By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
There were scenarios this week that could have got the Rebels to Nashville for the Music City Bowl, but when the dominoes began to fall, those scenarios did not work out.
Ole Miss will face Pittsburgh at noon on Jan. 5 at Legion Field in the Compass Bowl, which will be broadcast on ESPN.
The Panthers should know the area and the BBQ joints well. It will be their third-straight trip to the Compass Bowl.
This from SI’s Stewart Mandel on Twitter earlier: RT @simandel Pitt RB Ray Graham yesterday: “Any bowl, except Birmingham. 3 times in a row. I think they may not even allow us in there.”
A quick look at Pitt. The Panthers are 6-6 overall, 3-4 in the Big East. They have wins against Virginia Tech and Rutgers and a notable loss, 29-26, at Notre Dame.
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said he didn’t talk about it publicly but began thinking about a bowl game after the Rebels broke a 16-game SEC losing streak by beating Auburn 41-20 on Oct. 6.
“In my mind, initially, when we were able to beat Auburn, that gave us a fourth win. I knew we would have a shot at Arkansas and with Vanderbilt and Mississippi State. I thought we were playing a little better football. I didn’t talk about it, but I would not be totally honest if I did not say that’s when, in my mind, I started thinking that, ‘We’ve got a shot here in Year 1 to get to bowl-eligibility.’”
The bowl website lists ticket prices at $50 and $30.
“The commitment we have to sell is 10,000. With our alumni numbers, the proximity, we’re going to push for a stadium record attendance. The record is 42,600 or so. I think we can break that. I think we can hit a home run and break an attendance record for the Compass Bowl,” Ole Miss AD Ross Bjork said.
More from Bjork: “I think it’s great coverage with ESPN, that’s terrific. It’s one of the last bowl games of the season. The Mobile Bowl is a day after that, then the national championship game on Monday night. It’s a great window for us. It’s a Saturday. Fans can travel on Friday and experience Birmingham then drive home after the game. It’s a great location, and the time is ideal.”