Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace knows what’s at stake entering his final season in Oxford.

The long-haired, pretty-boy quarterback is now the most experienced signal-caller in the SEC, and his Rebels open the season ranked No. 18 in the Associated Press Preseason Top 25.

It has been years, perhaps decades, since expectations surrounding the Ole Miss program were this high. You’d have to go back to the Eli Manning era to find a quarterback more accomplished than Wallace is entering his senior season.

But Wallace already knows all of that. He embraces the lofty expectations and allows them to motivate him as a new season approaches.

“One thing that no quarterback has ever done here is win an SEC Championship (Game). I want to be the first one to do that, and that’s the most important thing to me,” Wallace told the media at Monday’s game-week press conference.

Even Eli couldn’t win a conference title during his playing days with the Rebels. In fact, Ole Miss hasn’t won the SEC crown in any capacity since the 1963 season.

But Wallace is convinced this team is different from any other in the program’s history.

I feel like I have the guys around me if I just get them the ball,” Wallace said. “Laquon (Treadwell)’s going to make big plays. Vince (Sanders), all of those guys are going to make big plays.”

In addition to the wealth of talent gathered around him in a star-studded Ole Miss offense, Wallace is a different player than he was last season or as an underclassman at Arkansas State and East Mississippi Community College. He said the difference is in his confidence and how he is approaching the season coming out of fall camp this month.

Last year, I felt like I didn’t have a good camp at all. It took me two or three weeks to really get back in the groove of things,” Wallace said. “From day one (this year) I felt good, and I still feel good. I’m excited about going out there and playing.”

His coaches and teammates have taken notice as well, beginning with Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze.

I like the demeanor he has right now,” Freeze said Monday. “I like the leadership he’s trying to show and the way he’s studying film. It’s his last chance and he has a chance to do something special, and when you talk about putting him in the arena of breaking records from a guy like Eli Manning that’s pretty lofty. He has those chances.”

Eli holds the Ole Miss career records for passing yards (10,119) and touchdowns (81). Wallace enters the coming season with 6,340 yards and 40 touchdowns. He would need 3,779 yards through the air this season to catch Eli in that category, which is much more realistic than the 41 passing touchdowns he would need to tie the school record.

But it’s not Eli who is motivating Wallace. It’s not any one person, actually. It’s the chance at a conference title and immortality in the state of Mississippi.

After losing the fumble that cost Ole Miss the 2013 Egg Bowl, Wallace knows he has run out of second-chances entering his senior season, and he’s okay with that. It just motivates him more.

You see your last year coming and you see your goals that you want to accomplish,” Wallace said. “You kind of self-reflect and look at things in the past that may have held you back from those things. For me, it was self-reflection and looking at what I want to accomplish and what I want to be remembered for. There were some things that I needed to cut out and grow up with, and that’s what the difference has been.”