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Ole Miss Should Be Ranked Ahead of Mississippi State

It seems pretty straightforward to me.

Joe Murphy

I am writing this before the polls come out, so this may not end up being a big issue. That said, I have found a few AP voters plus ESPN talking heads who are ranking Mississippi State ahead of Ole Miss. I don't understand that ordering.

Ole Miss just beat Alabama. Alabama is an excellent team, easily one of the ten best in the country. The Rebels won in a more impressive fashion than the final score indicates, too. They only allowed 10 offensive points to a team with an NFL receiver and three NFL running backs—remember, seven of Bama's points came on a non-offensive score that shouldn't have been allowed anyway due to an uncalled face mask grab. It was no fluke. Ole Miss beat one of this year's best teams in a solid fashion.

The case for Mississippi State is based on it having two big wins, but how big are they now? The first one was over LSU, but those Tigers aren't looking so great after receiving a shellacking at Auburn last night. The Bulldogs very nearly gave that one away, too. Giving MSU high marks just for beating LSU doesn't seem so reasonable anymore.

The second big win was over a top ten ranked Texas A&M team yesterday. Why were the Aggies in the top ten? Because they stomped then-No. 9 South Carolina on the opening day of the season. How much should that win be worth now? Not that much. The Gamecocks just lost to Kentucky, getting their third loss in just the first week of October. If that's not worth much of anything, then there's no real reason to be all that high on the Aggies. Beating up on cupcakes and needing overtime to complete a comeback against Arkansas isn't terribly impressive.

Mississippi State appears to be a good team, as it passes the eye test easily. Ole Miss does too, though, and it has by far the best win between the two teams. Right now, in the seventh week of this season, the Rebels should be higher in the rankings than the Bulldogs.