League Schedule: at Alabama, vs. Texas A&M, vs. Auburn, at Arkansas, at Georgia, vs. Vanderbilt, at LSU, vs. Mississippi State
The first two years of Houston Nutt’s tenure in Oxford went very well. Both 2008 and 2009 were nine win seasons capped off by wins in the Cotton Bowl.
Years three and four were quite the opposite. The Rebels won only six games combined over the last two seasons, including just two wins in 2011.
Now, Houston Nutt is out and in steps Hugh Freeze.
Freeze isn’t inheriting a ton of talent, but questions first begin with his ability to coach on the biggest stage. Freeze has just three years of head coaching experience under his belt, two of which came at an NAIA school. He coached Arkansas State to a 10-2 record in 2011, but winning in the Sun Belt and winning in the SEC are obviously very different tasks.
Ole Miss was dead last in the SEC in 2011, in total and scoring defense, and ranked ahead of only Kentucky on offense. Needless to say, there’s a lot of work to be done on both sides of the ball.
The Rebels didn’t win a league game in 2011, and the schedule in 2012 is tougher. Gone from the schedule is a road game at Kentucky, which is replaced by a home game against SEC newcomer Texas A&M.
A visit from Vanderbilt in November will be Mississippi’s best shot at a win, but James Franklin has his squad improving, and a win by the Rebels will not be expected.