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Predicting the 2017 SEC Football Season: Ole Miss Rebels

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Will the Rebs stew in self-pity or let the troubles inspire them?

Alabama v Mississippi
Coming soon: Jalen Hurts vs Marquis Haynes, Round 2.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Installment number three takes us to Land of Rebel Landshucks Ackbar Black Bear Ole Misdials.

admiral ackbar
It’s not a trap. WAOM.

Interim Coach: Matt Luke (0-0 first season as head coach)

OM 2016 record: 5-7 (2-6 in SEC, last in West Division)

CB969 2016 Prediction: 8-4 "...I have them at 8-4 but they could easily lose to Arky or Aubie. Even Vandy or MSU could rise up and smack them in the mouth. Ya never know with Freeze's teams. They tend to lose a game they shouldn't and usually late in the season." I predicted the first five games right but then their loss to Arky sent them in a tailspin. Shoulda gone with my gut.

Looking back: Despite starting 3-2, last season started off okay for the Rebs. They kinda sorta hung with FSU and Bama before toppling UGA. Then three straight SEC losses (Ark, LSU, Aub) and a season ending injury to QB Chad Kelly doomed their season.

Returning starters: 6 on offense, 5 on defense, kicker & punter.

Key losses: TE Evan Engram (Round 1, Giants), DT D.J. Jones, (Round 6, 49ers), CB Derrick Jones (Round 6, Jets), QB Chad Kelly (Round 7, Broncos), DE Fadol Brown, WR Damore'ea Stringfellow, WR Quincy Adeboyejo, CB Tony Bridges, RB Akeem Judd, DB/LB Tony Conner, Head Coach Hugh Freeze, 4-star DE Chester Graves did not qualify.

Top returnees: DE Marquis Haynes, OL Greg Little, OL Javon Patterson, QB Shea Patterson, WR Van Jefferson, WR A.J. Brown, RB Jordan Wilkins (sat out last season due to academics), RB Eric Sweeney (coming off an ACL tear), PK Gary Wunderlich, DT Benito Jones, S Zedrick Woods, RB Eugene Brazley, WR DaMarkus Lodge,

Top newcomers: WR D.D. Bowie (Morton, MS), ILB Breon Dixon (Loganville, GA), ATH Kam White (Clinton, MS), LB Mohamed Sanogo (Plano, TX), offensive coordinator Phil Longo, not much else.

Names you need to know: Shea Patterson showed some flashes of brillance last year but nobody had tape on him. Can he replicate it this year? Marquis Haynes has 24.5 career sacks entering his senior season.

Strengths: Offensive line returns 4 starters... Placekicker Gary Wunderlich is solid... Ole Miss has some young talent at the offensive skill positions.

Weaknesses: The clouds hovering over Oxford over the Hugh Freeze misdial fiasco has clouds hovering over them... Tight end, linebacker and cornerbacks are lacking... Does Matt Luke have a clue as to what he is doing?

Outlook: Despite the impending NCAA probation, Ole Miss has some decent talent returning. If this team can keep new news out of the newspapers and Luke can inspire his troops, they might be okay. A more likely scenario is a dumpster fire.

2017 SCHEDULE:

Sept 02 vs South Alabama 7:30pm EDT ESPNU - W - Prove me wrong, Jags!
Sept 09 vs Tenn-Martin 11am CT SECN - W
Sept 16 @ Cal 9:30pm CT ESPN - W - Cal is awful.
Sept 23 - bye week
Sept 30 @ Alabama - L
Oct 07 @ Auburn - L
Oct 14 vs Vanderbilt - W - OM should be good and ticked off after the previous two weeks on the road.
Oct 21 vs LSU - L
Oct 28 vs Arkansas - L - This just feels like the kind of game the Hogs will win and a fading OM loses.
Nov 04 @ Kentucky - L - This could be a toss-up but the Wildcats are a decent team and the game is in their house.
Nov 11 vs La Lafayette - W
Nov 18 vs Texas A&M - L - This one is hard to read because by this point, the Aggies might be in a dumpster fire of their own and Kevin Sumlin might be in a Bed Bath & Beyond dumpster looking for moving boxes.
Nov 23 @ Mississippi St. 6:30pm CT ESPN - L - You can throw out the records in the Egg Bowl. This will be the Rebs bowl game. But I can't see MSU blowing this one.

Let's go Bowling! No, they self-imposed a bowl ban but may have not qualified anyway. Gee, I wonder if they saw that coming? #LameSelfImposedPenaltiesWillGetYouNowhereWithTheNCAA

The old saying goes “You reap what you sow.” I hope seasons 2014 and 2015 of second-tier status were worth the eight or so years it will probably take to get back to any semblance of a winning program.

#RollTide

Poll

Ole Miss Regular Season Wins

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    8 or 9
    (178 votes)
  • 14%
    7
    (148 votes)
  • 22%
    6
    (228 votes)
  • 26%
    5
    (267 votes)
  • 18%
    4 or less
    (186 votes)
1007 votes total Vote Now

Previous Predictions:

Arky

Bayou