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Predicting the 2020 SEC Football Season: Ole Miss Rebels

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The Rebel Black Bear Shark Man Pig Ackbars are back for more abuse.

NCAA Football: Central Florida at Florida Atlantic
Can Kiffin win big at Old Mississippi?
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

It’s installment number three of wild blind dart-throwing predictions of Alabama opponents. Today, we cover the Electric Kool-Aid Kiffin Test in Oxford, MS.

WEEK 3, OCT 10: OLE MISS REBELS

Coach: Lane Kiffin (61–34 career with Tenn, So Cal, FAU!; First season at OM)

2019 OM record: 4–8 (2–6 SEC; 6th in the West Division)

CB969 2019 Prediction: 4-8; “As you may have gathered, I don’t have a lot of faith in Matt Luke. He’s a nice guy and was the right hire at the time. However, this might be his last hurrah on the Grove.”

Looking back: The Rebs falling to Memphis on National TV in the season opener bookended with the “Ole Piss” loss to MSU in the Egg Bowl put a morose end to the Matt Luke era.

Returning starters: 7 on offense, 6 on defense, punter, kicker.

Key losses: DT Benito Jones, EDGE Qaadir Sheppard, DT Josiah Coatney, RT Alex Givens, LT Michael Howard, RB Scottie Phillips, DE Austrian Robinson, CB Myles Hartsfield, returning starting center Eli Johnson (opted-out, both parents got C19 in March), potential OL starter Bryce Mathews (grad-transfer to Liberty), DE/LB Charles Wiley (3 sacks in 2019; grad transfer to UTSA), DB Jalen Julius.

Top returnees: QB John Rhys Plumlee, QB Matt Corral, RB/KR Jerrion Ealy, RB Snoop Conner, WR Elijah “Ole Piss” Moore, OL Ben Brown, LB Mohamed “MoMo” Sanogo, leading tackler LB Lakia Henry, second leading tackler LB Jacquez Jones, LB Donta Evans, OG Royce Newman, S Jon Haynes.

Top newcomers: Lane Kiffin, DC D.J. Durkin, TE Kenny Yeboah (Temple grad transfer), S Otis Reese (Georgia transfer; waiver STILL pending, KIRBY!), DE Demon Clowney, RB Henry Parrish, TE DaMarcus Thomas, DB Marc Britt.

Name you need to know: Jacquez Jones is proof that Nick Saban doesn’t always get it right in recruiting. The Tuscaloosa native (Hillcrest HS) had two sacks, 7.5 tackles for loss, and forced a pair for fumbles last season. He will anchor a surprisingly solid linebacking corps for the Rebs.

Strengths: The offensive mad genius of Kiffin... Returning both QBs, top four WRs, and Ealy to the offense... Experience and depth at linebackers... Missing UGA and Tennessee... Kicker and punter are back...

Weaknesses: Reboots are never easy... Replacing both offensive tackles... Lack of depth at OL and TE... All new starting defensive line... Despite all the returning players, the secondary is suspect...

Outlook: Lane Kiffin will bring excitement and fun back to the Grove but there will be some growing pains as OM claws their way out of a deep pit of despair. The new head coach will have two talented QBs to mold - both of whom bring completely different styles to the field. The Rebs return a great deal of experienced players from last year’s team but that does not guarantee success.

2020 SCHEDULE:

Sat, Sep 26 vs Florida - L
Sat, Oct 3 @ Kentucky - L
Sat, Oct 10 vs Alabama - L
Sat, Oct 17 @ Arkansas - W
Sat, Oct 24 vs Auburn - L - Keep an eye on this one.
Sat, Oct 31 @ Vanderbilt - W
Sat, Nov 14 vs South Carolina W
Sat, Nov 21 @ Texas A&M - L
Sat, Nov 28 vs Mississippi State - W - The Egg bowl is always a toss-up, but OM is going to be extra motivated.
Sat, Dec 5 @ LSU - L - If all the LSU players haven’t opted out by then...

Losing SE Missouri State, UConn, and Georgia Southern off the schedule and adding South Carolina and Kentucky was probably not the way Kiffin was hoping to start his tenure in Oxford.

Poll

How will the Lane Kiffin era at Ole Miss unfold?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    It’s his last stop and they’ll erect a statue of him.
    (49 votes)
  • 40%
    6-8 seasons. He will take the program back to a scary competitive status, but he’ll leave for another job.
    (220 votes)
  • 7%
    Some off-the-field something will shorten his tenure.
    (39 votes)
  • 43%
    He’ll jump at the first bigger job he can get.
    (238 votes)
546 votes total Vote Now

ALABAMA SCHEDULE:

Sat, Sep 26 @ Missouri
Sat, Oct 3 vs Texas A&M
Sat, Oct 10 @ Ole Miss
Sat, Oct 17 vs Georgia
Sat, Oct 24 @ Tennessee
Sat, Oct 31 vs Mississippi State
Sat, Nov 14 @ LSU
Sat, Nov 21 vs Kentucky
Sat, Nov 28 vs Auburn
Sat, Dec 5 @ Arkansas

Full SEC schedule