We’ve now reached week three and the third installment of our Over or Under series. The previous two weeks we took a look at Arkansas and Alabama. This week, I dive into Ole Miss, a team the aforementioned programs have become quite familiar with of late.
I understand many who read this site would prefer to read only about Arkansas. I get it. My hope, though, is to provide quality information so you could maybe win a little cash and be more than acquainted when the Hogs face the Rebels in Fayetteville. So here we go.
Ole Miss is an interesting team. LSU and Alabama, according to the Vegas season win totals, are the favorites, but Ole Miss tails them at 8.5 wins (over +100, under -120) and could be a player in the West. Chad Kelly is back, as I’ve mentioned before, and that’s a lot more than many programs can say. Stability at the quarterback position is big, and it certainly gives Ole Miss somewhat of an edge this fall.
The Rebels, however, lose several talented players on each side of the ball, including Laquon Treadwell on offense and Robert Nkemdiche along the defensive line, but have you heard about Ole Miss’s recruiting classes? Sure Hugh Freeze will miss those guys. Who wouldn’t? But the No. 3 recruiting class in the nation in 2016 will ease the pain a bit.
Defensively, Ole Miss will have to find some answers at safety and linebacker. Freeze, though, will likely be able to overlook this in some capacity as long as his offense can continuously put up points in bunches.
If Ole Miss hopes to crack the 8.5 win mark set by Vegas, the first five weeks of the season will be awfully telling. On arguably one of the greatest college football Saturdays we’ve seen, the Rebels face Florida State in Orlando. I don’t know about you, but that’s a game I’m not planning to miss.
Two weeks later, Alabama rolls into Oxford. Then, Ole Miss hosts Georgia and Memphis to close out September and open October, respectively. Oh, and Wofford is also in there somewhere, but eh. As tough as this stretch may be, Ole Miss can relish in the fact four of the first five games are at home before a bye week and trip to Arkansas.
Of those first five games, I’m comfortable counting three – Wofford, Georgia, Memphis – as wins. The second half of the schedule isn’t as difficult per se, but it begins with two tough ones – at Arkansas, at LSU.
After that, I don’t see any reason why Ole Miss couldn’t run the table. Auburn, Georgia Southern, at Texas A&M, at Vanderbilt and Mississippi State isn’t exactly a gauntlet and three of the five are in Oxford as well.
That puts me at eight wins with the four most challenging games to go and just needing one for the over.
I like the over here. As I mentioned last week, I like the Rebels against Alabama again and over Arkansas in Fayetteville in a tough game.
Could Arkansas trip up Ole Miss again? Absolutely it could. Even if the Razorbacks find a way to beat the Rebels again, I still like the over here with losses coming to Florida State, at LSU and potentially against Arkansas. That would place Ole Miss at 9-3. Georgia (8.5 wins) is another game that might be worth another look, but I’m going with Ole Miss and the home field advantage.