With the basketball season running into a stretch of what the experts call “pls sim to end of season”, material is a little on the light side. As a result, we shall explore the space of things in the future, like the 2020 Ole Miss football season.
Based on a depth chart that is lacking talent and a schedule that could generously be described as embrace the pain, Ole Miss should be on target for something in the neighborhood of 4-8 to 6-6. However, because I have learned nothing from my years of experience as an Ole Miss fan, I believe they’ve got a favorable shot at 6-6.
In order to ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED, Ole Miss, and this an extremely complicated and revolutionary formula, needs to beat the teams with equal or less talent and pick off one of the teams that’s better than them. You don’t get that kind of free analysis just anywhere.
With that in mind, we turn the Power Rankings loose on the 2020 schedule in search of the most important games to make 6-6 and a late December appearance in Shreveport/Birmingham/Memphis happen.
For the convenience of not having to search for a schedule, here is one provided for you.
It's #WallpaperWednesday, Rebels! Save our 2020 schedule and join us in The Vaught and on the road this fall.#HottyToddy #AllAboard pic.twitter.com/YnPsFyVIKI— Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) January 8, 2020
(1) Southeast Missouri
CAN’T SCREW UP THE EASY ONES, FAM.
When Ole Miss rolls into the UConn game, they’ll likely be 2-5 (wins over Vandy and SEMO) and in need of a stop-the-bleeding win. If they beat the Huskies but not too badly so Randy Edsall gets a $1,493.21 bonus for completing a game south of Tennessee, they’ll be 3-5 with a little life going into four winnable games to close the season.
To recap, on October 24, 2020, Ole Miss, coached by Lane Kiffin, will play UConn in Oxford, and it will be important! We are in the strangest timeline.
(3) Georgia Southern
Putting the Eagles in the above group is much too disrespectful to what they’ve done. It’s a game Ole Miss should win and must win, but it won’t be a pleasant experience.
I’m much too lazy to track down the original tweet that alerted me to this, but in a 12-day span in November, Ole Miss will have to defend a Kendal Briles offense, Georgia Southern and the GOT DANG TRIPLE OPTION, and one of the founders of the Air Raid in Mike Leach. Not excited!
The path to six wins requires at least two conference wins, and these two teams fit the profile of teams Ole Miss should beat. They lack talent and then they also lack talent.
In Vanderbilt, you have a bad, bad team, who didn’t fire their coach because the athletic director essentially said, “Well, until we change our commitment to football, it doesn’t matter who the coach is.” Sounds like everything is fine.
As for Arkansas, a third head coach in four years, and one who has been a career offensive line coach for 28 years. Oh, and there’s the whole issue of a Bert-oriented roster that was in the process of being overhauled to run a Chad Morris offense but wasn’t very far along.
How about we not poop the bed here? Seems like a reasonable decision.
(6) Mississippi State
DAGGUM CHEATIN’ BEARS, I KNEW YOU WERE OBSESSING ABOUT THIS GAME.
Assuming Ole Miss wins the above games and loses to Baylor and Texas A&M, which I would bet American dollars happens, this would be a required win. The good news is that Mike Leach won’t have the roster he needs, but if he finds a quarterback, he’ll have the ability to make it no bowls in five seasons for Ole Miss.
CAN’T GO 12-0 IF YOU DON’T WIN THE FIRST ONE.
(8) Texas A&M
If Ole Miss slips up in one of the winnable games, this will be an opportunity to correct that disaster. It’s unlikely that a correction could occur, but given that A&M has looked less than ideal under Jimbo Fisher, there’s a chance.
However, there is not a chance that Jimbo will get anything less than his $75 million owed to him for doing more of the same for Texas A&M football.
If you’re scoring at home, we’ve reached the Maybe Because College Football Is Dumb And Capable Of Stupid Things portion of the Power Rankings. Winning either one of these is extremely unlikely, but both teams will have enough flaws that our very normal and not weird sport could expose them.
Bo Nix, who had his moments in 2019, has yet to show consistency (especially on the road), and Auburn’s defense loses some key guys. Let’s remember that last sentence when they throw up a 45-21 win in Oxford.
As for LSU, an elite quarterback gets replaced by a non-elite quarterback, and the mind behind the best offense in college football has moved to the NFL. Throw in other talent losses to the NFL, and this could be an 8-4 team capable of a regrettable early season loss, and LSU fans screaming about whether Ed Orgeron knows what he’s doing.