Following another blowout win this weekend, Mississippi continued its move up The Associated Press Top 25 by checking in at No. 10 in the latest poll, released on Sunday. The Rebels started the year at No. 18 and have steadily climbed since, and moved up four spots this week.
This is the first time Ole Miss has been in the top 10 since 2009, and the second time since 1970. The Rebels were ranked in the top 10 for the first four polls of 2009, but fell out and never returned after a loss to South Carolina.On Saturday, Ole Miss eased past Louisiana-Lafayette 56-15. It is the second highest scoring output for the team under head coach Hugh Freeze. Quarterback Bo Wallace threw for 316 yards and four touchdowns, with 290 of those yards coming in the first half. Given that the game was out of reach early, the Rebels were able to dig deep into their bench, with three player throwing a pass, eight rushers with three or more attempts, and nine different receivers catching a pass. They totaled 214 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.
The Rebels are 3-0 for the second year in a row, and it is the first time since 1971-72 that they have won each of their first three games in two consecutive seasons. Wallace has thrown for at least 300 yards in all three games this season to tie Eli Manning for the program record of 10 career 300-yard games.
The Ole Miss defense has been impressive, too. Opponents have scored a total of 31 points in three games, but that includes just two touchdowns actually scored against the defense. The Rebels have returned an interception for a touchdown in each of their past two games, and they have picked off their opponent’s quarterback a total of eight times.
Mississippi already has a conference win on the year -- a 41-3 rout of Vanderbilt on Sept. 6. Along with a season-opening 35-13 win against Boise State in Atlanta, the Rebels have yet to be tested late in a game this year. That could be changing soon, though. They play each of the other four SEC top-10 teams in a four-game stretch starting the first weekend of October. They have a week off this coming week and host Memphis the week after, but that is followed by a home date with No. 3 Alabama, at No. 6 Texas A&M, home vs. Tennessee, at No. 8 LSU, home vs. No. 5 Auburn. That stretch will have a lot to do with if Ole Miss is still in the discussion for the College Football Playoff in November.
Other notes from the Top 25:
The SEC has seven teams in the top 14, with South Carolina jumping ten spots to No. 14 after its win against Georgia, which fell from No. 6 to No. 13. … Nebraska and Oklahoma State joined the poll at Nos. 24 and 25, respectively. … Southern California dropped from No. 9 to No. 17 after being upset by Boston College.
• College football tickets