The University of Alabama is clearly the premier college football program in the country and the Crimson Tide are the defending national champions. They are the only team to make each of the first two College Football Playoffs. And they are also two-time SEC West champions, easily the toughest division in NCAA. However, the Tide have lost two straight games to Ole Miss. Those two square off in a huge early-season test on Sept. 17 in Oxford. Kickoff will be at 3:30 p.m. ET and televised by CBS. The Tide have a wins total of 10 for this season on college football odds and the Rebels 7.5.
Inside Scoop on the Ole Miss vs. Alabama College Football Future Betting Lines
Will Ole Miss even be eligible for postseason football this year? The school is being investigated for numerous NCAA violations, some of them major. During the first round of the NFL Draft, former Ole Miss star tackle Laremy Tunsil admitted he was paid by coaches. Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze this week said that he accepts responsibility for the Rebels’ NCAA troubles, but denied that he or anybody on his staff knowingly violated rules.
Ole Miss already has self-imposed the loss of 11 football scholarships over a four-year period from 2015-18 as part of its response to an NCAA notice of allegations, which include four Level I infractions. Those are the worst kind. Three of the four Level I violations under Freeze involve Tunsil or somebody from Tunsil’s family allegedly receiving money, free lodging or extra benefits. Tunsil was suspended for seven games last season. The NCAA has also accused Ole Miss of four Level I violations under the previous regime, when Houston Nutt was coach. The school admitted to former coaches falsifying ACT scores under Nutt, giving loaner cars to players, boosters giving money to players and a laundry list of lesser transgressions. This isn’t going to end well.
The No. 15 Rebels upset No. 2 Alabama 43-37 in Tuscaloosa on Sept. 19 last year, the Tide’s only loss of the season. It was the Rebels’ first victory in Bryant-Denny Stadium since 1988 and second straight in an otherwise one-sided series. The Crimson Tide had been 25-1 in Tuscaloosa against Ole Miss and had never lost two straight in the series. Both games went down to the wire and were settled with the help of Rebels interceptions. Ole Miss scored 24 points off five Alabama turnovers last year.
Rebels QB Chad Kelly, who is back this season, passed for 341 yards and three touchdowns in the second half in last year’s game after producing just 36 yards through the air in the first half. The Rebels’ 43 points were their most ever scored in a game in Tuscaloosa and tied for the second-most points against Alabama in the all-time series.
The Tide surprisingly started Cooper Bateman at quarterback even though Jake Coker opened the previous two games of the season. Regarded as the more athletic option, Bateman was 11-of-14 for 87 yards with an interception before being pulled for Coker. Alabama had won 17 straight at home coming into the game. The Ole Miss defense held Alabama scoreless in the first quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium for the first time since 2012. The Tide hadn’t lost a game anywhere before October since 2008. Alabama and Ole Miss have met 60 times since 1894 with the Tide holding a 47-11-2 advantage in the series, including a 7-4 record in Oxford.