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Vassallo: Final Analysis for Rebel Football 2014 Season

How did the Rebels fare after a 9-4 season? Did they live up to expectations? Photo by Amelia Camurati
How did the Rebels fare after a 9-4 season? Did they live up to expectations?
Photo by Amelia Camurati

For the past two weeks, I have been polling the Rebel faithful, asking each a simple question: What is the final grade the team deserve for 2014?

The Good
There was a great deal starting with the 7-0 beginning. Nine wins which included victories over Boise State, Bama, A&M and MSU were all huge! The rout of Tennessee was probably the most under appreciated win of all. And being invited to a New Year’s Six bowl was paramount in the journey!

The Bad
Losing to Auburn at home was not good, and only scoring one touchdown against LSU was inexcusable. In order for our coaches to ever be compared to JHV and staff they must defeat LSU and MSU in the same year, every year. Splitting these two games will never take us where we need to be heading.

The Ugly
Being out scored 72-3 by non-ranked Arkansas and highly ranked TCU is not indicative of a program on the rise. The Train wreck in Atlanta will not be forgotten for some time or at least until we reappear on a similar stage and “win.”

The consensus final grade came out to a “B” of those I posed the question. We continued to make progress for the third year in a row. The challenges got more severe in the west as any member can beat you on any given day. The east is no longer a welcoming mat either as their members went 5-0 in the respective bowls.

In order for the Rebs to continue to advance, two things MUST happen:

1. The offense has got to demonstrate its attack is balanced.
2. Home defeats cannot be tolerated…to anyone.

2015 Forescast
Certain Victories: UT Martin, Fresno State, N. Mexico State, Vanderbilt
Projected Losses: Alabama, Auburn
On The Bubble: Memphis, LSU, AR, A&M, FL and MSU

The two signature games this coming season that will ultimately define the level of success for the year are both on the road — Memphis and Florida. Ole Miss has an excellent opportunity to start 2015 7-1. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this happens. The talent is definitely there.


Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. In addition, he is a certified economic and community developer and currently, a highly successful leader in the real estate business with Premier Properties of Oxford.You can contact Steve at sovassallo@gmail.com or call him at 985-852-7745.

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