The College Football Playoffs are about to change forever at the conclusion of the 2023 season. Gone are the days of having a top 4 while also claiming to have 5 “power conferences.”
2024 brings about a new age. The 12-team playoff is here, for better or worse and the fact of the matter is that Ole Miss has put itself in position to be a part of that, finishing the regular season ranked 11 in 2023.
The schedule is also changing. No more, will the Rebels play Alabama, Auburn, Texas A&M or Vanderbilt annually. Going forward, LSU, Arkansas and Mississippi State are the permanent opponents with a rotation of the other SEC teams.
No longer seeing the Crimson Tide across the field every year is a breath of fresh air, so maybe 2024 is the year.
Ole Miss looks primed to start 2024 off 4-0. One could even expect the Rebs to start 6-0 before running into quite the gauntlet.
Four of the first 5 contests are in Oxford, with the lone road trip coming September 14th at Wake Forest. SEC play starts two weeks later when Ole Miss hosts the Kentucky Wildcats.
A road contest against South Carolina is no gimme (why couldn’t Rocket Sanders transfer out of the conference), but it does not compare to a trip to Baton Rouge that awaits the Rebs the week after.
After a bye week, Ole Miss welcomes SEC newcomer Oklahoma to town. The Sooners lost Dillon Gabriel to Oregon and their OC to Mississippi State, so their first season in the big boy conference could be ugly.
It’s never an easy game when Arkansas and Ole Miss collide, especially in the Natural State. Will Sam Pittman still be the boss hog in November or will Bobby Petrino find his way back into the driver’s seat. Also, KJ Jefferson and Rocket Sanders are gone, so that helps.
Ole Miss should either be 9-0 or 8-1 heading into a clash with Georgia, this time at home. The way Lane Kiffin is loading up in the portal, expect this contest to be a little bit more of an actual contest, perhaps a deciding game for an SEC Championship bid.
After a second bye week, a trip to the Swamp is due. The last trip to Gainesville came in 2015, when #3 ranked Ole Miss led by Chad Kelly, fell short 38-10.
Finally, it’s the Egg Bowl. Maybe Kiffin can channel all of his Jimbo Fisher love (or hate) towards Jeff Lebby and make sure the golden egg permanently resides in Oxford. Important to note that it is currently NOT listed as a Thanksgiving game, but could eventually be moved to that night... where it belongs.
What record do you believe the Rebs finish with next season?