Ole Miss has opportunity to disrupt conference, national title races
It’s finally November, the last leg of the college football regular season, and in the SEC West, a surprising team remains in the hunt for the conference championship.
To the angst of some preseason predictors, that team isn’t the LSU Tigers (6-2, 4-1). In fact, the Bayou Bengals have fallen a bit from their preseason No. 5 ranking. The College Football Playoff Selection Committee ranked them No. 14 this week.
Instead, it’s the Ole Miss Rebels (7-1, 4-1) ranked No. 10 and sitting one game back of the No. 8 Alabama Crimson Tide (7-1, 5-0) in the SEC West standings. The Rebels were ranked No. 22 preseason.
With their only loss to Alabama and a victory over LSU already in hand, the Rebels stand poised to benefit if LSU pulls out a win in Tuscaloosa this weekend. That result would create a three-way tie atop the SEC West, with Ole Miss, LSU and Alabama with one conference loss apiece: Tide over the Rebels, Rebels over the Tigers, Tigers over the Tide.
With a trip to Atlanta on the line, the remaining three weeks of the regular season would gain a new urgency for SEC West teams.
With Ole Miss’ schedule, there could also be huge national implications. The Rebels face the No. 2 Georgia Bulldogs next week, and an Ole Miss upset there could throw the race for the four-team playoff into chaos.
To be fair, even with a Rebel win against Georgia, the Bulldogs will more than likely end up winning the SEC East, meaning a rematch may be in the cards, but this time it would be in relatively friendly territory for the Dawgs and with a national title shot on the line. Those odds are certainly not in the Rebels’ favor.
Of course, all of these possibilities could be moot if Alabama beats LSU on Saturday. But if not, strap in: the last few weeks of this season would be as chaotic as they’ve ever been.