Ole Miss, Mizzou listed among Fowler's 'Top-10 sneaky contenders'
Earlier this week, CBS Sports columnist Jeremy Fowler released his Top-10 Sneaky Contenders for the 2014 season, referring to teams off most fans’ radars that could work their way into the first-ever College Football Playoff by season’s end.
His list included a pair of SEC teams in Ole Miss and Missouri, and elaborated on both selections.
Fowler on Ole Miss:
Those vaunted freshmen from the 2013 class? Yeah, they are for real. All of them. More than one assistant coach has told me there’d be no surprise if Ole Miss finished second in the West. Maybe Hugh Freeze will take that notion a step further.
It seems as though the Rebels’ star sophomores have made their presence known throughout the conference, including wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil and defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche, among others. To crack the top-two spots in the loaded SEC West, Ole Miss would have to win the Egg Bowl over Mississippi State in addition to beating either Alabama or Auburn.
Fowler also stuck up for Mizzou, which he thinks hasn’t gotten the respect it deserves this preseason:
So I see the SEC is still treating the Tigers like that house guest that doesn’t shower. Auburn wins 12 games, garners universal praise. Mizzou wins 11 games, gets fourth-place projection in the SEC East. So what if the Tigers are thin at receiver? Maty Mauk can bust you up with running backs and tight ends in the passing game. Offensive and defensive lines are stocked with upperclassmen.
No one in the SEC saw the Tigers coming last season, but they won’t be fooled a second time in 2014. If the Tigers are going to repeat in the East, Mauk and company will need to face their lofty expectations head-on.
The other teams to crack Fowler’s list were: Nebraska, Kansas State, Michigan, Virginia Tech, UCF, Arizona State, Louisville and Oklahoma State/Washington.