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Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace
Is this the year for Ole Miss, or will head coach Hugh Freeze's reclamation project take another year? That's the question in Oxford during fall camp.
One thing is certain: Ole Miss has a boatload of talent returning on both sides of the ball, including wide receiver Donte Moncrief, quarterback Bo Wallace, running back Jeff Scott and linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche.
Oh, and a talent injection is happening now, as defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, safety Tony Conner and the rest of that remarkable recruiting class of 2013 arrives on campus.
Will that be enough to vault the Rebels from competitor to contender? The schedule is brutal out of the gate, but if Freeze can find a few wins, they'll be off and running.
Optimistic: 10-2 with losses to Alabama and LSU. Don't laugh, it's possible. It'd take road wins against Vanderbilt and Texas, and a home upset of Texas A&M to get to this point. But Ole Miss was within an eyelash of being a nine-win team a year ago, and most of that talent returns.
Pessimistic: 6-6 with wins over Southeast Missouri State, Idaho, Troy, Missouri and two out of the group of Mississippi State, Arkansas and Auburn. That'd be a major disappointment for Rebel Nation, especially if it loses the Egg Bowl to the Bulldogs.
Realistic: 9-3 with losses to Texas, Alabama and LSU. That's right, a win over A&M is realistic. Ole Miss is going to be in virtually every football game. At some point, it's going to get the break it needs to win one of the big ones.