TEXAS A&M AT OLE MISS
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT
Las Vegas Line: Ole Miss -6
The dizzying descent of Ole Miss in just one month explains the madness of a college football season. After upsetting Alabama in Tuscaloosa, the Rebels were the toast of the SEC — if not the nation.
But a near-miss against Vanderbilt, a blowout loss to Florida and a two-score defeat at Memphis have Ole Miss flailing. Some of the more…zealous, shall we say?…have even taken to calling for head coach Hugh Freeze’s firing.
Ole Miss desperately needs to hold serve at home against Texas A&M, a team that can’t afford a second straight SEC loss. As much as Ole Miss has struggled in the past month, the Rebels remain in control of their SEC championship destiny. The equation is simple: win out, and Ole Miss is headed to Atlanta.
A&M, on the other hand, needs to finish one game up on Alabama in the loss column to reach the SEC Championship Game. That’s not impossible if the Aggies run the table, but the Crimson Tide aren’t losing three times in the SEC; no way, no how.
In that sense, Saturday’s meeting in Oxford is something of an elimination game.
The host Rebels get a huge boost — literally and figuratively — with the return of preseason All-American offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil. Ole Miss needs the talented Tunsil to give its front five some hope of containing A&M’s star defensive end, Myles Garrett.
A&M’s boost after the loss last week to Alabama? It’s almost impossible for quarterback Kyle Allen to throw three pick-sixes in back-to-back weeks, especially with Robert Nkemdiche’s status for Saturday still uncertain.
Ultimately, I like Ole Miss to get back on track and make the final month of the SEC West especially interesting. Saturday’s affair in Oxford should be a high-scoring nail-biter, with plenty of big plays from some of the nation’s most electric wide receivers.
I love the A&M corps of Josh Reynolds, Ricky Seals-Jones and Christian Kirk, but Laquon Treadwell get just a few more big plays to steal this one.