Ole Miss has a record setting offense in 2020, and when things are going right and the scoreboard is being lit up, it is easy to get intoxicated with thoughts of future wins, projecting success onto the remaining schedule.
Key example: our RCR staff was brimming with enthusiasm after a stellar effort against Alabama earlier in the season and talk of a 8-2 or 7-3 season was possible. The next two weeks were extremely humbling and frustrating, however, as Arkansas and Auburn ripped victories from the Rebels in very competitive games.
Now, Ole Miss sits at 2-4 riding high after a 33-point thrashing of Vanderbilt, and there are four games remaining in the season with only one top 25 opponent among them.
So, naturally, I can’t help but begin to hope and wonder - could Ole Miss start 1-4 and end the season 5-5? I mean, this is 2020, anything can happen right? There’s undoubtedly some optimism with home games against South Carolina and MSU down the stretch, but let’s go game by game and see how exciting things may get.
The Gamecocks (2-3) have a blowout win over Vanderbilt, 41-7, and a one score win over a sketchy Auburn team - USC and Ole Miss are very similar in terms of overall success this season. But the Rebels will be coming off a bye week and will be at home for this game, which should play in its favor. The latest ESPN Football Power Index ranks USC and Ole Miss very closely with an edge to the Gamecocks, HOWEVER... the current prediction gives the Rebels a 55 percent chance to win on Nov. 14. Rebel fans should watch the USC-Texas A&M game closely as an upset win against the Aggies could set up for one of those humbling road losses the following week.
This is most likely the long shot of the remaining four games, but it is really difficult to understand how the Aggies (4-1) only beat Vanderbilt 17-12 early on in the season. Kellen Mond seems to be shaping up his best season yet, but the massive four touchdown loss to Alabama has to give a little hope to anyone who plays TAMU. Yeah, Ole Miss isn’t Alabama clearly, but the Rebels showed the best ability yet to score on the Crimson Tide. If Ole Miss beats South Carolina and confidence is high, a road upset would be a massive feather in Lane Kiffin’s hat in his first season.
It’s the Egg Bowl, Lane Kiffin vs. Mike Leach, players doing fake peepees in the end zone, players transferring or opting out - anything is possible. Right now, Ole Miss is favored by ESPN pretty heavily, so just knock on wood or do whatever superstitious things to help the Rebels out. But a win against one of the two previously mentioned teams and then the Egg Bowl would set up a massive game against...
The Magnolia Bowl will be the final game of the season, and there are clearly some Tiger fans who are extremely unhappy with their team’s performance this season. New defensive coordinator Bo Pelini may be house hunting again if LSU Twitter gets its way. After a season opening loss to MSU and a blowout loss to Auburn last week, the Tigers could potentially enter the game with Ole Miss sitting at 3-5 and top 25 Florida in its season finale. WE HATE TO SEE IT DON’T WE FOLKS!?
Imagine if Kiffin somehow pulls off a 5-5 season with wins over rivals LSU and MSU. For the Cup, we would assume recruiting goes into warp speed in terms of getting the players the coaching staff really wants to fill out its roster. Now, at the same time, the Rebels are currently 2-4 with wins over zero SEC Western Division opponents, but this is the most cautiously optimistic fans have likely been in the last two seasons.