Ole Miss Football Cracks Top 10 in Final National Rankings

Photo by Rebel Nation Magazine™

Photo by Rebel Nation Magazine™

Highest Final National Ranking since 1969

OXFORD, Miss. – The number 10 looks good for the Ole Miss Rebels.

Ole Miss is top 10 in the final national rankings, coming in at No. 9 in the Amway coaches poll and No. 10 in the Associated Press poll. It’s the Rebels’ first top-10 final ranking since the 1969 season (No. 8 AP).

The Rebels won 10 games for the first time since 2003, including major wins over eventual national champion Alabama and SEC West rivals Auburn, LSU and Mississippi State. Hugh Freeze’s squad capped the impressive campaign with a 48-20 win over then-No. 16 Oklahoma State in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

The two Rebels who wore the No. 10 jersey this season – quarterback Chad Kelly and linebacker C.J. Johnson – did so in admirable fashion. Kelly broke almost every Ole Miss quarterbacking single-season record and finished with the third-most total yards and passing yards in a season in Southeastern Conference history. Johnson helped lead a Rebel defense that finished top 10 nationally in tackles for loss, defensive touchdowns and fourth-down conversions allowed.

Ole Miss has won 10 games against nationally ranked opponents since Freeze arrived in 2012, including a school-record 5-2 mark this season. The Rebels went 3-1 against teams that finished top 25 in 2015, including wins over final No. 1 Alabama, No. 16 LSU and No. 19 Oklahoma State and a loss to No. 25 Florida.

This is the third time in history that Ole Miss was the only team to beat the eventual national champion. Ole Miss handed Notre Dame its only loss in 1977 and Florida its only defeat in 2008.

Ole Miss finished with 10 wins for the seventh time in program history.

The Rebels were nationally ranked in all but one week of the 2015 season, rising as high as No. 3 for the second straight season. That’s the highest ranking since Ole Miss was No. 1 in the 1964 preseason poll.

The Rebels appear in the top 10 of the final national rankings for the 11th time. The other 10 occurred between 1952-69. Ole Miss is in the final top 25 of the AP or coaches poll for the 27th time dating back to the 1941 season. See below for a complete final poll history.

Several publications have already released a “way too early” preseason ranking for the 2016 season. Ole Miss appears prominently, including a high of No. 5 by Sporting News. FOX Sports has the Rebels at No. 8, while ESPN.com and Athlon both rank Ole Miss 13th. CBS Sports has the Rebels at 17th.

Ole Miss and Florida State (which is ranked 14th in the final polls), will open the 2016 season on Labor Day at the Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium.

Follow Ole Miss Football on Twitter (@OleMissFB) and Facebook (Facebook.com/OleMissFootball), in addition to www.OleMissSports.com.

 

Ole Miss Football in the Final National Rankings

2015 – 10 AP / 9 Coaches

2009 – 20 AP / 21 Coaches

2008 – 14 AP / 15 Coaches

2003 – 13 AP / 14 Coaches

1999 – 22 AP / 22 Coaches

1997 – 22 AP / 22 Coaches

1992 – 16 AP / 16 Coaches

1990 – 21 AP / 23 Coaches

1971 – 15 AP / 20 Coaches

1970 – 20 AP

1969 – 8 AP / 13 Coaches

1966 – 12 Coaches

1965 – 17 Coaches

1964 – 20 Coaches

1963 – 7 AP / 7 Coaches

1962 – 3 AP / 3 Coaches

1961 – 5 AP / 5 Coaches

1960 – 2 AP / 3 Coaches

1959 – 2 AP / 2 Coaches

1958 – 11 AP / 12 Coaches

1957 – 7 AP / 8 Coaches

1955 – 10 AP / 9 Coaches

1954 – 6 AP / 6 Coaches

1952 – 7 AP / 7 Coaches

1948 – 15 AP

1947 – 13 AP

1941 – 17 AP

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