Houston Nutt and the Ole Miss Rebels are going into their last three games of the year with their backs against the wall. In order to be bowl eligible, the Rebels must win two of their last three games. This is definitely a tall order when you consider the remaining schedule.
This week Ole Miss goes to Tennessee, followed by a trip to Baton Rouge to play the No. 5 LSU Tigers. Then the Rebels end their season at home against No. 19 Mississippi State. In order to be bowl eligible, the Rebels will have to pull off a major upset.
Winning two of these three games is a tall order. The Rebels did not look great during their win over Louisiana-Lafayette last Saturday. The offense looked good at times, but stalled too many times.
Kicker Bryson Rose kicked five field goals during this game. While it is good news that the Rebels have a reliable kicker, it doesn't speak well that the Rebel offense stalled that many times against a poor Louisiana-Lafayette team. The offense will have to score touchdowns, not field goals, to get past LSU and MSU.
The Rebels haven't fared well against top 20 teams this year. They looked decent in their loss to Alabama, but were spanked against their other top 20 opponents. This is not a good sign as the Rebels now have to defeat a top 20 team to get to a bowl in 2010.
Tennessee, although definitely not a top 20 team, has shown the ability to play well at times this year. The Vols lost to LSU on a ridiculous mental blunder on the last play of the game. So the Volunteers do have the ability to play, if they show up. And Neyland Stadium is a hard place to play, even with the Vols having a down year.
Looking at the schedule, this week's game against Tennessee is a must win for the Rebels to get bowl eligible. I think that a loss this week will seal the Rebels' fate for this season. Defeating two top 20 teams back to back is too much to ask for this poorly coached Rebel team.
This is especially true when you consider that both of the Rebels' last two games are against their two biggest rivals. While it is possible that LSU may have a letdown against the Rebels, you can bet that a revived Bulldog team will not come to Oxford flat.
Ole Miss must show up with their A-team this week. Another game filled with lackluster play, poor coaching and mistakes will likely put the Rebels on the living room couch this bowl season. A loss Saturday may spell disaster for the last two games.
For Houston Nutt and the Rebels, there is a lot riding on Saturday's game against Tennessee. If the Rebels can pull off a win against the Vols, they just may have enough motivation to pull off a big upset against LSU or MSU. But a loss on Saturday could send this team into a tailspin.
Bohdi Sanders ~ www.TheWisdomWarrior.com