Sitting with a 5-2 record in mid October 2018, Ole Miss looked like a team capable of not only recording a winning record but possibly finishing with eight or nine wins. Instead, the squad closed the year with five consecutive losses, including an overtime heartbreaker to Vanderbilt to finish with a 5-7 record.

New offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez knows how to coach teams that can score points and now gets a chance to show he can get the Rebels’ offense clicking again. Matt Corral looks like the starting quarterback after the spring game and he’ll have the luxury of being able to hand the ball off to tailback Scottie Phillips, who rushed for nearly 1,000 yards in 10 games last year.

Wide receiver and offensive line both have some depth issues and will be places of concern for Ole Miss in 2019. The Rebels’ defense does return a lot of talent although several key players were injured and weren’t able to participate in spring practice. Those injuries should be clear before the season starts and with such a young offense, Ole Miss will lean heavily on the defense early in the season.

2019 Schedule:
August 31 at Memphis
September 7 vs. Arkansas
September 14 vs. SE Louisiana
September 21 vs. California
September 28 at Alabama
October 5 vs. Vanderbilt
October 12 at Missouri
October 19 vs. Texas A&M
November 2 at Auburn
November 9 vs. New Mexico State
November 16 vs. LSU
November 28 at Mississippi State

The Rebels open the season with three winnable games against Memphis, Arkansas and Southeastern Louisiana before playing host to Cal on Sept. 21. The Rebels also face daunting road games against Alabama, Auburn and Mississippi State.

Although the Rebels probably won’t play a role in the SEC West race, if Rodriguez can get the offense going and the youth movement grows up quickly, Ole Miss could flirt with six or seven wins again in 2019. That and they can hope they can finish this season stronger than they did in 2018.

2018 Results: 5-7, 1-7 SEC
2019 Projection: Ole Miss 6-6, 3-5 SEC

An injury while running at Auburn ended Jim Alred’s long-shot hopes of possibly competing in the Olympics, so he turned to writing and has been crafting award-winning stories across multiple mediums ever since. Along the way he’s been chased by a grizzly bear, worked as Goofy at Walt Disney World, been nominated for two Emmys, interviewed celebrities like Tiger Woods, Bo Jackson, Bill Clinton, coaches his daughters in cross country and soccer and can often be found running with his wife, Tara, around Rome.