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Wednesday Answer: One of Opponents

This season, we're trying a new feature called "Wednesday Answer" where I will give an in-depth answer to the Tuesday Question. I've always been hesitant to answer my own question in the comment thread because in some small way that could remove from the scientificy-ness of the question. So after everyone has already given their two cents, this is my chance.

Scott Cunningham

Yesterday, I asked which remaining SEC opponent scares our readers the most. We got several good responses, and you should go read some of them.

But I'm honestly not sure how the answer can be anything other than Alabama. Look, I know Kenny Hill has looked really good. I know Auburn lost a national championship game last year. I know LSU always brings in good talent.

But Alabama is Alabama. Someone asked me what my Gameday sign would say if I Oxford were to host Gameday for its matchup against Alabama this season. I quickly replied, "History suggests we will lose this game." I'm not one for history among predictions, but Ole Miss has beaten Alabama fewer than ten times in its existence. They just win. Nick Saban is a very good coach and even better recruiter. He is known for program management, and his accomplishments have been unparalleled in modern football.

Sure, they're unsettled at the quarterback position, but they are doing just fine at running back. Through two games, TJ Yeldon and Derrick Henry are averaging 5.6 and 6.2 yards per carry. We've already seen what those two are capable of, and it's pretty special. Henry is 6'3" 241 and plays running back. It's fun to watch a tough runner, and there may not be a better one in college football. Their offensive line will always be good as well. All this is to say that even if their passing game doesn't come along, who really cares? Do they need a strong passing game?

Then there's the defense. I realize that the Crimson Tide gave up 23 points against West Virginia in week one, but let's look at the box score a little harder to see what happened. For those who didn't watch, the Mountaineers scored a touchdown on a kickoff return and a long drive that ended in a pass. Other than that, it was field goals. While West Virginia found success through the air, they were held to 1.2 yards per carry. I'm not sure many teams can beat Alabama if they're held to 1.2 yards per carry.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying there's no chance Ole Miss beats Alabama. I just think they're the strongest team on the schedule until I'm proven wrong. Their track record is just too significant.