The key to upward mobility in the college football world is stability and longevity. Frank Beamer at Virginia Tech and Bill Snyder at Kansas State are two examples of coaches who took their programs to new heights after steady climbs up the NCAA mountain. Even Mississippi State has a division title to show for their commitment to Jackie Sherrill.
The loss to Alabama was not a step forward but it shouldn't be seen only as a backward step. History shows that steps are measured by complete seasons rather than any single game. Yet another winning record and bowl game will continue to lay the solid foundation required to move to the next level. Currently, the Rebels' record stands at 5-2 and both are well within reason. Who knows, perhaps even a division title or SEC championship lies ahead. If not this season, then almost certainly in the not too distant future.