Ole Miss football bowl projections: Could an Egg Bowl win mean Sugar Bowl on horizon?
OXFORD — Ole Miss football has a lot to play for Thursday.
No. 8 Ole Miss (9-2, 5-2 SEC) travels to Starkville on Thanksgiving night (6:30 p.m., ESPN) to face Mississippi State (7-4, 4-3 SEC) with second place in the SEC West on the line. For Ole Miss, this game is effectively a New Year's Six play-in game. Win, and the Rebels clinch their first major bowl berth since 2015. Lose and Ole Miss is going to need some help to be avoid a New Year's Day consolation game somewhere in Florida.
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As with last week, most of the prognosticators have the Rebels in the New Year's Six. The debate remains about where. Here's a look at this week's Ole Miss bowl projections.
The Lane Train to New Orleans
With Oregon's loss to Utah over the weekend, most experts are projecting Alabama to find its way into the playoff, even with a projected loss to Georgia in the SEC championship. If both Alabama and Georgia make the playoff, the next-best SEC team gets to go to the Sugar Bowl against the Big 12 champs on Jan. 1.
Most experts think this is Ole Miss' fate. ESPN's Kyle Bonagura and Mark Schlabach both pick the Rebels to face No. 7 Oklahoma State, as does the Pro Football Network's Joe Broback. CBS Sports' Jerry Palm and 247Sports' Brad Crawford both see the Rebels dueling No. 9 Oklahoma. And The Action Network's Brett McMurphy forecasts a game against No. 10 Baylor.
Back to where it started
The lone holdout among this week's experts comes from College Football News. In their projection, a 12-1 Big 12 champion leapfrogs Alabama to get into the College Football Playoff, putting the Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl.
That leaves Ole Miss to play in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta on Dec. 30 against the ACC champs, who College Football News projects will be No. 17 Pittsburgh. A trip to the Peach Bowl would mean Ole Miss' season ends in the same stadium it started in; the Rebels played Louisville in Atlanta Week 1 of this season.
Contact Nick Suss at 601-408-2674 or email@example.com. Follow @nicksuss on Twitter.