pittsburgh.
1. Game day organization and attention to detail were largely ignored by those who operate the logistics arm of the Compass Bowl, but rather than complain about it, both Ole Miss and Pitt should use it as motivation to never wind up in Birmingham again
2. Traffic before the game was somewhat irritating, as Birmingham cops blocked off streets and used only a few main streets to funnel people to Legion Field, but given the area surrounding the stadium, this could have been a preemptive strike on property loss/damage reports they'd have to fill out as a result of people choosing less-traveled paths
3. Quite possibly my favorite part of the in-stadium experience was that the people selling food/drink/miscellaneous items pretty much wore whatever was in their closet that morning; no uniforms or identification of any kind were used by the Compass Bowl, but if a dude was behind a fold-out table and said beers were $5 a piece, I trusted him
4. Actually, my favorite part of the in-stadium experience was Birmingham's mayor, speaking before the game, when he welcomed the fans of each school and said, "And Pitt fans, (slight chuckle) welcome back!"
5. If you have a television that was manufactured after 1997, you have a higher quality visual display that the jumbotron/screen at Legion Field; my favorite part of the screen was a black rectangle that spent the first quarter blocking portions of the screen
6. As for the game, the Ole Miss defense wins the MVP, as they dominated up front and only allowed points when the Ole Miss offense (AHEM, BO WALLACE) turned it over; if they can get some depth at defensive tackle, the defensive line has a chance to be very good next year
7. And Bo Wallace, UGH, if he stops making the handful of authentically horrible decisions he makes in every game, he could be one of the better quarterbacks Ole Miss has ever had; Hugh Freeze's offense is good for any quarterback, but he has the arm strength and enough athleticism to pile up some strong numbers over the next two years
8. Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the impressive display of daytime fireworks offered by the Compass Bowl; Ole Miss game day operations circa 2007 could have used some pointers on how to have daytime fireworks without knocking out power to the stadium