Ole Miss Football: Final AP rankings has Rebels inside the top ten

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl - Ole Miss v Penn State
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl - Ole Miss v Penn State / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

The College Football Championship Game brought the 2023 season to a close last night, with Michigan the victors. Today, the final top 25 AP Poll was announced earlier, with Ole Miss breaking the top ten.

Over the final few weeks of the regular season, Ole Miss were always outside looking in on the teams in the AP Poll top ten. However, in the final rankings of the 2023 season, the Rebels have broken in.

Ole Miss landed at number nine in the final AP Poll. It marked an eight-year stretch since they finished in the top ten. The last time the team finished with a single-digit rank was back in 1969, finishing eighth under legendary head coach John Vaught.

Ole Miss jumped ahead of their Peach Bowl opponents, Penn State and Ohio State, both from the Big Ten conference. Penn State, of course, lost to Ole Miss, while Missouri beat Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl. The Tigers finished one spot ahead of the Rebels in eight.

The ninth-place rank this season gives Lane Kiffin his best season at Ole Miss. His previous best was a 10-3 season in 2021, finishing ranked 11 in the end-of-season AP Poll.

If the Rebels were to repeat either of Kiffin's mentioned seasons above, then they would make the first round of the new 12-team playoff in 2024. However, Ole Miss have loftier heights for the 2024 season, looking to finish higher than in 2023, securing a first-round bye.

On to 2024, where the stakes are high, and the optimism is even higher.