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THE MORNING CONSTITUTIONAL UNDERSTANDS THE NETWORK

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THE IMAGINARY MOBSTERS OF MISSISSIPPI AREN'T REAL OR OKAY MAYBE THEY ARE

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"THE NETWORK"

/T͟Hēˈnetˌwərk/

Proper noun

1. The loose and mythical agglomeration of good ole boys, Dixie powerbrokers, pine barren barons, oil and gas billionaires, corrupt seersucker-donning legislative lizards, overstuffed pharma reps, and medical product salesmen high on their own supply who allegedly fund, arrange, and control the recruitment of football players to the University of Mississippi. These men (and they, with the exception of a fantastically imagined LeAnn Tuohy of The Blind Side fame,) dominate the state by sowing the system with cash, favors, connections, gifted jobs and sinecures, freebies including tickets, gear, and autographs, access to the rich and their boundless, catfish-scented coffers. This network functions without a trace, relying on handshakes and verbal agreements and untraceable burner phone communications.

2. A hallucination largely contained to the SEC West that imagines Ole Miss to be capable of way, way more than they actually are as an organization, one that is completely unverified and unsupported by the Rebels' tumultuous history and inability to field a good team consistently for more than two or three years at a stretch. Really, this assumes Mississippi to be capable of organization and coordination in a manner that they are not in literally every other quarter of their existence. This is a preposterous assumption. That'd be like saying that a bunch of people from the state of Alabama could recruit whomever they liked through superior coordination and organization, which...

3. Shit, I guess it's pretty much the same thing they have everywhere else to some degree in college football, really.

4. Houston Nutt took the Ole Miss Rebels to back-to-back New Year's Day bowls and don't ever forget that.*

*Contractually obligated Houston Nutt mention paid for by the Someone Please Employ Houston Nutt Committee, a subsidiary of Nutt Brothers Industrial Concern