OXFORD – Ole Miss, idle on Saturday, climbed one notch into a fifth-place tie with Penn State in Sunday’s release of the Associated Press Top 25.
Oklahoma State was No. 5 last week but dropped 11 spots after it was beaten 45-35 at home by Conference USA member Houston.
The Rebels are No. 6 in the USA Today coaches poll, where they were ranked No. 8 last week.
Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt says he isn’t sure if his team is top-five caliber right now, but he’s not concerned about it, either. Part of the unknown is due to the fact that 31 players missed some or all of practice time last week with the flu.
“I’m not concerned with what number we are. I’m just concerned with getting us out there and practicing together again, getting our wind, our timing and our fundamentals back. If we spend time worrying whether we’re five or six it’s just wasted energy,” he said.
Almost all players have recovered from the flu enough to begin practicing. Freshman quarterback Raymond Cotton missed Sunday’s workout with the flu, and senior end Greg Hardy missed it because of the ankle sprain he sustained in the Rebels’ season-opening win against Memphis.
Nutt said Sunday it was too early to tell if Hardy will be available for this coming Saturday’s home opener against Southeastern Louisiana.
If the Rebels had played this past Saturday, as many as six or seven starters on each side of the ball would not have played, Nutt said.
Parrish Alford/ NEMS Daily Journal