We have a lot of fun with the predictions thread on here from week to week through the season.
But trying to look out over 12 games and make a prediction is far more difficult than from September through November when a body of work is becoming known.
With the “Reasons” series I have brought out a number of ways that Ole Miss will be better, and if all of those reasons play out, the Rebels will be much better.
The problem is that's not how things happen, and when I attach my name to something I usually lean to the conservative side.
I can see this Ole Miss team getting to six or seven wins, but a lot of things have to happen along the way.
There seems to be a belief in the BYU zip codes that the Cougars are going to come in and steamroll Ole Miss Saturday. I don't believe that's going to happen. BYU may win the game, but I think the Ole Miss secondary will show improvement, the defense overall will tackle better and show more fight.
Winning against BYU would be a great beginning, but if Ole Miss loses it isn't the end. Still, if the Rebels are going to have a realistic chance at a bowl game, they need to start 3-1. They have to beat Southern Illinois and Vanderbilt – a team they haven't beaten enough recently – and they have to at least split with BYU and Fresno on a very challenging road trip.
They need to rekindle the road magic they had in 2008, Houston Nutt's first season, and win at Kentucky and Auburn.
If they only split those games on back to back weekends Oct. 29 and Nov. 5, they they better have already won against Arkansas at home.
LSU is in late November as always. The Rebels typically are competitive against LSU regardless of circumstances. LSU has been mentioned prominently in national championship discussions this year, but in truth, with the distractions around the program right now, the Tigers may already be showing their body of work for the season.
The Egg Bowl won't be the dog walk that many MSU fans believe it will be. State will see more fire from the Rebels than it has seen in recent seasons.
I will predict six wins here on the belief that more “reasons” the Rebels need for improvement will happen than ones that don't.
Some of these heralded freshmen and junior college transfers will play like seasoned sophomores. That's a must.
A leader needs to emerge at quarterback, and key players absolutely must avoid injury.
There you have it. The road to six wins and bowl-eligibility for Ole Miss.
We'll get a BYU prediction thread going this Thursday. Leave your season predictions and your logic below.