OXFORD – Washington’s stunning win against No. 3 Southern Cal helped move Ole Miss up one spot to No. 4 in this week’s Associated Press Top 25.
It is the Rebels’ highest ranking since checking in at No. 4 in October of 1970, and it is the highest ranking by a Houston Nutt-coached team.
Ole Miss also jumped one spot in the USA Today coaches poll, coming in at No. 5.
The Rebels opened the season at No. 8 in the AP Top 25. Last week they shared the fifth spot with Penn State. This week the Nittany Lions are alone at No. 5, one back of Ole Miss. The Rebels are among four SEC teams in the top 10. Defending national champ Florida is No. 1, while Alabama and LSU are ranked third and seventh, respectively.
Alabama visits Oxford on Oct. 10.
The Rebels, 2-0 after a 52-6 win over Football Championship Sub-division team Southeastern Louisiana, have a short week this week, opening SEC play Thursday at South Carolina in an ESPN-televised matchup.
“It’s a quick turnaround. We’re getting prepared right now. This is actually like a Tuesday practice,” Nutt said in his Sunday teleconference.
Nutt said he expects senior defensive end Greg Hardy to play this week. Hardy was held out of Saturday’s game after spraining his ankle in the Sept. 6 opener at Memphis.
It’s unclear if senior tight end Gerald Harris (hamstring) will make it back this week. Fullback Andy Hartmann (knee) is expected to be out for a couple of weeks.
Without Hartmann the focus will be backups Dan Hoffman, Derrick Davis and backup offensive linemen Mark Jean-Louis (6-2, 330).
Parrish Alford/ NEMS Daily Journal