Last week I made my fearless prediction that the Ole Miss Rebels would win all of the marbles in 2015. There have been numerous inquiries questioning my sanity, as well as my knowledge of college football. I suppose I should explain my reasoning regarding the Rebel’s lofty position.
First, let me say that my background is in business, not sports prognostication, and I believe — from a business prospective — my ranking of the Red & Blue makes perfect sense. College football, like any other multi-million dollar enterprise requires substantial capital investment to succeed.
Just as in any commercial endeavor, there are three areas that require expenditures. Those outlays include plant and equipment, labor, and management, and Ole Miss has made serious commitments in all three.
In the area of plant & equipment, the Rebels have a first class football complex, that by 2016, will include a 64,000 seat fully renovated stadium. You can’t hire the best workers and expect them to toil away in subpar facilities. The University has spent many millions to excel in plant and equipment.
All of the beautiful facilities will prove futile if you can’t recruit talented workers, and Ole Miss has reached out to the nation’s best. The Rebel recruiters have managed to attract a world class workforce, and no expense has been spared in this effort.
The third ingredient needed for big time success is experienced, competent management, and Ole Miss managers are among the best in the business. When you are doing world class work, you can expect to attract a certain amount of negative publicity, and the Rebel legal team, working closely with the corporate spin doctors, have been able to divert all of the negativity, or at least delay in it until after graduation.
When I analyze all of the facts, it is clear that few schools in the entire NCAA have spent more money building their program than Ole Miss. It would truly be a shame if they can’t put it all together this year, and I stand by my pick.
Enough about the Rebs. Right along with the skepticism regarding my support for the Red & Blue, came a flood of folks questioning my prediction of a last place finish for my MSU Bulldogs. Most of the comments asked how could Mississippi State have a Heisman Trophy candidate at quarterback, and be picked last in the SEC West?
Simple logic suggests that those two things are mutually exclusive. A Heisman Trophy candidate cannot play for a losing football team. MSU lost seven starters on both sides of the ball, and will be trying to replace key players at many skilled positions. Dak may well be a darned good quarterback, but he ain’t that good.
The sad truth, as I see it, is that when the season ends there will likely be only one SEC team in the top ten other than Ole Miss, and that will very likely be Georgia. Here are my final top ten predictions for 2015.
- Ole Miss
- Southern Cal
- Notre Dame
- Ohio State
Okay campers, let’s hear what you think about that.