After the Alabama Crimson Tide trounce the Florida Gators in the SEC Championship Game, there will be no questioning which is the second-best team in the conference.
The Ole Miss Rebels will ascend into that spot, and with that position, the team will earn a berth in the Sugar Bowl against the TCU Horned Frogs. The latter knocked off the Baylor Bears last week and rose eight spots in the latest College Football Playoff poll.
That should be good enough to send them to New Orleans.
|2016 Sugar Bowl: TV Schedule|
|Date||Location||Time (ET) and Network||Matchup|
|Jan. 1||New Orleans, La.||8:30 p.m. (ESPN)||SEC vs. Big 12|
This matchup would pit two of the nation's most high-powered offenses against each other. TCU is ranked fourth in total offense while Ole Miss is 11th. A shootout seems almost certain if this game comes to fruition.
On talent alone, it would appear the Rebels have an advantage. If you simply look at the amount of Rebels who are likely to hear their names called in the first round of the 2016 NFL draft, that speaks to the level of talent this team has on its roster.
Offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, wide receiver Laquon Treadwell and defensive end Robert Nkemdiche aren't just considered first-round selections. Per Dane Brugler of CBSSports.com, all three are projected as top-10 picks.
Not one member of the Horned Frogs made Brugler's first-round mock draft. That begs the question: Have the Rebels underachieved, or have the Horned Frogs overachieved?
Ole Miss is the only team to knock off Alabama, but it faltered against teams it should have beaten like the Arkansas Razorbacks, Memphis Tigers and Florida.
Ole Miss was absolutely built to play in the CFP, and with those three elite talents likely leaving after this season, its championship window is closing. That's part of what makes whatever bowl game the Rebels appear in an interesting one.
It will probably be the last time you see that trio on the field together—at least in college.
While he's not as highly touted as Tunsil, Treadwell and Nkemdiche, TCU's Trevone Boykin has solidified himself as one of the greatest quarterbacks in his school's history. He owns almost every passing record for TCU.
That includes yards and touchdown passes. He'd like to receive an invite to the Heisman Trophy ceremony, per this interview with David Watkins of NBC in Dallas/Fort Worth:
This game won't have any bearing on his invite, but nonetheless, Boykin will want to finish his career as a Horned Frog strong. TCU lost to both the Oklahoma Sooners and Oklahoma State Cowboys, and that ruined any chance it had of making the CFP.
However, it would still have to count the season a success if it made and won the Sugar Bowl.