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Travelling to Oxford, Mississippi has always conjured pleasant connotations for college football fans. The Ole Miss Rebels have not been consistently good on the field for decades, and the tailgating and scenery off the field always made the trip worth the effort.
While the off-field activities should remain the same, the on-field product in Oxford is improving. Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze has the trajectory of the program pointing upward.
Freeze led Ole Miss to a 7-6 record and a bowl victory during his first season on campus. He restored a sense of pride to the program that is apparent in the players' effort on the field.
The Rebels are solid at all the skill positions, with Bo Wallace at quarterback, Jeff Scott at running back and Donte Moncrief at wide receiver. Each of the three will compete for All-SEC honors in 2013.
Ole Miss received a talent boost with its 2013 recruiting class. The class, which 247Sports.com ranked No. 4 in the nation, will provide a lot of freshmen who will see the field immediately in 2013.
Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, where Ole Miss plays, will remind Aggie fans of Baylor's Floyd Casey Stadium. But, like Baylor, the Ole Miss fans typically fail to fill the stadium's 60,580 seats.
However, the fans are so close to the field that when the home team starts playing well, the crowd can get very loud and provide the Rebels with a tremendous home-field advantage.
The Aggies committed six turnovers during a 30-27 win in Oxford in 2012. Do not expect A&M to turn the ball over as much in 2013, despite facing a stronger Rebels team than it did last year.