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Rebel Roundabout: Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin named to watch list for Dodd Trophy

Ben Garrettby:Ben Garrett07/09/24

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Lane Kiffin is one of 21 college football head coaches on the 2024 watch list for the Dodd Trophy, the nation’s most coveted coaching award. 

The watch list was created through a selection process by the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and Peach Bowl, Inc. Considered were a program’s Academic Progress Rate (APR), Graduation Success Rate (GSR), commitment to service and charity in the community and projected success for the 2024 season. 

The Rebels won a program-record 11 games a year ago, and they have a favorable schedule this season. Alabama, Auburn and Texas A&M are all off the schedule. 

The Rebels have the third-best odds to win the SEC, sixth-best odds to win the national title, and third-year returning quarterback Jaxson Dart has the sixth-best odds to win the Heisman.

“Nick Saban is no longer coaching Alabama,” On3 national analyst JD PicKell recently said of the Rebels. “That’s one less ‘Boss Level,’ if you’re an Ole Miss fan, you have to get through and ultimately beat to win the SEC. There’s a pathway now.

“Long gone are the days you’ve got to get to Atlanta, win the Hunger Games that are the SEC and stand on top of that mountain as you walk into the four-team playoff. Now it’s, ‘Can you be 10-2? Can you be Top 3 in the SEC? Top 4 in the SEC?’ If you can do that, then you find your way into the College Football Playoff.”

Kiffin is entering his fifth season at Ole Miss. 

The Rebels have been to four straight bowls, including a pair of New Year’s Six appearances. Kiffin is 95-49 overall in 11 years as an FBS head coach. He’s 34-15 at Ole Miss. 

Kiffin is responsible for the only two 10-win regular seasons in Ole Miss history. He’s one of just two Rebel coaches — alongside legendary coach John Vaught — with multiple 10-win seasons overall. 

Ole Miss was balanced last season. The Rebel offense finished Top 15 in FBS in yards per completion (10th, 14.5), passing efficiency (12th, 162.9) and total offense (13th, 461.9). Ole Miss led the country in fewest turnovers (7). The Rebels topped the SEC and were fifth in the NCAA in turnover margin (+11). 

A midseason watch list — adding to OR narrowing the field — will be released in the fall. The Dodd winner will be announced in Atlanta during the week of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

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2024 Dodd Trophy Preseason Watch List

Jeff Brohm – Louisville
Mario Cristobal – Miami (FL)
Ryan Day – Ohio State
Dave Doeren – NC State
Eliah Drinkwitz – Missouri
Kirk Ferentz – Iowa
James Franklin – Penn State
Marcus Freeman – Notre Dame
Mike Gundy – Oklahoma State
Josh Heupel – Tennessee
Brian Kelly – LSU
Lane Kiffin – Ole Miss
Chris Klieman – Kansas State
Lance Leipold – Kansas
Mike Norvell – Florida State
Brent Pry – Virginia Tech
Lincoln Riley – USC
Steve Sarkisian – Texas
Kirby Smart – Georgia
Dabo Swinney – Clemson
Kyle Whittingham – Utah

REBEL YELL HOTLINE: WHAT’S UP WITH OLE MISS BASEBALL?

Jake Thompson covers Ole Miss baseball daily for the Ole Miss Spirit.

So, he knows better than anyone how and why Mike Bianco’s Rebels haven’t been able to stay out of the headlines for well over a week.

Extra, extra and read all about it, ‘cause Thompson has all the latest in this Monday (July 8, 2024) edition of the ‘Rebel Yell Hotline.

Departures! Commitments! The MLB Draft!

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