STARKVILLE - Utilizing a consistent defensive push and a 25-point halftime lead Saturday, No. 19 Ole Miss defeated No. 23 Mississippi State 38-27 at Davis Wade Stadium.
What we learned: There's a chance the Rebels could be headed to a "New Years Six." After the Rebels' win on Saturday, Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze and quarterback Chad Kelly each let it be known they were still thinking about the overtime loss to Arkansas. And, specifically, one miraculous play in overtime that not only kept the Hogs alive but essentially kept the Rebels out of their first ever SEC Championship Game.
"If there's one negative, it's that we're a fourth-and-25 from going to Atlanta," Freeze said. "We can dwell on that and the what-ifs, but I think it speaks volumes on where we've come in our four years here. It kind of stinks, but we'll go to a great bowl game somewhere."
What's next?: Now the Rebels wait. With Ole Miss' win and Florida's loss to Florida State, the Rebels (9-3 overall) could end up back-dooring a bid to the Sugar Bowl. The Big Easy game will take the second-ranked SEC team in the College Football Playoff Rankings. With Alabama set to square off with the 12th-ranked Gators in the SEC Championship Game, there's a good chance the Rebels and Florida may flip in the final rankings should the Tide have their way in Atlanta.
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Freeze was asked where he hoped the Rebels would land.
"That's a (athletics director) Ross (Bjork) question," Freeze said. "I don't know if I can say where I hope we go. I really haven't seen the scores from today, but I'm going to keep my fingers crossed we get in one of those 'New Years Six' bowls.
"I want another shot at that and I think I can sell our kids with the way Chad (Kelly) is playing and Laremy (Tunsil) and Rob (Nkemdiche) and Laquon (Treadwell) and those guys. Our fans would travel and we'd love the honor to play in one of those New Years Six bowls."
A Sugar Bowl bid would be Ole Miss' first since the 1970 game (and 1969 season).