After falling to Kentucky in two of three games last season, Ole Miss sported a 33-20 record, a 14-13 conference record and held an RPI of 11. The records may be identical in 2008, but the Rebels' RPI is at 43. Even though the wins and losses are the same, this year is a different story.
Thanks to not enough good wins, too many bad losses and some teams having disappointing seasons, the computers aren't being kind to the Rebels like they have in years past. Ole Miss currently sports the 48th toughest schedule in the country. Last year at this time, the Rebels had the No. 1 most difficult schedule nationally.
Through 53 games in 2007, Ole Miss boasted a 6-1 record in series against top-25 teams, a conference-high 14 total wins against clubs ranked in the top 25, and the Rebels only faced four teams that were situated outside the RPI top 100, going 5-2 against those schools. Both losses came against Wright State, a team that won 36 games and fell one win shy of the NCAA Tournament.
Through 53 games in 2008, Ole Miss is 1-2 in series against top-25 ranked teams, have five wins against the top 25 and have played a monumental 20 games against schools outside the RPI top 100 with a record of 16-4.
However, several SEC schools have begun to play better after facing Ole Miss. According to top-25 RPI numbers, the Rebels are 10-10 over all and 2-4-1 in series against schools currently sitting in the RPI top 25. Not on par with last season, but better than the number associated with facing teams ranked by polls at the time of the game(s).
The Rebels are 12-14 against the RPI top 50 and 8-10 on the road this season. Those numbers will change due to Kentucky currently at No. 30 in the RPI. In 2007, Ole Miss traveled to No. 6 Arkansas the final weekend and won two games to finish 16-14 and grab the No. 5 seed in the SEC Tournament.
Below is Ole Miss' schedule to date, and the RPI rank for each team. Also provided is the spot an opponent appeared in the top 25 when the Rebels played them. Ole Miss' record against that team is in parentheses. Highlighted teams are definite positives or negatives.
No. 9 Georgia (1-2); ranked No. 8
No. 14 Southern Miss (1-1)
No. 15 Florida (1-2)
No. 16 South Carolina (1-2); ranked No. 10
No. 17 Arkansas (1-2)
No. 18 LSU (2-1)
No. 22 Vanderbilt (3-0); ranked No. 6
No. 30 Kentucky
No. 46 TCU (1-2)
No. 49 Alabama (1-2)
No. 60 Auburn (2-1)
No. 95 South Alabama (2-0)
No. 99 Western Kentucky (1-1)
No. 126 Northwestern State (2-0)
No. 128 Mississippi State (2-2)
No. 170 Indiana State (3-0)
No. 179 Arkansas State (1-1)
No. 183 Memphis (2-0)
No. 184 Central Arkansas (0-1)
No. 190 Jackson State (1-0)
No. 225 Minnesota (3-0)
No. 236 Arkansas - Little Rock (1-0)
No. 242 Murray State (1-0)
Setting the Record Straight
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