College Football Playoff Schedule Revealed; Can Ole Miss Play For National Title?

Can the Ole Miss Rebels make their way into the field of the newly-expanded College Football Playoff?
Dec 30, 2023; Atlanta, GA, USA; Mississippi Rebels quarterback Jaxson Dart (2) celebrates after a victory against the Penn State Nittany Lions in the Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 30, 2023; Atlanta, GA, USA; Mississippi Rebels quarterback Jaxson Dart (2) celebrates after a victory against the Penn State Nittany Lions in the Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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The Ole Miss Rebels are eyeing their first College Football Playoff appearance in school history this season, and with the field set to expand to include 12 teams, a new scheduling format is necessary.

The CFP released its schedule for the upcoming tournament last week, and it is somewhat of a departure from the previous four-team model. You can find the full schedule below.

First Round: Friday, Dec. 20 -- 7 p.m. CT (ABC, ESPN)

First Round: Saturday, Dec. 21 -- Noon CT (TNT Sports)

First Round: Saturday, Dec. 21 -- 3 p.m. CT (TNT Sports)

First Round: Saturday, Dec. 21 -- 7 p.m. CT (ABC, ESPN)

Quarterfinals (Fiesta Bowl): Tuesday, Dec. 31 -- 6:30 p.m. CT (ESPN)

Quarterfinals (Peach Bowl): Wednesday, Jan. 1 -- 12 p.m. CT (ESPN)

Quarterfinals (Rose Bowl): Wednesday, Jan. 1 -- 4 p.m. CT (ESPN)

Quarterfinals (Sugar Bowl): Wednesday, Jan. 1 -- 7:45 p.m. CT (ESPN)

Semifinals (Orange Bowl): Thursday, Jan. 9 -- 6:30 p.m. CT (ESPN)

Semifinals (Cotton Bowl): Friday, Jan. 10 -- 6:30 p.m. CT (ESPN)

National Championship Game (Atlanta): Monday, Jan. 20 -- 6:30 p.m. CT (ESPN)

If the Rebels make the CFP field this season, fans will need to block off some of the above dates for what automatically becomes one of the biggest games in school history.

The first-round games in the CFP will take place on campuses of the higher seed in the matchup, meaning that, theoretically, Ole Miss could host a playoff game this season, if it earns a spot in the field. The four highest-ranked conference champions will receive a first-round bye and automatically advance to the quarterfinal round, meeting the winner of one of the first-round games in either the Fiesta, Peach, Rose or Sugar Bowl.

It's no secret that Ole Miss is gunning for one of these spots in the 2024-25 season, and the Rebels have gained plenty of hype this offseason in that category. Recently, Lindy's Sports Annuals projected that the Rebels would not only host a playoff game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, but that they would advance to face the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Rose Bowl before bowing out of the tournament.

Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin has stated that he believes this is the "best roster" he has assembled since he arrived in Oxford, but that doesn't necessarily translate to being the "best team." He, of course, wants a championship, but he is currently focused on the process instead of the end result.

"I don't really think about the championship stuff," Kiffin said at the SEC Spring Meetings in Destin. "That's outcome. There's way more about the process and putting together the roster, and now that the roster basically is done, to go start working with them and getting them to gel together and all the work with some new assistant coaches. Then worry about that stuff way down the road."

The Rebels will open their season at home on Aug. 31 when they play host to the FCS Furman Paladins. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. CT, and the game will be televised on SEC Network+.


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John Macon Gillespie

JOHN MACON GILLESPIE

John Macon Gillespie is the publisher of The Grove Report and has experience on the Ole Miss beat spanning five years.