FOOTBALL: Predictions anyone?

I rarely go out and pick upsets, and I’m not picking one this week, though I can see some matchups here that favor the Rebels when they travel to face No. 2 Alabama Saturday.

Bryant-Denny Stadium has been the site of many a beatdown for Ole Miss, which has won only once there.

This is in fact that 20th anniversary of the Rebels’ 22-12 win in 1988.

Alabama has been very impressive in its 6-0 start, but I’d venture to say that Clemson was a tad overrated, and Georgia, while a very good team, might not have been quite as strong as previously believed.

Alabama can be had. Nick Saban is no doubt preaching that same message right now. The fact that Alabama can be had, however, doesn’t mean that it will be had. Right now the Tide, the SEC’s lone unbeaten, has the best chance to reach the BCS championship game.

What the Tide has shown this year is that it has gotten up for big games. Bama’s matchup next week at Tennessee has more tradition and TV appeal, but I’d venture to say that except for the Nov. 8 trip to LSU, Saturday’s game against Ole Miss is the most difficult test left for the Tide.

So will Alabama be up for a big game just cruise on through as it did against Kentucky?

Surely Ole Miss’ 31-30 upset at No. 4 Florida will have the Tide a little more intense.

The fact that the Rebels won’t sneak up on the Tide will be inconsequential of the Rebels can just hold on to the football.

Ole Miss has shown it can play with anyone on its schedule and can defeat anyone on its schedule if it holds on to the football. Yes, yes, the Rebels would likely be 6-0 right now if they’d have won the turnover battle at Wake Forest and at home against Vanderbilt and South Carolina. That’s water under the bridge now, and all the Rebels can do try to find at least three wins in their last six games to reach bowl eligibility for the first time in five years.

It remains to be seen if the Rebels have solved, or at least improved, their turnover troubles.

There are, however, some matchups that favor Ole Miss.

Alabama is a physical running team, and Ole Miss has a physical defensive line that has played the run very well this year.

Alabama has given up very few rushing yards, and Ole Miss will need to find a way to run the ball to help set up its passing game. As good as the Tide has been against the run, it has been average against the pass, ranking 10th in the SEC in passing yards allowed.

Ole Miss has been very successful in the passing game. Jevan Snead has made better decisions the last two weeks and is still learning. He has shown an ability to maintain his composure in the pocket and wait for his receiver to come open.

Alabama, meanwhile, hasn’t pressured the passer as much as some other teams.

There are matchups that work against the Rebels too. Any quarterback with average accuracy is a bad matchup against a suspect secondary. Alabama senior John Parker Wilson is playing much more effectively than last year and has a big-time play-making receiver in freshman Julio Jones.

It is a must that Ole Miss’ defensive line find a way to get past an experienced Tide offensive line and disrupt Wilson.

This is a game the Rebels can win.

It’s just not one I think they will.

Alabama 22, Ole Miss 20.

— PA

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33 Responses to “FOOTBALL: Predictions anyone?”

  1. Raleighrebel Says:

    I have a feeling the Rebels will pull it off this weekend.

    Rebels 31

    Bama 28

    Also:

    Georgia 28
    Vandy 13

    Kentucky 14
    Arkansas 13

    Tennessee 17
    MSU 9

    LSU 38
    S Carolina 17

  2. Jimmy Barbee Says:

    Rebels 31 Bama 27

    Miss State 21 Tenn 14

  3. BirdZ! Says:

    Thanks for the confidence in the Bullies, JB.

    Bama 34
    Ole Miss 24

    UT 20
    MSU 10

  4. jr85reb Says:

    Ole Miss 17
    Bama 14

  5. MB Says:

    I have a weird feeling about this game. Most prognosticators I’ve heard are taking the Tide. Give me the Rebs 34-24. I just think its a pretty good matchup for our Rebs and we should be focused (minimum turnovers) coming out of an off week. I am worried about the secondary though. Should be a good one regardless; that’s why I’m heading down early Sat morning to Tuscaloosa.

  6. bornarebel Says:

    It’s upset time!!!!
    If we beat bama, we could win the next 3 in a row!
    Ole Miss – 27
    Bama – 24

  7. Jimmy Barbee Says:

    BirdZ, I think that Miss State has one of the better defenses in the nation. Should they get some help from the offense, it’s my belief that they will win, as stated above in my prediction. The Rebels have a much tougher battle taking a whack at the #2 team in the nation. I also, believe a win for the Rebs.

  8. mobilereb Says:

    My Bama friends here in Mobile are very, very scared of Jevan Snead when he has time and worried that Greg Hardy is going to spend the afternoon taking hand-offs from John Parker Wilson. I’m going with the upset. I say our lines win this one and give Jevan plenty of time to find open receivers and the defense keeps pressure on John Parker and stops the run. Go Rebels!

  9. djrebel Says:

    It will be interesting in Knoxville. I think State has a good shot to win, though I’ve picked Tennessee. I think this is a huge game for Fulmer, and I expect they’ll rally the troops.

    — PA

  10. farley662 Says:

    Bama 24 OM 20

    UT 28 State 14

  11. VA Reb Says:

    Ole Miss 31 Bama 28

    MSU 20 UT 17

    South Panola 31 Tupelo 17

  12. farley662 Says:

    SP 42 Tupelo 10

  13. L2 Says:

    In honor of Shaun Sykes & that day being Billy Brewers B’day when we pulled off the big upset (can’t believe I remembered that)- – –
    Ole Miss – 22
    ‘B’ team – 12

    There will be an upset Saturday because I will not be there in person!!

  14. VA Reb Says:

    Farley, you may be right on the South Panola score!

  15. m4rebs Says:

    I too am not picking an upset, which I know just blows everyone’s socks off, I’m sure. I think we keep it close for 3 quarters, but they just wear us down enough up-front to dominate TOP in the 4th when we need a couple of scores….

    Alabama 30
    Rebs 13

    I like the Dogs in Knoxville. Vanderbilt & Auburn have better offenses than Tennessee, and Croom seems to have figured out his best two players are Ducre & Dixon. Keep it on the ground and the Dogs have win number 2 in the conference.

    Miss. State 17
    Tenn 14

    And in other games…

    USC 28
    LSU 24

    UGA 24
    Van 20

    Kentucky 20
    Arkansas 17

    Top 10 numbers 5 & 6 to come….

  16. mobilereb Says:

    M4 – Thanks for staying consistent 🙂 – Looking forward to more of the top 10 list. If you make it to Tuscaloosa Saturday, cheer for all of us that can’t make it.

  17. farley662 Says:

    I can’t root for Tupelo in anything VA. Growing up in Columbus, you learn to hate the Wave.

  18. Row! Says:

    20th anniversary of our only win there! history repeats itself this year. Rebels 27 Tide 20 Hotty Toddy and Go Rebels!! i believe in ya!!!!!

  19. rebnutt Says:

    I predict our running game is better & that Enrique finally has some ‘wow!’ runs (including from screen passes, hint, hint Kent). Our passing game will be decent too. But our defense is still such a question mark & so weak at times–I’m projecting that Bama wins it in the 4thQ 37-31.

  20. djrebel Says:

    Larry, I’m impressed that you keep up with Mississippi high schools.

    Farley, don’t go hatin’ on the Wave man. They’re not that bad.

    — PA

  21. pBeez Says:

    I am too worried, living here surrounded by Alabama fans, to make a prediction. I’ll just say it’ll be a good game, stay quite, and hope for an upset. REALLY hope for the upset. How I’d love to sing the fight song in front of my college classes on Tuesday, lol.

  22. Jay Stokes Says:

    pBeez, i’m in your same situation……right there with you, man.

  23. Jimmy Barbee Says:

    I’am not worried nor frighten by dem Bama fans. My doc a tide man. He takes care of dis ole Johnny Reb and I luv em.

  24. farley662 Says:

    You live there PA. You are biased. They are that bad and much worse!

  25. m4rebs Says:

    The Top 10 rolls on…

    6. During their last 3 coaching searches in the past 6 years, their fanbase always brings up the FACT that the Alabama job is the “Best” in the country. 3 coaches in a decade???? Great job!!!

    5. Rammer Jammer….you know, the jerky little cheer they sing after they win…regardless of how many replay reversals and overtime thrillers they’ve beaten us with our pitiful teams over the past 10 years, they always say….”Hey Rebels, we just beat the Hell out of you…..”
    Yeah, two O.T. wins against our worst teams……ever, that’s something to be proud of.

    4. Their arrogance, as if it isn’t grossly evident in numbers 5-10…but a team with no name on their entire jersey, and just EXPECT everyone to “KNOW” who you are with only digits and red & white overlaced. There’s others in the nation that boast this arrogance, they claim to be “tradition.”

    Top three coming up….

  26. RebelGiant Says:

    Listen to me now and hear me later:
    Weekend o’ upsets

    OM 23

  27. RebelGiant Says:

    Listen to me now and hear me later:
    I’m with JB on this one.
    OM 23
    AL 21

    MSU 20
    UT 16

    TUP 27
    SP 20

    No, I am not drinking right now…

  28. farley662 Says:

    A little trivia about that Rammer Jammer crap. They are thieves too!

    “The lyrics originate from “The Rammer-Jammer,” a student newspaper in the 1920s, and the yellowhammer, Alabama’s state bird. The cadence of the cheer was adapted from the Ole Miss cheer “Hotty Toddy” after then Ole Miss marching band director Dr. James Ferguson was appointed director of the Million Dollar Band. The cheer was long referred to as “Ole Miss”, and today the drum major’s signal is still the motioning of one arm in a full circle (an ‘O’).”

  29. m4rebs Says:

    Cool stuff Farley. Didn’t know that.

  30. bulldoggirl Says:

    I have been an MSU fan living in Bama most of my life. Please, please, please beat Bama. I think I want you guys to win almost as much as I want the Dawgs to win.

  31. pBeez Says:

    Farley, you beat me to the punch – Bama buddy showed that to me couple weeks ago.
    I need y’alls mojo now for NC State.

  32. pBeez Says:

    forget the mojo, baring a miracle, State’s lost.

  33. Chad Says:

    I hope Ole Miss can pull another one off, but I have been thinking they have played too closely in some games. I predict a beating:

    Bama 45
    Ole Miss 17

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