The 2008 season will be remembered in my mind for refreshing play calling after four years of absolute boredom. Rebel football was exciting again, and entering year two, I worry that the apex of what these players can achieve may be behind them.
LSU, 'Bama and Arkansas are waiting in the wings to blow up our season. I don't think all three will succeed, and the Rebels will have a season to remember. Unfortunately, it won't end in an SEC or National Championship. Fear not, my season projections are after the jump.
Memphis: The Tigers are absolutely better than the 6-7 team they were last year. I could see them winning as many as eight games this year. The Rebels won't be one of the wins, however. Ole Miss is a more talented team at nearly every position and retains a much better coaching staff. If this game is within ten points, I would begin to worry. Ole Miss 38 Memphis 24
SELA: Seriously, this game blows, and our athletic department has graciously gotten their heads out of their asses to schedule more solid teams in the coming years. If we don't score 40, I'm shitting in the stands. Ole Miss 48 SELA 0
South Carolina: This game is going to sound the alarms of UPsEt AlERt!!!1!11!! at ESPN headquarters. Lee Corso won't be on hand with a fighting chicken, but his senile ass would pick USC for the win. The Rebels will have a better shot at winning this game for one simple reason: the 'Cocks will have played at NC State, at UGA and host Florida Atlantic in the three weeks before Ole Miss. I think they could be beat to hell and have an injury or two and be playing on a shortened week against a deeper team. It won't be a run away however. Ole Miss 24 USC 16
Vanderbilt: Jevan Snead saved his worst game of the season for the Commodores last year. I think he comes back with some gusto in Nashville for some payback. Vandy returns a lot of starters and their home record under Bobby Johnson is much better than their away record. Outside of crazy turnover problems, Ole Miss won't cough up the win again. Ole Miss 31 Vanderbilt 17
Alabama: 'Bama has a new QB, but this is going to work against everyone else in the SEC this year. John Parker Wilson was a game manager, almost reminding me of a Matt Mauck(Saban at LSU), but JPW had less talent and athleticism. Some Tiders are big on their new QB, Greg McElroy, and their defense shouldn't have regressed terribly from last season. I've always been a big "defense wins championships" kind of football fan, but I think Ole Miss finally gets over the hump and wins this game behind a surprisingly solid running attack. Ole Miss 17 'Bama 13
UAB: Ole Miss gets stunned at home after partying wayyyyy too much after the 'Bama win. JK LOLOLOLOL!!!!!!11!1!11 Ole Miss 34 UAB 14
Arkansas: This is one of the scarier match-ups of the year in my opinion. Bobby Petrino and the 'Hogs lost a couple big men on the o-line and a mediocre QB. It was a tight game last year, and I think the 'Hogs will be back with a heaping helping of revenge on their minds against an undefeated Ole Miss team. I see Arkansas losing big at Florida and our boys getting a little overconfident going into this game, winning a very close game. Ole Miss 26 Arky 23
Auburn: Everyone has been talking the Tigers down this year, but I just can't quite believe that they will be a horrible team. They lost a lot of close games last year(Vandy, UGA, LSU and Arky). I could see them pulling this upset with Ole Miss overlooking them, but much of the game will depend on how the Tigers fare early on. I don't see Gene Chizik having the ability to get the team to rally 'round the flag in defeat. Ole Miss 19 Auburn 14
Northern Arizona: See the SELA game. Cut and paste here...done. Ole Miss 45 UNA 10
Tennessee: We're going to win this game by God. We've never beaten UT in Oxford, but we are going to this year. Ed Orgeron will have his own players breezing through his tired players. He'll overcondition his defense just like he did at Ole Miss and everyone will run through them in the 4th quarter. Ole Miss 34 Tennessee 23
LSU: This is how I see it playing out. We're going to lose. 'Bama will beat LSU leaving a three way tie at the top of the SEC West. Based on BCS rankings or some unusual formula, the west champion will be decided in some bullshit, cockamamie scheme that screws someone over big time. LSU 20 Ole Miss 14
Mississippi State: The Rebels blow the doors off the Dogs putting on an offensive showcase that would make Mike Leach throw up in disgust. Nutt has State's number and he'll be dialing it all day long. Ole Miss 42 State 13
There's going to be some kind of controversy in the SEC West this year. The teams at the top are just too evenly matched after thinking about it for a long time and looking over stats and drinking a lot.
Whatever team makes the championship game will be beaten and very possibly get left out of a BCS bowl with another SEC West team slipping in the back door. LSU has to dodge a trip to Athens, Tuscaloosa and Oxford to win the West. I think they can do two out of three at the best, and Les Miles knows that if he doesn't churn out a great season, he is gone. 'Bama and Ole Miss have fairly easy schedules especially in conference. My gut tells me that somehow we're going to be the ones on the screwed end of a three way tie, but then again, I've been wrong plenty of times before.