Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics
In another sign that football season is upon us, the preseason coaches poll has been released ahead of the 2021 campaign.
Rounding out the top 25 is Ole Miss as the Rebels enter year two under head coach Lane Kiffin. With the return of All-SEC quarterback Matt Corral, a majority of last year’s offensive line and several playmakers, including running back Jerrion Ealy, the Rebels are poised to retain their spot among the top offenses in college football despite the loss of slot receiver Elijah Moore.
Defensively, newcomers including transfer linebacker Chance Campbell (Maryland), defensive back Jake Springer (Navy) and a couple of JUCO defensive lineman aim to improve what was one of the worst defenses in the country in 2020. The Rebels finished 5-5 during the COVID-shortened 2020 season and capped it off with a win over Indiana in the Outback Bowl.
The full top 25, which includes six SEC teams (excluding future members Texas & Oklahoma), can be seen below.
4. Ohio State
6. Texas A&M
7. Notre Dame
8. Iowa State
9. North Carolina
16. Miami (Fla.)
20. Penn State
22. Oklahoma State
23. UL Lafayette
24. Coastal Carolina
25. Ole Miss
Mississippi State was among the programs receiving votes as they begin year two of the Mike Leach era.
The USA Today Coaches Poll is voted upon by 65 coaches across the country, and this year, that includes Southern Miss’ Will Hall.