'Failure!' Paul Finebaum on if Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss Rebels Miss 2024 Playoff

SEC Network analyst Paul Finebaum believes it is playoff or bust for Lane Kiffin and the Ole Miss Rebels this season.
Dec 31, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; SEC network host Paul Finebaum looks on before the 2022 Peach Bowl between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Ohio State Buckeyesat Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 31, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; SEC network host Paul Finebaum looks on before the 2022 Peach Bowl between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Ohio State Buckeyesat Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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OXFORD, Miss. -- Most publications have given high levels of praise to the Ole Miss Rebels as they prepare for the 2024 college football season. Ole Miss returns key seniors Jaxson Dart, Tre Harris, Jared Ivey and JJ Pegues while also complementing them with the No. 3 transfer portal class in the country.

Lane Kiffin and the Rebels are not messing around this year after winning 11 games for the first time in program history in 2023. With the playoffs expanding and the Southeastern Conference doing away with divisions, Kiffin is looking to strike while he has good momentum surrounding his program.

While most preseason rankings have been kind to Ole Miss, ESPN's 2024 College Football Power Index (FPI) did not offer favorable predictions for the Rebels. The FPI has the Rebels missing the playoff in 2024 and averaged out their overall record to 7.9 wins and 4.2 losses.

SEC Network analyst Paul Finebaum recently made an appearance on "McElroy and Cubelic in the Morning" to speak with analysts Greg McElroy and Cole Cubelic about the upcoming season. ESPN's FPI came up in discussions, and Finebaum was asked how he would view Ole Miss' season if Kiffin and the Rebels miss the expanded playoff in 2024.

"It'll be a failure," said Finebaum. "This is what he [Kiffin] has been building towards, this is what he has been talking about. A couple of years ago, things did not look great from an NIL standpoint. He was able to reverse that. He aced the portal -- everyone knows what he got this year. He's got one of the more experienced quarterbacks in the league and around the country.

"There's no sugarcoating it -- it would be a complete and total failure if Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss don't make the playoffs."

It is hard to argue with Finebaum. This is the season that Kiffin has been building up to ever since he arrived at Ole Miss in December of 2019. Throughout his first couple of seasons, Kiffin was adamant about fans packing the Vaught for every home game (no matter the opponent) and helped get the ball rolling on Ole Miss' NIL Fund - which is now considered one of the best-run operations in the country. All that support brings us now to 2024, the culmination of Kiffin's efforts.

With a favorable schedule and loaded roster on both sides of the football, it is absolutely playoff or bust for the Rebels in 2024.


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Ben King

BEN KING