Ole Miss Strength of Schedule: The SEC’s 10th toughest schedule

NCAA Football: Music City Bowl-Mississippi vs Georgia Tech

SDS takes a trip around the SEC and ranks the schedule strength of all 14 SEC teams. We’ll work our way down to the toughest schedule in the SEC.

2014 SEC Strength of Schedule Rankings:

How the NCAA ranks the SEC’s 2014 strength of schedule
#1: Tennessee strength of schedule
#2: Arkansas strength of schedule
#3: Florida strength of schedule
#4: Auburn strength of schedule
#5: Kentucky strength of schedule
#6: South Carolina strength of schedule
#7: Georgia strength of schedule
#8: LSU strength of schedule
#9: Texas A&M strength of schedule
#10: Ole Miss strength of schedule
#11: Mississippi State strength of schedule
#12: Alabama strength of schedule
#13: Missouri strength of schedule
#14: Vanderbilt strength of schedule

Ole Miss fans have had 2014 circled as the year the Rebels will compete for the Western division, and only Alabama and Mississippi State have more favorable slates than the Rebels. In other words, it’s a favorable schedule when compared to the rest of the division favorites, including LSU and Auburn.

Ole Miss’ strength of schedule for 2014:

2014 Ole Miss Rebels schedule

  • Aug. 28: vs. Boise State (Atlanta)
  • Sept. 6: at Vanderbilt
  • Sept. 13: LA-Lafayette
  • Sept. 27: Memphis
  • Oct. 4: Alabama
  • Oct. 11: at Texas A&M
  • Oct. 18: Tennessee
  • Oct. 25: at LSU
  • Nov. 1: Auburn
  • Nov. 8: Presbyterian
  • Nov. 22: at Arkansas
  • Nov. 29: Mississippi State

By the Numbers

  • 7 home games
  • 4 away games
  • 1 neutral site game
  • 0 power non-conference game
  • 4 projected preseason top 25 teams (Alabama, Texas A&M, LSU, Auburn)

Strength of Schedule Rank

SEC West: 5th
SEC overall: 10th

Notes:

  • Cross divisional opponents: Vanderbilt and Tennessee
  • Opponents’ winning %: 89-63 (.586)
  • Bye weeks: Before Memphis and Arkansas
  • Biggest swing game: Mississippi State Bulldogs

2014 is an unusual year for the state of Mississippi. It’s usually an anomaly that Ole Miss and Mississippi State are both up at the same time and an anticipating the season unlike few in recent history. The Rebels and Bulldogs return proven playmakers, and each have the schedule to sneak up on the division crown. The Rebels do have the tougher of the two schedules, though.

The Rebels start the next tier for the toughest strength of schedules. Vanderbilt, Missouri, Alabama and Mississippi State are in a tier of their own. Ole Miss, however, starts a tougher tier.

Although the Rebels play no non-conference opponents from the Power 5 conferences, they do open the season with an interesting non-conference matchup against Boise State. The Rebels’ non-conference opponents won less than .500 of their games, 23-26 overall. So, Ole Miss should go 4-0 against non-SEC teams.

The Rebels draw both Tennessee and Vanderbilt in the Eastern division, and wins against both teams wouldn’t be surprising.

The Western gauntlet will be very tough, with road games at Texas A&M, LSU and Arkansas. Home games against Alabama, Tennessee, Auburn and Mississippi State make for an attractive home schedule.

While Ole Miss has a favorable schedule overall, the reason they belong in another tier than Mississippi State is because of a brutal five-game conference stretch that features, Alabama, at Texas A&M, Tennessee, at LSU and Auburn. That’s four preseason top 25 teams in five weeks in October, stretching into November.

If you’ll remember last year, Ole Miss’ schedule featured a brutal four-game stretch against Alabama, Auburn, Texas A&M and LSU, only to see the Rebels win one game against the Bayou Bengals at home 27-24.

Photo Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

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