OXFORD — Ole Miss football is going to need some help to get back into the New Year’s Six picture, the latest bowl projections show.
The Rebels sit 13th in the College Football Playoff rankings, which are due to be updated on Tuesday night. Ole Miss is coming off a routine 35-3 victory over Louisiana-Monroe last week.
Oregon State, one of the teams the Rebels are chasing, suffered a loss to Washington that should position the Beavers behind Ole Miss (9-2, 5-2 SEC) in the New Year’s Six pecking order. But, in addition to a victory over Mississippi State (5-6, 1-5) in the Egg Bowl on Thursday (6:30 p.m., ESPN), the Rebels likely need a further slip-up from Penn State or Missouri. The Nittany Lions play Michigan State on the road, while the Tigers travel to Arkansas.
For now, the six projections sampled here all have the Rebels going the same place.
Citrus Bowl: Orlando, Florida, Jan. 1
These experts all agree: As things stand, Ole Miss would be heading to Orlando to partake in the Citrus Bowl, which has tie-ins with the Big Ten and SEC.
It would be the first trip to the Citrus Bowl in the Rebels’ history.
The projection on the opponent is unanimous, too, as the Big Ten begins to achieve late-season clarity. All of these experts have Ole Miss taking on Iowa (9-2).
The Rebels and Hawkeyes have never faced off before.
Iowa has not beaten a ranked opponent on the season, suffering a heavy 31-0 loss to Penn State in its only test so far. The Hawkeyes have an elite defense, ranking third nationally allowing 12.4 points per game. Their offensive struggles have been well publicized. Iowa ranks 124th in the country with 18.5 points per game.
Iowa finishes the regular season with a trip to Nebraska, and will represent the Big Ten West in the conference championship game against either Michigan or Ohio State.
David Eckert covers Ole Miss for the Clarion Ledger. Email him at email@example.com or reach him on Twitter @davideckert98.
Get the latest news and insight on SEC football by subscribing to the SEC Unfiltered newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox.