Texas - Sept. 14 - Longhorn Network
In case you missed it, Texas beat Ole Miss by about 30 last season. It was rough but wasn't indicative of the year to come. The Rebels likely look forward at a shot at redemption, but that's going to be tough in Austin. This isn't the Texas team from several years ago, but they return a lot of the players who put a hurt on the Rebels in Oxford last season. Mack Brown seems to be placed pretty obviously on the hot seat. A loss to Ole Miss would really hurt his chances at sticking around for another year.
It will also be cool for our fans to visit Austin. Unfortunately I won't be able to make the trip, but I encourage anyone who is a reasonable distance away to travel. I've heard wonderful things about Austin (though on my only trip there, during a college selection tour, I didn't like it at all).
Lastly, screw you, Texas, for putting this game on the Longhorn Network. It has been worked out so that Mississippians or more likely to be able to watch the games than Texans, but that doesn't help me in North Carolina.
Alabama - Sept. 28
Two weeks later the Rebels travel to Tuscaloosa, where I'm pretty sure their record still includes single digit wins. This isn't a game that many sane people will expect the Rebels to win. If they can just fight hard and keep it closer than last season, it will show progress. Alabama is recruiting at a silly level every season, and Nick Saban is a solid coach with a good system of management. Ole Miss isn't there yet and isn't really likely to ever get there. Alabama will serve as a good barometer if the Rebs lose to Texas. Are they able to bounce back after a bye week?
It should be a tough game, but it's still fun to travel to Tuscaloosa. If nothing else, you should spot some wicked Bear Bryant tats and can talk to lots of UAB alums.
Auburn - Oct. 5
And a week later the Rebels take on a team that is likely to be the most improved in the conference. No one really knows what to make of Auburn yet. Can Gus Malzahn turn them around quickly? They've got some talented athletes but played terribly last season.
This game is one the Rebels need to win if they want to make this a special season. Losing three weeks in a row with Texas A&M and LSU as your next two opponents isn't the way a good season begins.
A tip to people who go to this game: Auburn doesn't really so much have good local restaurants. Last time I went to a game there, I thought I missed something. This Summer I asked a girl who currently attends the University which restaurants people go to. She named chains and said they don't really have any good restaurants. Sad, right? Sad.