Team preview: Ole Miss

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college football season, exclusively on Insider.

Originally Published: July 28, 2004
Blue Ribbon Yearbook
Editor's Note: Insider has teamed with Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook to provide a comprehensive look at all 117 Division I-A teams. To subscribe to Insider, click here. To order a copy of the 384-page book, visit


Ole Miss got so close to perfection last season.

Down 17-7 early in the fourth quarter against eventual national champion LSU, the Rebels responded with two drives. One ended in a touchdown that cut the deficit to 17-14. After stopping LSU on three downs, the Rebels got the ball back and drove to the LSU 17. Jonathan Nichols' 36-yard field goal was wide with four minutes left, killing Ole Miss' chances of an 8-0 SEC season and a trip to the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta.

Now Eli Manning is gone to the New York Giants. So the window of opportunity is closed, right? Ole Miss insiders say wrong-and they say it emphatically.