As spring practice comes to a close, everyone now has its sights on the 2016 Ole Miss football season. The Rebs waste no time, opening with Florida State in Orlando on September 5th. Brad Logan and John Luke McCord laid out how the season will go and what the future brings. The answers might surprise you. Here we go.
Florida State (in Orlando, Fla.)
Ole Miss jumps in with both feet, drawing battle lines with the Seminoles. Following a 10-win season last year, coach Jimbo Fisher returns Dalvin Cook at running back. The Seminoles were rebuilding last year on the offensive line and have a ton of talent returning. They do have the ACC champ in Clemson on campus next year as the ‘Noles try and make a run at the National Championship. The only true road test will be at Louisville. This could be the year for the boys from Tallahassee.
John Luke: Ole Miss- 27 Florida State-13
Brad Logan: Florida State-31 Ole Miss-29
Wofford’s mascot is the Terriers. They are in Spartanberg, SC. (Don’t worry. We didn’t know either.) You can plan ahead, this will be the 11-AM game on the SEC Network. This will be the_let’s take the kids so if it’s awful we can go back to The Grove at halftime_game. You’re laughing because it’s true. We know, every school has this game and it’s appreciated.
John Luke McCord: Ole Miss-45 Wofford-9
Brad Logan: Ole Miss-66 Wofford-3
Fresh off a National Championship, the Crimson Tide were perfect last season, sans the loss it took at the hands of Ole Miss. “It was those light blue helmets, PAWL!” The Rebels are looking for the hat trick against the Tide and Nick Saban as it hosts Bama inside the renovated Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. If you like loud, you’ll like this game. The Tide will be replacing its starting quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry. As we all know, the Tide doesn’t rebuild, it reloads. Can the Rebs do the unthinkable? Whatever happened to Johnny Bowtie? Roll Ti….Dammit Pawl!
John Luke McCord: Ole Miss-37 Alabama-31
Brad Logan: Ole Miss-45 Alabama-42 (OT)
The Dawgs decided 10-wins wasn’t enough so it fired Mark Richt. Enter Kirby Smart. One of the top priorities for the Nick Saban clone was securing and signing one of the top quarterbacks in the country in Jacob Eason. He did just that and has the base excited enough that 93,000 showed up for the spring game. Talent or not, the Dawgs might catch Ole Miss asleep at the wheel.
John Luke McCord: Ole Miss-24 Georgia 17
Brad Logan: Georgia-34 Ole Miss-31 (OT)
The Tigers are without its quarterback from last season, Paxton Lynch, due to the NFL. He sliced the Ole Miss defense to shreds last year. Gone also is head coach Justin Fuente, who bolted for Virginia Tech. What is not lost is the screenshot of the scoreboard and a few late scores from the Tigers from Memphis. This could get ugly and quick.
John Luke McCord: Ole Miss-42 Memphis-23
Brad Logan: Ole Miss-56 Memphis 13
Arkansas (Fayetteville, Ark.)
The Natural State, specifically in the Northwest corner, has not been particularly kind to Ole Miss. The Rebels have had success but it has been few and far between. This will be a much different Hog team, as they must replace a ton along the offensive front. Also, Alex Collins, Jonathan Williams and quarterback Brandon Allen are off to the NFL. Barring a 4th-and-55 hail mary from Bald Knob, Ole Miss should revisit success in the Ozarks.
John Luke McCord: Ole Miss-31 Arkansas-28
Brad Logan: Ole Miss-38 Arkansas-28
LSU (Baton Rouge, La.)
There’s no reason to break this game down. It’s LSU. Inside Tiger Stadium. If it’s at night, watch out…..
John Luke McCord: LSU-21 Ole Miss-20
Brad Logan: LSU-14 Ole Miss-12
Gus Malzahn is fighting for his life. It’s not even a given he will survive this late in the season. The Rebels always follow a loss with an energized performance. This is no different. The Gus Bus may be on fire by this point. You just can’t say Gus Bus without smiling. It’s physically impossible.
John Luke McCord: Ole Miss- 41 Auburn-33
Brad Logan: Ole Miss-38 Auburn-17
Georgia Southern (Oxford)
Rod Barnes once coached basketball here….wait, that was Georgia State. Who cares. Well, I guess Georgia does. They took them to OT last year. Georgia Southern, that is. Mark Richt has lost contr……nevermind.
John Luke McCord: Ole Miss-55 Georgia Southern-17
Brad Logan: Ole Miss-52 Georgia Southern-9
Texas A&M (College Station, Texas)
This will be a game that all of the national pundits will have the Rebels struggling in. Frankly, we felt the same way two years ago. Then, Even Engram caught approximatly 14-touchdowns and the Aggie Yell, was the Aggie Cry. What’s up with grown men wearing white jumpsuits and yelling? I digress. Kevin Sumlin better win and quick. Will he be coaching this late in the season? The dog mascot is cool. The boys in white waving a towel, not so much. John Luke likes the towels we guess.
John Luke McCord: Texas A&M-44 Ole Miss-35
Brad Logan: Ole Miss-38 Texas A&M-24
Vanderbilt (Nashville, Tenn.)
Ole Miss has unofficially named Nashville its second home as of late. Speaking of late, Ole Miss is facing the Dores later on the schedule than usual. That does not bode well for the Dores. The upside is Nashville is a blast to visit. The game? Not so much. Or, do the Dores have late season magic? Don’t leave for Tootsies at halftime. FOGHORN ALERT!!!!
John Luke McCord: Ole Miss-27 Vanderbilt-23
Brad Logan: Ole Miss-31 Vanderbilt-26
Mississippi State (Oxford)
By the time Ole Miss and MSU meet at Vaught-Hemingway in late November, they’ll be no more than 500,000 posts on numerous message boards that have the phrase the Bulldog base has affectionately coined “Go to Hell TSUN.” Meanwhile, Ole Miss has done nothing but beaten the Mullen led Dawgs two years in a row both on the gridiron and on the recruiting trail. In that time, fans that support the Maroon and White have resorted to pounding the hammer that Ole Miss and its coaching staff are chock full of violators in regards to the NCAA. Come a few weeks, we’ll see this was nothing short of a bump in the road. Normally this would be a run-of-the-mill 14-point win for the Rebels. This season, it could be personal.
John Luke McCord: TSUN-38 Mississippi State-28
Brad Logan: TSUN-44 Mississippi State-17
John Luke has the Rebels going 10-2 and Brad has the Rebs 9-3. The question will remain, can this be the year Ole Miss gets to Atlanta to the SEC Championship game and represent the Western Division? It is a goal that Hugh Freeze has made clear since his arrival in Oxford.
Is it August yet?