Here’s what one sportsbook thinks of Ole Miss football 2024 prospects. Did they get it right?

OXFORD ― The win total set for Ole Miss football in 2024 matches the Rebels‘ expectations.

The goal for Lane Kiffin’s program is to qualify for the newly expanded College Football Playoff, which will include 12 teams for the first time. Ten wins, conventional wisdom says, should get the Rebels in the field.

FanDuel set the bar at 9.5 wins for Ole Miss when it released its betting lines for season win total futures.

Which side of the dividing line will the Rebels land on?

The case for Ole Miss football to win more than 9.5 games

As of Monday, this is the end of the argument FanDuel sides with, offering -144 odds on the Rebels winning at least 10 regular-season games and +118 odds on them winning nine or fewer.

The surface-level reasons for the optimism are simple: Ole Miss has a returning star at the most important position on the field in quarterback Jaxson Dart, now in his third year leading one of the most creative offenses in the country. It pairs him with a wide receiver room that should be among the best nationally. And, of course, there’s the incoming transfer class, ranked as the best in college football by 247Sports. Among 17 commitments, there are nine defenders to bolster a unit that exceeded expectations last season under coordinator Pete Golding. That portal crop also includes four offensive linemen, addressing the weakest position group from 2023.

None of that will be news to Ole Miss die-hards, so let’s dig a little deeper to find some reasons for optimism.

Kiffin retains all three of his coordinators for the first time in his tenure, and seven of his 10 assistant coaches − an important level of stability for a staff that has tended to turn over dramatically season-to-season.

There’s also the matter of the schedule. The overall strength of the Rebels’ slate, despite the SEC’s addition of Oklahoma and Texas, appears similar. The average final SP+ ranking of Ole MIss’ 2023 FBS opponents was 50.3. The average preseason SP+ ranking for the Rebels’ 2024 FBS opponents is 50.6.

But here’s the big difference. In 2023, Ole Miss played a pair of top-10 opponents on the road and lost them both. It will benefit from home-field advantage for two of its biggest games this time around. Georgia, SP+’s preseason No. 1, comes to Oxford in 2024. So does No. 14 Oklahoma, though the Rebels must travel to No. 10 LSU.

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The case for Ole Miss football to win fewer than 9.5 games

The Rebels may be bringing in their highest-ranked transfer portal class ever, but they also suffered their most impactful loss in running back Quinshon Judkins, who is now at Ohio State.

Judkins’ surface-level numbers didn’t jump off the page the way they did after his freshman season in 2022, when he led the SEC in rushing yards. But his underlying metrics suggest he still ranked among the most gifted running backs in college football. Judkins finished second in the conference with 1,158 rushing yards in 2023, and no SEC running back gained a larger percentage of his yards after contact, per Pro Football Focus data.

There are no sure things among the Rebels’ candidates to replace him. LSU transfer Logan Diggs has injury issues that Kiffin has not yet had the opportunity to publicly discuss. Ulysses Bentley IV has not carried the ball more than 100 times in a season since 2020. And talented sophomore Kedrick Reescano doesn’t yet have a collegiate carry. Does the NFL’s model of devaluing the running back position apply to the college level? And can Kiffin’s offense ‒ known for gaudy rushing numbers ‒ succeed without an elite tailback?

Other positions harbor concerns, too. Will Ole Miss’ offensive line reinforcements prove strong enough to fix the problem? Do the Rebels have enough linebacker depth? Will their transfer corners effectively replace the two starters they lost to graduation?

There’s also the question of whether or not the Rebels constructed a roster that will mesh.

When Kiffin spoke about his team’s 2023 success, among the factors he considered most important was the Rebels nailing their personality evaluations with their offseason additions after dealing with serious chemistry issues in 2022. At programs like Ole Miss which welcome the chance to use the portal to overhaul their roster every offseason, those personality fit assessments can make or break a season.

Did the Rebels get it right again this time around?

David Eckert covers Ole Miss for the Clarion Ledger. Email him at or reach him on Twitter @davideckert98.

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