clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Preseason Predictions: One Man To Beat

The signature of my username quoteth: "If I predict it, there's a 50 percent chance it happens." 

This is probably a lowball figure in all honesty, and I'm generally fairly humble when it comes to my knowledge of Ole Miss sports. There's always someone out there who knows more, which is why I really hate preseason predictions.

Grains of salt to be tossed in with my predictions:  haven't been to a single practice, don't subscribe to Scout or Rivals or InsideTheGrove and generally can be considered a pessimist or realist (depending on your level of daily skepticism). 

I really wanted to come out with a brash, bold pick for the predictions like last year (I picked us 11-1, losing out a tie to either Alabama or LSU for the SEC West title). Instead, I went with a conservative guess-timation. 

Jeremiah Masoli will factor into the Rebels final regular season record, and I am going to assume he is cleared by game two against Tulane. Masoli gives the Rebels a more mobile, athletic option at QB who has the experience to guide Ole Miss to at least one extra win compared to a season without him. 

Not a whole lot can really be assumed about this Rebel team. The defense has its strong points at defensive line, and the stable of running backs is deep. Nearly every other position is somewhat in question in my mind. Will a young WR step up and develop a receiving game lacking since the departure of Mike Wallace? Will it be Masoli or Stanley at QB? Will they share snaps? How will this offensive line gel together? What can be expected from an overhauled secondary buoyed by a JC transfer and already hit by injuries? Can Jonathan Cornell hold onto his starting job at MLB or are our young LBs going to have the ability to give Ole Miss a strong front seven as projected?

There are some answers which immediately come to mind, but Ole Miss does not have a wealth of options or depth at enough positions to stave off injuries or make an SEC West title run. It's just not in the cards. Alabama, Auburn and Arkansas are more complete teams who will beat the Rebels. Wins or losses against LSU, Tennessee, Fresno State and Kentucky will make or break our season. I'd like to think our season can't hinge on a victory in the Egg Bowl. 

Wins against Jacksonville State, Tulane, Vanderbilt and U-La-La are projected on our schedule. From there, we'll go between 1-3 or 3-1 against the aforementioned "make or break" teams never realizing the full potential of our team or stumbling across a victory during a down year. The Egg Bowl will be a victory for Ole Miss, because it's in Oxford and Dan Mullen has it coming to him. 

When all of that is averaged and speculated together, I see a 7-5 finish and a trip to the Liberty Bowl. Still, I can't help but be a little excited about bowling three consecutive years...even if it does mean a trip to Memphis.