It’s installment number seven of wild blind dart-throwing predictions of Alabama SEC opponents. In a new scheduling twist, Alabama has to wait all the way to Game 10 to face the Black Shark Rebel ManBearPigs.
[FUN FACT: The last time these two teams met in November was in 1944 in a game played in Mobile, AL.]
GAME 10, NOV 12: at OLE MISS REBELS
Coach: Lane Kiffin (15-8 in two seasons at Ole Miss; 76–41 in college career at Tenn, So Cal, FAU! and OM)
2021 OM record: 10-3 (6-2 SEC; 2nd in the West Division; Sugar Bowl loss)
CB969 2020 Prediction: 8-4; “Despite Ole Miss losing their two best receivers, Kiffin and Corral will still have the firepower to keep blowing up scoreboards...”
Looking back: Ole Miss won 10 regular season games for the first time in school history and looked to get a program best 11. However, quarterback Matt Corral injured an ankle while being sacked early in the Sugar Bowl and they lost to Baylor 21-7. En route to New Orleans, OM beat Arkansas, Tennessee, LSU, and TAMU among others. The two losses came to Bama and ...?!?...Auburn.
Returning starters: 2 on offense, 5 on defense, 0 kickers.
Key losses: OC Jeff Lebby (went to Oklahoma), DC D. J. Durkin (Texas A&M), EDGE Sam Williams (Round 2, Cowboys), QB Matt Corral (Round 3, Panthers), RB Snoop Conner (Round 5, Jaguars), LB Chance Campbell (Round 6, Titans), LB Mark Robinson (Round 7, Steelers), DB Deane Leonard (Round 7, Chargers), C Ben Brown , WR Dontario Drummond, RB/KR Jerrion Ealy, WR Braylon Sanders, EDGE Tariqious Tisdale, CB Jaylon Jones, starting CB Keidron Smith (transfer to Kentucky), QB John Rhys Plumlee (UCF), RB Henry Parrish (553 YDS, 3 TD; Miami), LB Mohamed Sanogo (Louisville).
Top returnees: WR Jonathan Mingo, LT Jeremy James, LG Nick Broeker, LT Jeremy James, QB Luke Altmyer, NT KD Hill, S AJ Finley, S Otis Reese.
Top newcomers: OC Charlie Weis Jr. (former Bama analyst, Falcons asst under Sark, FAU OC under Lane), TE Michael Trigg (transfer from Southern Cal), LB Troy Brown (All-MAC at Central Michigan), RB Zach Evans (TCU), S Isheem Young (Iowa State), RT Mason Brooks (WKU), QB Jaxson Dart (Southern Cal), RB Ulysses Bentley (SMU), DT J.J. Pegues (Auburn), LB Khari Coleman (TCU), DE Jared Ivey (Georgia Tech), WR Jordan Watkins (Louisville), frosh CB Davison Igbinosun, frosh S Taylor Groves, LS Carter Short (Hooverite former Bama walk-on).
Name you need to know: Remember 5-star RB headcase recruit Zach Evans? He was the 5-star nobody wanted and eventually landed at TCU. After two season of okay football in Fort Worth, has he humbled himself? He is immensely talented athlete but Kiffin is taking a chance on this transfer.
Strengths: Did really well in the Portal (see Newcomers above)... Even with all the newbies on offense, it is still Lane Kiffin... Returning experience at safety... Is WR Jonathan Mingo ready to shine?... Lame out-of-conference plus Vanderbilt cross-over guarantees five wins...
Weaknesses: Two new coordinators and four total new assistants (he really is trying to emulate Saban, huh?)... Only two returning starters on offense - both linemen... Drop off at QB from a year ago and still no decision on a starter... Lost top three leading receivers and top three leading running backs... Breaking in new placekicker and punter... Those last six games, oh Lawd!...
Outlook: It’s funny how everyone is all agog over how much Kiffin plundered the transfer portal. He had to! He had no choice when trying to find nine new starters on offense, six on defense, and all his specialists. There will be a learning curve this season on how well teams cope with bringing in so many new faces that are expected to contribute on a high level and see how well they can come together as a team. All things being even, I’ll take the team that has played together for more than six months. But I digress...
Kiffin is still a mad genius when it comes to offense. But his star pupil Corral is off to hold a clipboard in the NFL. The Rebs vastly improved on defense going from yielding an eye-popping 38.3 point per game in 2020 to 24.6 last season. However, DC D.J. Durkin left for Texas A&M. Whether they can sustain that success with Chris Partridge will be a key to the season.
The first half of the schedule is pretty frickin’ lame. But after that... Woof!
Win Total Odds
Over 7.5 -145
Under 7.5 +125
Sept 3 vs Troy - W
Sept 10 vs Central Arkansas - W
Sept 17 @ Georgia Tech - W
Sept 24 vs Tulsa - W
Oct 1 vs Kentucky - W - Home field advantage. I’m not buying the Will Levis hype BTW. Too erratic and immature.
Oct 8 @ Vanderbilt - W
Oct 15 vs Auburn - W - A toss up but go with the home team.
Oct 22 @ LSU - L - Tigah Stadium at night is magicuh!
Oct 29 @ Texas A&M - L - This feels like one Jimbo could screw up.
Nov 12 vs Alabama - L
Nov 19 @ Arkansas - L - Always a crazy game. (All Hail Hunter Henry!)
Thu, Nov 24 vs Mississippi State - W
Regular season wins for Ole Miss in 2022:
This poll is closed
10 or more (popcorn is ready!)
5 or less (popcorn is ready!)
ALABAMA SCHEDULE PREVIEWS:
Sept 3 vs Utah State 6:30pm SECN
Sept 10 at Texas 11:00am FOX
Sept 17 vs Louisiana–Monroe 3:00pm SECN
Sept 24 vs Vanderbilt
Oct 1 at Arkansas
Oct 8 vs Texas A&M
Oct 15 at Tennessee
Oct 22 vs Mississippi State
Oct 29 bye
Nov 5 at LSU
Nov 12 at Ole Miss
Nov 19 vs Austin Peay 11:00am SECN+
Nov 26 vs Auburn