A 10-2 record may still not be enough for Ole Miss to make the College Football Playoffs

Is it too early to worry about how many wins get Ole Miss into the College Football Playoffs? Maybe, however, we need to acknowledge that ten wins may not get the Rebels into the top 12.

The goal for Ole Miss football in 2024 is clear: a place in the 12-team college football playoffs. The Rebels' 10-win mark seems to be a safe bet to get them in. However, I don't want to be a killjoy, but it may not be enough.

With the narrative that the Ole Miss schedule is weaker than many other college teams, recording a ten-win season may be below the standard set by several teams that make ten wins with a stronger schedule.

Where are those two losses likely coming from, considering Ole Miss is a 10-2 team? Potentially, LSU, Georgia, and Oklahoma. Two losses against either team means that although the Rebels make ten wins, it may not be seen as good enough. It all depends on how the other teams perform during the season. However, aside from one win, the other nine will be teams predicted to be outside the top 25.

Yes, these are projections; we could waltz in with ten wins (unless you ask Paul Finebaum.) However, looking at last season's rankings, it would be close, with the conference realignment meaning stronger team schedules for some.

11 wins need to be the target for Ole Miss in 2024

Last season, we saw Florida State not make the College Football Playoff despite going 13-0, which was wild. Moving to a 12-team playoff format solved the problem for unbeaten teams making it in; however, similar issues will still arise during the rankings.

After five automatic bids, including four Power 5 conference champions and the highest-ranked team from the group of five conferences, it leaves seven spaces. Three to four teams are likely 11-win teams or above, one of which could be Ole Miss. If not, you will have three to four teams fighting for the remaining places.

So, as an example, here is why having a ten-win season for Ole Miss can be seen as a precarious position.

  • Ole Miss 10-2 - wins over Oklahoma and Kentucky, losses against Georgia and LSU.
  • LSU 10-2 - wins over Alabama and Ole Miss, losses against Oklahoma and USC.
  • Alabama 10-2 - wins over Tennessee and Oklahoma, losses to Georgia and LSU.
  • Michigan 10-2 - wins over Washington and Texas, losses to Ohio State and Oregon

Considering the hypothetical scenario, if three teams out of the four records made the final three places, Ole Miss could likely miss out on a playoff spot. Yes, it comes down to which teams Alabama and the Rebels beat, but it shows that ten wins are nowhere close to being guaranteed a place.

We shall see how the season plays out, but to keep Ole Miss fan's minds at ease, 11 wins should be the target for a playoff spot. Who knows, with that may come an SEC Championship Game.