Having played well and won the last two times out, Ole Miss could be heating up before our eyes. The Rebels are back at Tad Smith Coliseum Wednesday night, something that should be a comforting thought.
Confidence, though, comes from the fact that struggling LSU is the opponent, not necessarily from the game being at home.
Ole Miss' most recent home game was a 71-69 win over then-No. 10 Kentucky, but home hasn't been a safe haven this year. The Rebels have lost four times at Tad Smith, including their first three SEC games to Mississippi State, Georgia and Tennessee, the latter two not particularly close in margin.
“It's disappointing, because it's so hard to win on the road. I don't understand it other than we're simply not playing well enough to beat good teams,” Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy said.
SEC West teams Ole Miss, MSU, LSU and Auburn were a combine 33-22 in home games going into Saturday's play. Arkansas was 12-2 at home when Ole Miss won there 69-60 Saturday.
Alabama, where Ole Miss plays Saturday and which plays at Vanderbilt Thursday, is 12-0 at home.
Kenndy's first Ole Miss team went 7-1, his second team 6-2 in SEC home games. Since then the Rebels are 10-10 against league foes in Oxford.
They were 5-3 in 2009, 4-4 last year, including back-to-back losses in RPI opportunity games against Vanderbilt and Florida. A win in either of those games would have left Ole Miss 10-6 in the league and much more attractive to the NCAA committee on Selection Sunday.
Location is very important but not as important as simply playing well, which appears to be something Ole Miss is doing with more consistency.