Kermit Davis inherited an Ole Miss program that last season finished 12-20 and ranked 108th at KenPom. So it wasn't that surprising when the Rebels were picked last in this season's preseason SEC poll.

Dead last.

But, that said, it's been clear for a while that Ole Miss is better than prognosticators projected. And the most recent bit of evidence came Wednesday night when the Rebels beat Auburn 82-67 to stretch their winning streak to nine games and improve to 12-2 (with the lone losses coming at Butler and to Cincinnati on a neutral court). In other words, yes, Ole Miss has already won as many games this season as it won all of last season. And it's also worth noting that the Rebels started 97th at KenPom and have climbed all the way up to 34th -- which represents one of the biggest jumps of any team in the country.

Ole Miss is now in the Top 25 And 1.

I have the Rebels 26th.

And, rest assured, if they win Saturday at Mississippi State, they'll move even higher and, on Monday morning, find themselves also ranked in the AP and Coaches polls. It's an amazing coaching job, plain and simple. But, come to think of it, perhaps this shouldn't be that surprising. Davis, after all, spent the past few seasons consistently beating power-conference teams while at Middle Tennessee. That he's quickly also doing it at a power-conference school is something we probably should've seen coming.

Thursday's Top 25 And 1

Biggest Movers
3 Mississippi State
8 Ohio State
1 Tennessee The Vols' body of work features 12 double-digit victories and a single-digit win over Gonzaga. The lone loss on the resume is an overtime loss to Kansas in which Grant Williams fouled out. -- 5-1
2 Duke Duke's resume includes five wins over top-40 KePom teams - among them Texas Tech, Auburn and Indiana. The lone loss is a neutral-court loss to Gonzaga in the title game of the Maui Invitational. -- 7-1
3 Virginia The Cavaliers' perfect record features 10 double-digit wins - among them Wednesday's 27-point victory at Boston College. Only two teams (Maryland, Marshall) have cracked the 60-point barrier against Virginia. -- 6-3
4 Michigan The Wolverines' perfect start includes double-digit wins over North Carolina, Indiana, Purdue and Villanova. Only Northwestern and Western Michigan have stayed within single-digits of Michigan. -- 4-3
5 Gonzaga The Zags have won five straight games since losing at North Carolina. Killian Tillie finished with five points and two rebounds in his season debut Saturday against Santa Clara. -- 7-1
6 Kansas Dedric Lawson finished with 31 points and 14 rebounds in Wednesday's win over TCU. The Jayhawks' resume features victories over six top-50 KenPom teams and zero sub-60 losses. -- 6-1
7 Michigan St. The Spartans have won eight consecutive games since losing in overtime at Louisville. Seven of their 14 wins are against teams currently ranked in the top 75 at KenPom - among them Ohio State, Florida, Texas and Purdue. -- 6-2
8 Texas Tech The Red Raiders' resume features six victories over top-100 KenPom teams -- among them Oklahoma, Nebraska and Kansas State. Texas Tech's lone loss is a neutral-court loss to Duke. -- 6-1
9 Va. Tech The Hokies have won nine consecutive games since losing by a point at Penn State. Virginia Tech's resume includes wins over Purdue, Washington and Notre Dame. -- 6-2
10 N. Carolina The Tar Heels' resume features seven wins over top-100 KenPom teams -- most recently a win at NC State -- and zero sub-30 losses. North Carolina is 7-0 inside the Dean Smith Center. -- 5-2
11 NC State The Wolfpack's seven-game winning streak was snapped Tuesday by North Carolina. North Carolina State is now 4-2 against top-70 KenPom schools. -- 6-1
12 Florida St. The Seminoles' body of work features three wins over top-50 KenPom teams and zero sub-30 losses. Next up is Saturday's home game against Duke. -- 5-2
13 Nevada The Wolf Pack bounced back from their 27-point loss at New Mexico with Wednesday's 39-point win over San Jose State. The best victories on their resume are wins over Arizona State and Utah State. 2 4-4
14 Miss. State The Bulldogs' nine-game winning streak was snapped Tuesday at South Carolina. The best wins on Mississippi State's resume are victories over Cincinnati, Clemson and Saint Mary's. 3 6-1
15 Oklahoma The Sooners' body of work features four top-55 KenPom wins and zero sub-15 losses. Oklahoma's two Big 12 losses came at Kansas and at Texas Tech. 3 7-1
16 Indiana The Hoosiers' seven-game winning streak was snapped Sunday at Michigan. Indiana played for the third straight time without Rob Phinisee, who has been in concussion protocol. 3 6-1
17 Auburn Auburn's two-game winning streak was snapped Wednesday at Ole Miss. The Tigers are 0-3 against the three highest-rated KenPom teams they've played. 3 6-1
18 Marquette Markus Howard scored 53 points on 26 shots in Wednesday's overtime win at Creighton. The Golden Eagles' resume features five victories over top-50 KenPom teams and zero sub-50 losses. 2 7-1
19 Buffalo The Bulls' body of work includes wins over three top-60 KenPom teams and a lone loss at Marquette. Buffalo is expected to be favored in every remaining regular-season game. 2 4-2
20 Houston The Cougars took their first loss of the season Wednesday at Temple. They're now 7-1 against top-100 KenPom teams. 4 7-1
21 Ohio St. OSU's loss at Rutgers on Wednesday was the program's first loss to a sub-100 KenPom team since Chris Holtmann took over. The Buckeyes will take a two-game losing streak into Saturday's game with Iowa. 8 5-2
22 Kentucky Kentucky is 2-3 vs. top-100 KenPom opponents with nine victories over sub-100 competition. Seven of the Wildcats' next eight games are against top-100 schools. -- 6-1
23 Villanova Villanova's four-game winning streak has allowed Jay Wright's team to start 3-0 in the Big East for the first time since 2016. The Wildcats are the only Big East team without a league loss. -- 5-2
24 St. John's The Red Storm squandered a double-digit lead Tuesday and lost at Villanova. They're now 1-2 vs. top-50 KenPom teams. -- 5-2
25 Iowa St. The Cyclones backed their big win over Kansas with a bad loss at Baylor. Iowa State is now 4-1 with Lindell Wigginton in the lineup. -- 7-0
26 Ole Miss The Rebels will take a nine-game winning streak - highlighted by Wednesday's victory over Auburn - into Saturday's game at Mississippi State. Ole Miss is 2-0 in the SEC for the first time since 2013. NR 5-2