Head coach Hugh Freeze would like to see his team progress each season, and that would mean that the Rebels would need to stay in the SEC race as long as possible this season, and hope to have a shot at the end.
The good news for Freeze and the Rebels is that the schedule sets up very nicely for them this season. If Ole Miss were ever going to make a run at an SEC title, having an experienced quarterback and a favorable schedule would be two of the ingredients, and both exist this year.
It figures that Ole Miss will battle with the Alabama Crimson Tide, the Auburn Tigers and the LSU Tigers for the SEC West title. And Ole Miss actually gets both Alabama and Auburn in Oxford. The trip to LSU will still be tough, it always is, but those Tigers figure to be the third best of that top triumvirate in the west.
In reality, the toughest road game that Ole Miss will face this season, outside of the LSU trip, is an October 11 visit to College Station to face the Texas A&M Aggies. Ole Miss also faces the Vanderbilt Commodores and the Arkansas Razorbacks on the road, in what should be a pair of winnable games.
Ole Miss also has an advantage in their SEC East opponents. In addition to Vanderbilt, the Rebels host the Tennessee Volunteers this season.
The elements appear to be in place for Ole Miss to contend in the SEC West. Now, they must take advantage of what’s been set before them.
Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for RantSports.com and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.