SEC Football: Four most overrated teams in preseason top 25

4 of 5

Nov 22, 2014; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Ole Miss Rebels head coach Hugh Freeze talks to an official during the game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Arkansas defeated Mississippi 30-0. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

2. Ole Miss Rebels

Preseason SEC Rank: Tied for fifth overall, fifth in the SEC West

Preseason Top 25 Rank: 15

  • Last Year: Ole Miss finished 9-4 and third in the SEC West
  • 2015 has been proclaimed the year of the “Rebel” and a year Ole Miss fans and some media alike have pegged as “the year” Ole Miss finally reaches Atlanta and plays for the SEC Championship. This is also likely the last hurrah for the big five recruits in Oxford, that being Robert Nkemdiche, Tony Conner, Evan Engram, Laremy Tunsil and Laquon Treadwell.

    Ole Miss’s defense was stellar in 2014 giving up just 16 points per game and picked off 22 passes last year. It was a banner year for head coach Hugh Freeze in Year 3, and while the expectations are through the roof in Oxford, there are several underlying issues on this team that could cause serious heart ache by years end.

    The Rebels are breaking in a new quarterback in 2015 and while we are still unsure just who that is, this is a big deal traditionally in Oxford. Since Eli Manning left in 2003, the Rebels have gone through many quarterbacks, five of those being transfers. More times than not, a Brent Schaffer has appeared, not a Bo Wallace.

    Related: Ole Miss Season Preview and Prediction

    If it’s Chad Kelly or Ryan Buchanan or even DeVante Kincade, they have big shoes to fill left by Wallace. The Rebels must also develop a running game, something they haven’t really had since the first year under Freeze. Jaylen Walton is a nice player, but the Rebels have yet to have a back that is all-SEC caliber.

    The Rebels also gave up 31 sacks last year along the offensive line and while they return five starters, all highly recruited, they have yet to stay healthy or show signs of meshing. There are serious unanswered questions outside of receiver on this offense.

    Defensively, while the Rebels should be as good as anyone on the defensive line, but it’s yet to be determined how good CJ Johnson can be at linebacker and can Denzel Nkemdiche return to his 2012 form that made him all-SEC. Also while the star ratings are high for Tee Shepard and Tony Bridges, nobody knows just how effective the Rebs will be in replacing Senquez Golson and Cody Prewitt. Those two alone produced 13 interceptions between them and you just don’t go and replace that kind of All-American production.

    It will be a disappointment if: The offense never materializes with a new quarterback and the running game stalls, causing the defense to stay on the field way to long, ultimately costing the Rebels several games they were predicted to win. While a nine win season is in play, don’t be shocked if this team stumbles mightily and finishes 7-5.

    Next: LSU