There are plenty of things in life that you can know without ever knowing, you know? The things your heart knows is true might outpace what your brain can prove as true, but that doesn’t change how you feel about them.
Like, for instance, when Ole Miss wide receiver Elijah Moore drew a 15-yard penalty for mimicking a dog urinating, leading to a game-losing missed extra point in the 2019 Egg Bowl. We all knew that play indirectly cost Matt Luke and his staff their jobs — in fact, Ole Miss assistant Tyrone Nix told his colleagues as much over their headsets as it happened — but who was ever going to come out and say as much?
On Tuesday, Ole Miss AD Keith Carter confirmed it. The pee play cost Luke and staff their jobs.
“As I kind of took the pulse and reading the tea leaves from our fan base, I felt like there was a large portion of our fan base that had been on the fence that were maybe willing to give Matt another year and see where we could take this thing,” Carter told ESPN in a long piece about the play. “But when the events of that night happened, it kind of put those people on the other side of the fence.”
In case you’ve forgotten, relive one of the wildest minutes of college football action in the sport’s history.
If Moore never lifts his leg, Matt Luke is still the head coach at Ole Miss, Joe Moorhead is fired Dec. 1 instead of Jan. 3, and Lane Kiffin is quite possibly the head coach at Arkansas right now.
And as Jason Kirk pointed out for Banner Society, that fake urination may have tipped the balance of power in the national championship race. Mississippi State’s win gave LSU another victory over a bowl-eligible opponent, perhaps lifting the Tigers over Ohio State for the No. 1 seed, allowing the gold-and-purple Tigers to avoid the orange-and-purple Tigers of Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl.
“That just shows you how stupid this profession is,” Kiffin told ESPN.
It’s not fair to Moore to say that play and that play alone cost his coaches their jobs. Ole Miss did lose seven games before that, after all. But it’s undeniable that his most poorly timed of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties was, without a shred of doubt, the drop of urine that broke the camel’s back.