Monday the Associated Press released its first AP Top25 rankings for 2018 and while Ole Miss football is absent four SEC West opponents are present.
With the 2018 college football season just days away the Associated Press released the first AP Top25 rankings. While most Ole Miss football fans have no desire to look at the rankings there are several Rebels opponents who fell inside the 25 best teams in the nation. Do preseason rankings really matter? Well that depends on how much stock you put into preseason college rankings. Of course, preseason rankings if your team is in them.
No there are no Ole Miss Rebels to be found in the Top25 and there were very few Ole Miss football fans who really believed they would be. Most college football media outlets have the Rebels picked to go 5-7 at best winning only one game in SEC play. After all the Ole Miss football program has been thru many pundits believe Ole Miss is down without a way up. They refuse to give the Rebels team or head coach Matt Luke and his staff even a chance for success in 2018.
Oh the AP Top25 was well received by fans of a number of SEC teams who have become the media darlings of college football. We always expect to see a few of the teams who make it and then each year there are the surprises of teams which actually make it and teams who should have. Coming off a 6-6 season is no reason to expect to make the Top25 however there are still those teams who did which make you laugh out loud and the ones who didn’t that just make you say “WOW”. We look at the four SEC opponents who made it.
Expected To Be There
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Of course, it wouldn’t be a true college preseason ranking without Alabama at No.1after winning a national championship the previous season. The Nick Saban coached Crimson Tide have proven they can finish out a season and that always carries over to the next. Yes, Bama is once again the AP favorite in 2018, but this season may not be easy for Saban and he is worried. Besides choosing Jalen Hurts as the starter for their season opener, he is also without a couple of his starters.
Also a team we expected to see in the first AP Top25 rankings is the Auburn Tigers who come in at No.9. The Tigers come into the 2018 college football seasons as one of Ole Hotty Toddy’s NCAA playoff dark horse candidates and they have a team which can do it. Coach Gus Malzahn is an offensive genius who has very talented staff and players. Expect to see the Auburn Tigers make a statement in 2018.
The Funny Ones
So after a good 2017 season the Miss State Bulldogs find themselves sitting at No.18 in the first AP Top25 of 2018. There is no doubt the Bulldogs have a talented team coming back and it was somewhat expected Miss State would make the preseason Top25 with the success they had last season. However, the national media refuses to address the 800 lb gorilla in the patch. State now has a new head coach who is going expect his offense to translate into SEC wins. Joe Moorhead will be a good coach for the Bulldogs and he’ll win games in 2018 but it won’t be enough to keep the Bullys in the Top25 at the end of the season.
Rounding out the Rebels SEC opponents who graced the Top25 are the LSU Tigers who slithered in at No.25. This was truly amusing with the news which has been coming out of Red Stick. The Tigers are coming off a 9-4 finish in 2017 which was directed in part by Matt Canada. Now the Tigers have Steve Ensminger running the offense and some Corndog fans may be even more unhappy than last season if that is possible. The Tigers can thank Ed Orgeron for having a stout defense this season and they’ll need it with an anemic offense. Go get a good look at LSU in the Top25 now because they won’t be there for long.
The four SEC West teams mentioned above all made the Top25 plus the SEC East Georgia Bulldogs who made No.3 their spot in the preseason rankings. Most of us believed Georgia to be a Top5 team so this certainly came as no surprise at all. However, in this rankings the surprises come from the SEC teams who we don’t see. There are no Texas A&M Aggies from the SEC West nor Florida Gators or South Carolina Gamecocks from the SEC East.
It may not have surprised most Ole Miss football fans for the Rebels to not be in the Top25 but it was surprising Ole Miss received no first place votes. Other SEC teams receiving first place votes were Texas A&M, South Carolina, Florida and Kentucky. Of course, the Ole Miss Rebels will face both the A&M Aggies and South Carolina during the 2018 season.
Don’t let the Rebels absence in the Top25 bother you. The 2018 Ole Miss football season will be a long and exciting one for Rebel Nation. The Rebels will take the field with one of the top offenses in the nation in Houston against Texas Tech and Ole Hotty Toddy likes our chances this season. With two First Team All-Americans on offense and numerous weapons we still expect the Rebels to go 9-3. The Rebels will certainly find their way into the Top25 at some point this season and will be there to stay. Hotty Toddy!