Playoff rankings have No. 13 Rebels in line for Sugar Bowl berth

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Ole Miss is a win away from the Sugar Bowl, though the Rebels won’t have any control over whether they get it or not.

The Rebels (9-3, 6-2 Southeastern Conference) jumped five spots to No. 13 in the new College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday night. Only No. 2 Alabama is ranked higher among SEC teams, which has Ole Miss in line for its first Sugar Bowl berth since 1970.

The league’s highest-ranked team in the final set of playoff rankings automatically gets sent to the Sugar Bowl unless the team is ranked in the top 4 and participates in the playoff. If Alabama remains among the playoff participants, the bowl will take the second-highest ranked team.

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But the final rankings won’t be unveiled until Sunday, a day after the Crimson Tide play No. 18 Florida in the SEC Championship Game. Ole Miss could stay ahead of Florida even if the Gators pull off the upset, but an Alabama victory would clinch the Rebels’ spot in the annual SEC-Big 12 matchup played on New Year’s Day in New Orleans.

Florida was ranked No. 12 in last week’s rankings but plummeted six spots after its 27-2 loss to rival Florida State on Saturday. Ole Miss knocked off Mississippi State 38-27 in the Egg Bowl, giving the Rebels four wins in their final five regular-season games.

The top 4 remained the same with Clemson holding on to the No. 1 ranking for the fifth straight week and No. 3 Oklahoma and No. 4 Iowa rounding it out. Iowa and No. 5 Michigan State will face off in the Big Ten Championship Game on Saturday.