There’s not many things I enjoy more than a bowl game.
I don’t know if its just the time of year when most of the country is just kind of slowing down at work, Christmas and New Year’s are in full swing, and it’s a chance to take a trip to catch up with old friends in a new place. And then there’s the annual tradition of Rebels fans just destroying its collective bank account at a hotel bar in some random city.
The last two bowl games have not been quite as notable on the field, and last year’s game seemed to be an afterthought after a 7-0 start to the season.
And, yes, the Rebels haven’t kicked off 2023 season yet, but damned if there aren’t bowl projections already out for the whole of college football. Let’s dive in and irresponsibly starting booking hotels and flights.
Mark Schlabach, ESPN: Ole Miss vs. Minnesota, Music City Bowl
Kyle Bonagura, ESPN: Ole Miss vs. Iowa, Reliaquest Bowl
Brad Crawford, 247Sports: Ole Miss vs. Oklahoma, Texas Bowl
Brett McMurphy, Action Network: Ole Miss vs. Miami, Duke’s Mayo Bowl
So the good news is there’s a pretty clear consensus from national media folks the Rebels will be bowling. The better news is the win totals have to be eight or higher typically for these kind of bowls. Expectations certainly are high in Oxford as well, so coach Lane Kiffin may earn every dollar in his contract this season if losses pile up early.
For me, I don’t see the Mayo Bowl picking a traditional SEC Western Division team most likely, and the Texas Bowl is probably unlikely going to have Ole Miss again. The Music City Bowl would be fine especially against a Big Ten opponent, close proximity for a lot of fans, and the nightlife/bars/hotels.
Personally, I’d like to see the standard at Ole Miss to be raised to where a New Year’s Six is the goal every year or two, so that means this season after a Sugar Bowl trip a couple years back. With that in mind, a bid to the Cotton Bowl or Peach Bowl is what I’ll be tracking all season long as the SEC shakes out week to week.