Rankings & Playoff Projections

Here is the question of the moment. Later today, what will the rankings say?

Unless there is enough Mississippi bias, against the Magnolia State that is, then Ole Miss and Mississippi State should be the two top ranked teams in the country.

Unless Florida State, a 38-20 winner at Syracuse, remains ahead of one or the other.

We’re mainly talking the Associated Press poll. That’s the one last week that had Ole Miss No. 3 and State No. 3 – a tie. Auburn was No. 2 and Florida State was No. 1.

MSU at home took care of Auburn 38-23, and Ole Miss walloped No. 14 Texas A&M on the road 35-20.

Last week in the Coaches’ Poll, Ole Miss was No. 4 and MSU No. 6. Both teams will move up from those spots.

So where will the Rebels be in either poll? How about No. 1?

“We’re just playing, but obviously we would love that,” said Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace, smiling, after another outstanding performance leading his offense. “We’re enjoying this process. We’re taking it every week and we’re ready for Tennessee.”

The Rebels host the unranked Volunteers Saturday night at 6 o’clock for Homecoming.

Cody Prewitt, who had an interception return for a touchdown against the Aggies, said rankings don’t matter as much as how you prepare and play.

“No. 1 or No. 25, you’re going to have to come out and compete every Saturday,” he said. “That’s the thing about our conference. In the SEC West, every one of these teams is just as capable of being No. 1 as we are. The thing that sets people apart is how you come out and execute on Saturdays.”

CBS’ Jerry Palm says he’d vote MSU No. 1 but believes the Rebels are the SEC favorite now, mainly due to scheduling. And he feels that gives Ole Miss the No. 1 spot in the playoff projection.

But Palm doesn’t even have MSU making the playoffs. At least not the Mississippi version. He has Florida State No. 2, Alabama No. 3, and Michigan State No. 4 in the playoffs.

Lou Holtz of ESPN has Ole Miss at the top of his playoff chart, then Mississippi State, Florida State, and Notre Dame.

You’ll see those type predictions each week from now on. And already have.

It means Ole Miss has made it into the mix, and now it becomes a week to week situation as to whether they can remain there or move up.

Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said the Rebels, within the confines of the Manning Center, are worried only about themselves when it comes to how far they can go.

“I will tell our team (Sunday) no one, no poll, no media, gets to decide for us how we define ourselves," Freeze said. "I’ll tell them that again. It’s good for our fans; they like that stuff. We could lose every game left on our schedule with the league we play in.

“We better just focus on us, and it will be great to be voted wherever they vote us. We would consider that an honor," the third-year head coach of the Rebels continued. "We will try to represent and be worthy of that vote. But I’ll tell our kids we won’t give credence to it until the end of the year. That’s when it really matters.”

And Freeze had one final parting comment.

“I do think the SEC West deserves two in the playoffs,” he said.

One of those could certainly be Ole Miss when all is said and done.

“We’re just a hungry team," said Quincy Adeboyejo, a Texas native who almost went to Texas A&M but landed at Ole Miss. “We want to be the best in the nation. We practice hard and we do everything we have to do. We’re bonding as a team. We want to keep that going.”

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