This is an overview. Predictions come later. Home games in CAPS.
9/3: BRIGHAM YOUNG
9/10: SOUTHERN ILLINOIS
9/17: at Vanderbilt
The Rebels get to be the first team to aid and abet BYU's new football independence, replacing a previously scheduled game against Boise State that got moved to the Georgia Dome in 2014. Next is a game against a I-AA team that was noticeably worse than Jacksonville State was last year, so don't expect a repeat shocker. Ole Miss gave Vanderbilt its only SEC win last year, so this year's contest has a bit more importance because of that. Closing it out is Phil Steele's pick to win the SEC East, Georgia. That one should be a good test of the preseason narrative. Anything other than a comfortable UGA win will be dissected endlessly.
10/1: at Fresno State
10/29: at Auburn
Good news/bad news time. The Rebels must play two of the division's top three teams in consecutive weeks, obviously providing the bad news. The good news is that they get a bye ahead of time and both contests are at home. It's also good news that the bye comes there because going to play at Fresno could easily be an overlooked game. While Ole Miss dismissed the other FSU with relative ease last year, going on the road makes it different. The game on the Plains to close out the month won't be easy by any stretch, but we'll have to see where Russell Wilson goes to get a full idea of its projected toughness.
11/5: at Kentucky
11/12: LOUSIANA TECH
11/26: at Mississippi State
Having Auburn and Kentucky being your only consecutive road games in conference play is not too bad as far as that goes. Getting both Vandy and Kentucky from the East is also about as much as you can ask for as a West division team. LA Tech provides a breather before the home stretch of LSU and the Egg Bowl. Ole Miss completes the trifecta of having all of the division favorites come to Oxford here, though an 0-3 record in those games anyway is probably more likely than not. I get the feeling that Houston Nutt needs to do better against Dan Mullen for his long-term security, as beating your rival can overcome a lot of other things such as the down year the Rebels had in 2010.
The non-conference schedule is not as cushy as they come around these parts. While Ole Miss doesn't really have a tough headliner, neither an up-and-coming BYU squad or the road game at Fresno State are necessarily gimmes. The East Division schedule helps assuage that, and again, the toughest three West games are all at home. Overall it's a favorable schedule, but we'll have to see how far the defense progresses before we'll know if it's friendly enough to facilitate a return to the post season.