What were the expectations heading into the Rebels' season? Were those expectations met?
The expectations headed into the 2012 season were pretty low based on the turmoil of the 2011 season and the lack of depth on the squad. Most Rebel fans felt if the newly hired Coach Hugh Freeze was able to go 6-6, he should be a SEC Coach of the Year frontrunner.
Not only were the expectations met, they were exceeded by far, particularly since the Rebels broke a three-game losing streak to rival Mississippi State the last game of the year in a convincing 41-24 fashion.
What one player stands out as the Rebels' key factor to success this season?
Quarterback Bo Wallace passed for just shy of 3,000 yards and earned the Conerly Trophy as Mississippi's top collegiate player.
Wallace was the catalyst for the offense, but redshirt freshman linebacker Denzel Nkemdiche was the surprise player of the year, both from a production standpoint and leadership standpoint. He was nicknamed the "Tasmanian Devil" by Rebel fans for the infectious energy he brought to every game.
When did the momentum shift for Ole Miss this season?
It was a season full of momentum swings for the Rebels. After getting thumped by Texas, the Rebels lost a heartbreaker to Texas A&M, but then regained some momentum by defeating Auburn and Arkansas back-to-back for their first SEC wins in nearly two years.
Then, more heartbreak with consecutive close losses to Vanderbilt and LSU, both scoring late in the game to overcome Rebel leads. The momentum then shifted skyward with the big season-ending victory over Mississippi State.
How has this season affected recruiting in the class of 2013?
Recruiting was going well before the season started because prospects could see the need for immediate help and the coaches attack recruiting daily and hard. They got added proof the program is going in the right direction with the much improved 6-6 record and the wide open style the Rebs play on both sides of the ball.
Naturally, the in-state recruiting battle with MSU has also turned in favor of Ole Miss with the Egg Bowl victory.
What is your team's biggest Christmastime headline?
"Rebs Exceed Expectations; Earn Postseason Play"
Thanks to the Ole Miss Spirit's Chuck Rounsaville for his in-depth contribution to this report.