Heading into 2014, the quarterback position is wide-open at many of the SEC schools. That is far from the case at Ole Miss, though. Bo Wallace will be starting behind center this season, and he is poised for a stellar season.
Coming off of a year that included 24 total touchdowns, 3701 total yards, and huge wins over Vanderbilt, LSU and Texas, Wallace looks to better his individual performance, and in turn, maybe lead his team to an SEC championship. If the Grove Bowl (spring game) was any indication, Wallace will have a myriad of running backs to lighten the load off of the passing game. With LaQuon Treadwell returning at receiver, Wallace will have all of the pieces for a successful offense at his disposal.
His 10-21 performance for 152 yards and one touchdown in the spring game did not make Wallace out to be a seasoned veteran with great talent surrounding him, though.
So which Bo Wallace will we see in the fall: the above average game manager that he has been so far through his career, or a new, improved leader that will contend for an SEC championship?
I think we will see the latter; Wallace will not be the greatest quarterback in the nation, but I do think he will improve his performance, and I do think Ole Miss will contend in the SEC. I'm giving them almost a 20% chance of winning the SEC next year (pretty high odds for the men in Oxford, Mississippi, especially considering their recent struggles). The Rebels' relatively high chances to win the SEC will not solely be a product of Wallace's improved play, though; it will be a combination of a more experienced defense and an offense with many weapons.
|Bo Wallace may not be Nick Marshall, but he can still run.|
Bo Wallace will be a top five quarterback in the SEC next year, and I believe he will combine for over 25 touchdowns this year, while allowing few turnovers. For sure, he won't be as flashy as Nick Marshall of Auburn, but I do believe Wallace possesses the talents necessary to win consistently. And thusly, I hold that the 6' 4" Wallace is a near-perfect fit for the 2014 Ole Miss Rebels: an Ole Miss team that has the opportunity to claim a double-digit winning season (a feat that Oxford, Mississippi hasn't seen since the days of Eli Manning).
Wallace and Ole Miss have an advantage over other teams in the conference that are going through transitions, so I think it is only wise to consider Ole Miss as a contender in the SEC this season. Only time will tell how much Wallace has improved, if at all, but it is likely that Wallace will be more prepared than any other SEC quarterback, and therefore Rebel fans should be optimistic as they look forward to the 2014 season.