Optimism may be at an all time high in Oxford, Mississippi. Head Coach Hugh Freeze, QB Bo Wallace and Defensive Lineman Robert Nkemdiche are the main reasons for the excitement. Ole Miss fans are believing they are serious contenders for the SEC West Championship.
Not sure what I think about their chances at knocking off Alabama, Auburn or LSU, but this could be their best team in years.
Wallace developed arm problems as the year advanced in 2013 and he desperately needs to stay healthy.
Biggest stories at Ole Miss this Spring and going into next season is back up QB and lack of depth in the Offensive Line. Hugh Freeze has already demonstrated that he is unafraid to play true freshmen in the Offensive Line.
The other big story at ole Miss is D.T. Shackleford who was granted a rare 6th year of eligibility. Shackleford will wear #38 in 2014 in honor of Chucky Mullins.
Devante Kincade (6-0,200) and Ryan Buchanon (6-3,200) are in a battle for the back up QB job at Ole Miss. Winner becomes the 2nd team QB for the Rebels. He is obviously the first guy off the bench in a blow out win, or in case of injury. But, the main thing is, he will be next in line to replace Bo Wallace after this season. QB’s are sensitive little fellas, and the loser of this battle probably transfers.
Kincade has a huge arm and he has the quick feet of a mobile QB. Buchanon is smart and knows the play book very well, the standard pocket passer.
Most obvious thing about the QBs is the huge difference between Bo Wallace and all of the other candidates at QB. Wallace has been working with QB guru, Tom Couch, and it should show up this season. Couch has worked with NFL stars such as Drew Brees and knows how to develop the position.
The other option at QB is 300 pound Jeremy Liggins. He’s probably more of a short yardage, goal line special option, but he is legit.
Hugh Freeze has done a remarkable job at Ole Miss. He inherited a team that went 2-10 and went to bowl games and won both in each of his 2 first years.
Ole Miss still has some issues, but they return 16 of their top 20 tacklers from 2013 and plenty of depth across the board.
Make no mistake about it, Hugh Freeze is an excellent recruiter and the talent level at Ole Miss has improved dramatically since his arrival as Head Coach.
Ole Miss is also working hard to improve their facilities like so many other schools across the country.
As an outsider, I am not totally drinking the Ole Miss Koolaid. But, I am buying in.
Hugh Freeze has done a remarkable job here. Bo Wallace is one of the top QBs in the country, but he is not among the elite. Sophomore Wide Receiver Laquon Treadwell is among the nation’s elite and will show that this season.
The Offensive Line lacks depth, but they don’t lack talent and they should be fine with some injury luck.
The defense will be outstanding next season. Look for brilliant leadership from LB DT Shackleford and a sensational season out of Robert Nkemdiche.
College Football Crazy will publish a new Poll in August if not sooner, and Ole Miss will be considerably better ranked than where I had them before.