Ranking sets stage for Rebels

Published 12:00 pm Friday, August 5, 2016

Ole Miss is ranked No. 12 in the country in the coaches preseason poll, just announced this week.

That means that regardless of the results on the field this year the expectations among fans is high once again. Even though star players including Laquon Treadwell and Laremy Tunsil are gone having a senior quarterback return and other experienced players makes the Rebels a threat.

But this will likely be a more interesting season than usual for Ole Miss. Consider than an early season schedule includes an opening game against No. 4 Florida State and a third game against No. 1 Alabama. Lose two of those and a No. 12 ranking will be gone in an instant.

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There’s also the cloud of an NCAA investigation hanging overhead. Some reasonable speculation has it that if Ole Miss were to lose early that it may just go ahead and voluntarily forfeit this season of bowl eligibility in hopes of easing its NCAA pain.

So, while the No. 12 ranking is exciting, it comes this year with a reality that much could change by the fourth week of the season. If Ole Miss pulls off upsets in its early games, look out. This may be the year of the Rebel.

But if the early season takes a toll along with the NCAA investigation, the lofty preseason ranking could end in heartbreak.

Regardless of the outcome, the stage is set for the excitement. Now, let the games begin.