Flying way under the radar in “big wins” is Ole Miss’ 25-17 victory over Georgia Tech in the Music City Bowl.
The win capped off an eight-win campaign that included victories over Vandy, Texas, LSU and Arkansas. The losses were to Alabama, Auburn, Mizzou, Texas A&M and Mississippi State (the latter being an overtime shocker on the road).
Ole Miss is a program that is moving in the right direction, which is a trend more difficult to quantify given its SEC West affiliation.
Most of the Rebels’ 37th-ranked scoring defense is set to return in 2014, as is the heart of a receiving corps that that ranked 23rd in yards in 2013.
What Ole Miss will have to overcome is the loss of several offensive lineman, a key to improving a scoring offense that averaged 30 points per game this season.
The other factor to keep in mind for the Rebels is their huge gains in recruiting. Next season may be the year when the seventh-ranked class of 2013—according to Rivals—starts to pay dividends in Oxford.
What also bodes well for Ole Miss is a schedule that draws Tennessee and Vanderbilt from the East and features home games against Auburn, Alabama and Mississippi State.