A Look Ahead: Ole Miss a Top 10 Team?

A lot of folks seem to think so. Whether they be southeastern newspapers, national newspapers, or some of the most recognizable names in sports journalism, people are predicting big things for our Rebel football team next season.

With good reason, too: We return most of our starters and impact players and have more than suitable athletes waiting in the wings for most of these positions. Jevan Snead should be the SEC West's best quarterback and Dexter McCluster will likely be recognized as one of the nation's premier all-purpose athletes. We do not lose a single halfback from our depth chart. Our secondary should be vastly improved.

Et cetera, et cetera.

Be hopeful. Be optimistic. Be proud. But, most definitely, be careful.

Older fans or the well versed in Rebel history certainly are aware of our disastrous 1964 season. It was in that year when the Rebels began the season with an AP #1 preseason ranking, only to finish with a 5-5-1 record.

Others will remember our 1970 season in which an Archie Manning led Ole Miss team started the season with an impressive 6-1 record. Archie was certainly the frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy and the Rebels seemed to be a lock for their second consecutive Sugar Bowl invite. Then, in a game against the Houston Cougars, Manning broke his arm and was unable to finish the season. The Rebels lost their final two regular season games and their bowl game while Archie finished third in the Heisman voting.

The most telling tidbit of them all though would be the dropped-jaw inducing fact that we Rebels have not started and finished a season ranked in the AP top-25 since the John Vaught era. We will most certainly begin next season with a very respectable ranking but, if history is any sort of reliable indicator, we can only hope to end the season thusly.

This does not only apply to football, as a certain dastardly son-of-a-bitch fella named Bryce Drew could tell you all about smashing the hopes of our Basketball fanbase (and then subsequently re-smashing them year after year... thanks, ESPN Classic).

It's not that I deliberately intend to be a bitter pessimist. I certainly think we will have an excellent football season next year. It's just that I am simply calling this like I see it. I feel that I have good reason for all of this media hype to worry me. I simply can't shake the memories of last year's baseball and basketball seasons (were ranked #2 and #15 at one point, respectively, before backing into their respective postseasons) or Deuce McAllister's fragile ankle (Deuce for Hiesman, y'all) from my steel trap.

If any season is the season to reverse this curse, this will be the one. Our most difficult games (LSU, Bama) are at home and we are not playing Georgia or Florida. We realistically should be favored to win a great majority of our games and that is nothing short of exciting. I expect an incredible Rebel fanbase next season with packed, raucous home stadium atmosphere and a Grove experience similar to that of 2003. This can be done if the players and coaches don't get too far ahead of themselves and we fans sack up and unwaveringly support our Rebels next season.

Let's just not start any sort of "Jevan for Heisman" campaign just yet.


"For the sake of my musculoskeletal system, please don't hype me up too much."


X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Red Cup Rebellion

You must be a member of Red Cup Rebellion to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Red Cup Rebellion. You should read them.

Join Red Cup Rebellion

You must be a member of Red Cup Rebellion to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Red Cup Rebellion. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker