Ole Miss Football Predictions

The Ole Miss Rebels have been one of the best turnaround stories in the country. Hugh Freeze took over a 2-10 team and proceeded to get the Rebels to four straight bowl games in his first four seasons. They improved their win total all four seasons going 7-6, 8-5, 9-4 and 10-3, respectively.

Last year the Rebels let a golden opportunity to win the SEC West slip through their fingers. They beat Alabama 43-37 on the road in their SEC opener. But they lost a 52-53 overtime thriller to Arkansas after giving up a miracle touchdown on 4th-and-25. A win in that game and the Rebels would have won the SEC and possibly a national title.

After returning 16 starters last year, Freeze will have just 10 starters back in 2016. He lost three of his best players to the first round of the NFL Draft in WR Laquon Treadwell, OT Leremy Tunsil and DT Robert Nkemdeche. It will be tough to replace that trio, but Freeze has done an excellent job in recruiting, so the cupboard isn’t bare.

Last Season
SEC West
ATS Record
Points For
Points Against
10-3 (6-2 SEC)
2016 Ole Miss Rebels Schedule
Date Opponent
Spread (Est.)
Win Chance
9/5 Florida State (Orlando)
9/10 Wofford
9/17 Alabama
9/24 Georgia
10/1 Memphis
10/15 @ Arkansas
10/22 @ LSU
10/29 Auburn
11/5 Georgia Southern
11/12 @ Texas A&M
11/19 @ Vanderbilt
11/26 Mississippi State
Estimated Wins: TBD

The Rebels finished with the best offense in the SEC last season. They put up a whopping 40.8 points and 518 yards per game. Quarterback Chad Kelly was everything that Freeze had hoped for and more, completing 65.1 percent of his passes for 4,042 yards with 31 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Kelly also led the team with 10 rushing touchdowns and will likely be the best QB in the SEC in 2016.

The skill positions need replenished. Junior Jordan Wilkins (379 yards, 4 TD, 5.3/carry) is expected to take over at running back. They lose their top two receivers, but the next four are back in Quincy Adeboyejo (36 receptions, 604 yards, 7 TD), Damore’ea Stringfellow (36, 503, 5 TD), TE Evan Engram (38, 464, 2 TD) and Markell Pack (31, 380, 3 TD).

Perhaps the biggest concern is replacing several studs along the offensive line, including Tunsil. But they do bring back six linemen with starting experience. The career starts drops to 36, but they do have 10 players alone the O-line that classify as very highly touted coming out of high school. They add in the top offensive tackle in the country in freshman Greg Little to replace Tunsil as well.


The Rebels didn’t live up to their 2014 numbers defensively, but a lot of that had to do with injuries and suspensions. They still gave up a respectable 22.6 points and 386 yards per game. It will be tough to show much improvement with only five starters back on D.

The defensive line loses three players who are currently on NFL rosters, including Nkemdiche. Senior NT Isaac Gross (114 career tackles), senior DE Fadol Brown (32 tackles, 10 QB hurries last year) and second-team All-SEC DE Marquis Haynes (43 tackles, 10 sacks) all return, so this unit should be solid once again.

The linebacker corps loses three productive players in Denzel Nkemdiche, CJ Johnson and Christian Russell. However, six of the top nine are back from last season, including DeMarquis Gates (76 tackles). Tony Conner returns from injury, and they add in Oregon State transfer Rommel Mageo, who was the Beavers’ top tackler last year. They also add in Georgia transfer Detric Bing-Dukes. They shouldn’t miss a beat at LB as a result.

The secondary loses two players to the NFL in S Trae Elson and S Mike Hilton. But two starters are back in CB Tony Bridges (36 tackles, 3 INT) and CB Kendarius Webster (41 tackles, 12 passes defended). FS CJ Hampton (27 tackles) has starting experience, and freshman SS Deontay Anderson is one of the top recruits in the country.

Odds (Courtesy of 5Dimes)
Regular Season Win Total
SEC West Odds
SEC Championship Odds
4-Team Playoff Odds
National Championship Odds
Season Predictions

I actually picked the Rebels to win the West last season, and they were a 4th-and-25 stop against Arkansas away from living up to my lofty expectations. Still, a 6-2 finish within the conference and 10-3 mark overall would be considered a success in Oxford as Freeze clearly has Ole Miss on the rise.

I’m not nearly as high on the Rebels in 2016 because they go from 16 returning starters down to 10. However, they do have a lot of players that gained valuable experience due to injuries and suspensions that should be ready to step in and start. They also have the best QB in the SEC in Kelly to run the show.

Ole Miss gets both Georgia and Alabama at home this season. It does have to play three tough road games at Arkansas, LSU and Texas A&M. Drawing Florida State in Orlando out of conference is a bad break as well. I foresee the Rebels finishing 5-3 within the conference and 8-4 overall to capture third place in the SEC West in 2016.

2016 Projections
SEC West
SEC Record
Overall Record
Win Total Prediction
Under 9.5
More College Football Predictions
Ole Miss
Conference USA

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