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No. 17 Ole Miss football takes on No. 13 Arkansas in ‘Bounce Back Bowl’

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Which program presses the reset button after a disaster in week five?

NCAA Football: Mississippi at Alabama Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday features a top 25 showdown between Ole Miss and Arkansas in the friendly confines of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium with both programs limping out of week five taking multi-touchdown losses.

Undoubtedly, Rebel fans have to feel a little better about a 42-21 loss in Tuscaloosa than Hog fans with its 37-0 shutout loss to Georgia in Athens. I mean, hell, Ole Miss actually crossed the dadgum goal line a few times.

But what isn’t up for debate is both programs are akin to wounded animals, needing to bounce back and get back to winning as soon as possible. For the Rebels and the Razorbacks, a win or loss Saturday could mean the difference in a potential New Year’s Six bowl or a trip to the Gator Bowl. Clearly this game can be dubbed the “bounce back bowl.”

Now, there’s obviously a lot of football to be played, and I’m trying not to get ahead of myself. However, I’m a damn fan, and part of that is boldly projecting wins and losses for the rest of the season based on just a few games of statistics.

I’ll even used the dang ESPN Football Power Index as a predictor for all the Rebels remaining games. This is a snapshot of where this season is headed, you guys, let it soak in and then go shoot some Jameson.

  • Arkansas — 67% win
  • at Tennessee — 57% win
  • LSU — 74% win
  • at Auburn — 55% loss
  • Liberty — 83% win
  • Texas A&M — 72% win
  • Vanderbilt — 99% win
  • at Miss. St. — 58% win

All of that probably means nothing, because it’s based on floating statistics week to week as to how a team performs. We’ll keep tabs on it as one way of measuring future success, but for right now, a 10-2 finish potentially for Ole Miss would be a monumental season in year two of the Lane Kiffin era.

Conversely, a loss to Arkansas most likely flips the outcome to a 8-4 or 9-3 season at best, mirroring some of the steps forward last season, which ended in a 5-5 record and Outback Bowl championship.

Hey, it’s the SEC West. Toughest division in football and expectations are very high. This is what the players and coaches signed up for - to find out how good they really are.