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Mississippi Rebels football

Ole Miss Rebels football
2013 Ole Miss Rebels football team
First season 1890
Athletic director Ross Bjork
Head coach Hugh Freeze
2nd year, 11–9  (.550)
Home stadium Vaught-Hemingway Stadium
Field Jerry Hollingsworth Field
Year built 1915
Stadium capacity 60,580
Largest Crowd: 62,663 (Oct. 10, 2009 vs. Alabama)
Stadium surface FieldTurf
Location University, Mississippi
League NCAA Division I
Conference SEC (1932-present)
Division SEC Western Division (1992-present)
Past conferences Independent (1890–1898)
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (1899–1920)
Southern Conference (1921–1932)
All-time record 628–492–35 (.559)
Postseason bowl record 22–12
Claimed national titles 3[1][2]
1959, 1960, 1962
Conference titles 6
1947, 1954, 1955, 1960, 1962, 1963
Division titles 1
Heisman winners 0
Consensus All-Americans 11[3]
Current uniform
275px
Colors

Yale Blue and Harvard Crimson

          
Fight song Forward Rebels (Official)
Dixie (Unofficial)
Mascot Rebels
Rebel Black Bear
Marching band Pride of the South
Outfitter Nike
Rivals Mississippi State Bulldogs
LSU Tigers
Memphis Tigers
Alabama Crimson Tide
Arkansas Razorbacks
Website OleMissSports.com

The Ole Miss Rebels football team represents the University of Mississippi, also known as Ole Miss, in the sport of American football. The Rebels compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The football history of Ole Miss includes the formation of the first football team in the state and the 26th team on the list of college football's all-time winning programs.[4] The Ole Miss Rebels posted their 600th win on September 27, 2008 when they defeated the (then ranked No. 4 and future 2008 BCS National Champ) Florida Gators 31–30 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.[5]

Throughout the 115-year history of Ole Miss football, the Rebels have won six Southeastern Conference titles (1947, 1954, 1955, 1960, 1962, and 1963); they also have a claim to three national championships (1959, 1960, 1962). The team is currently coached by Hugh Freeze.

Early history

In 1890, Dr. A.L. Bondurant, later the dean of the Ole Miss Graduate School, rallied Ole Miss students to help form an athletic department to encompass the sports of football, baseball and tennis. The students brought this initiative to reality and in 1893, with Bondurant as the coach, a football team came to fruition. The first team won four of five games during that inaugural football season. One of those wins was the very first football game ever played by an Ole Miss team, a 56–0 victory over Southwest Baptist University of Jackson, Tennessee (now known as Union University). This was on November 11, 1893.

The next year, 1894, Bondurant passed on his coaching duties. Ole Miss Football, a book published in 1980 by Sports Yearbook Company of Oxford, MS, says J.W.S. Rhea was the first coach at Ole Miss having been hired part-time by Bondurant and having led the 1894 team to a 6–1 record. The annual Ole Miss media guide lists C.D. Clark as the coach of the 1894 team and further says about him, "Although it has never been documented, it is thought that C.D. Clark of Tufts was the first paid football coach at Ole Miss. His name appears as manager of the team as shown in the Ole Miss Magazine dated November 1894."[6] The College Football Data Warehouse also lists Clark as the coach for the 1894 team.[7]

Twice in its history, Ole Miss did not field a football team. In 1897, a yellow fever epidemic cancelled the football season. In 1943, football was abolished at all Mississippi state-supported institutions by the state college Board of Trustees due to World War II.[8]

Championships

National Championships

While the NCAA's website states that "the NCAA does not conduct a national championship in Division I-A football and is not involved in the selection process," it goes on to say that "a number of polling organizations provide a final ranking of Division I-A football teams at the end of each season." Ole Miss claims three national championships based on other polls.

Season Coach Selectors Record Bowl Result Final AP Ranking Final Coaches Ranking
1959 John Vaught Berryman, Dunkel, Sagarin 10–1 Sugar Bowl Ole Miss 21, LSU 0 #2 #2
1960 John Vaught Billingsley, Football Writers, DeVold, Dunkel, Football Research, Williamson 10–0–1 Sugar Bowl Ole Miss 14, Rice 6 #2 #3
1962 John Vaught Litkenhous 10–0 Sugar Bowl Ole Miss 17, Arkansas 13 #3 #3
Claimed National Championships: 3
[9][10]

The major wire service polls of the time (Associated Press & United Press) named Syracuse the National Champion in 1959, Minnesota in 1960, and USC in 1962.[11][12]

In 1955, the Rebels were declared National Champions by the Massey Ratings, though they are not considered to be a major poll and it is not claimed by the University.

Conference Championships

Ole Miss has won a total of 6 SEC championships.

Season Conference Coach Overall Record Conference Record
1947 SEC John Vaught 9–2 6-1
1954 SEC John Vaught 9-2 5-1
1955 SEC John Vaught 10-1 5-1
1960 SEC John Vaught 10-0-1 5-0-1
1962 SEC John Vaught 10-0 6-0
1963 SEC John Vaught 7-1-2 5-0-1
Conference Championships 6

Divisional Championships

The SEC has been split into two divisions since the 1992 season with Ole Miss competing in the SEC West since that time. Ole Miss has won a share of 1 divisional title, but has yet to make an appearance in the SEC Championship Game. {|class="wikitable" cellpadding="1" style="width:50%;" |- ! style="background:#002B7F;" | Season ! style="background:#002B7F;" | Division ! style="background:#002B7F;" | SEC CG Result ! style="background:#002B7F;" | Opponent ! style="background:#002B7F;" | PF ! style="background:#002B7F;" | PA |- style="text-align:center;" | 2003† || SEC West || - || N/A || - || - |- style="text-align:center; background:#d81c3f;" | colspan="3"| Division Championships | colspan="3"| 1 |- | colspan=6 | † Denotes co-champions |}

Milestones

The most points ever scored in a game by the Ole Miss Rebels was 114 when Ole Miss defeated Union College 114–0 on October 29, 1904.[13]

The Ole Miss football team was the first college team in the nation to fly to a game, having done so in 1937. The flight was from Memphis, Tennessee to Philadelphia.[14]

Ole Miss' first game to ever be broadcast on television was in 1948 against Memphis.[15]

The speed limit on the Ole Miss campus is 18 miles per hour in honor of Archie Manning, who wore the same number during his playing days at Ole Miss.

Ole Miss plays a central role in Michael Lewis's book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game and its 2009 film adaptation, The Blind Side.

Notable games

  • 1952: Maryland- The Rebels splashed onto the national scene by defeating the highly ranked Maryland Terrapins in Oxford on Nov. 15, 1952 by the score of 21–14. This game is credited by many for being the catalyst to the great run the rebels had from 1952 to 1963.
  • 1959: LSU- On Halloween night, two of the top teams in the country squared off in Baton Rouge, LA. The game would be a defensive struggle with the Rebels clinging to a 3–0 lead in the fourth quarter. Future Heisman winner Billy Cannon changed the game off a fortuitous bounce on a punt return that went 89 yards into college football lore. The replay is still played whenever a reference to this rivalry is made. Ole Miss would have one last chance to pull off the win, but was stopped short on 4th and a yard at the goal-line by Billy Cannon. LSU won 7–3.
  • 1960: LSU- On Jan 1, 1960, one of the most anticipated rematches in college football history took place. This game, however, would not be the classic that transpired only weeks before. Ole Miss dominated the game from start to finish and came away with a decisive 21–0 win over the Tigers. The Rebels finished the season having only given up 21 points all year, declared national champions by several polls, and named the third rated team in history (through 1995) by the Sagarin ratings, behind only two great Nebraska teams.
  • 1969: Tennessee More affectionately known as, "The Mule Game", the Rebels faced off against the Tennessee Volunteers in Jackson MS for a crisp mid-November affair. Prior to the game, Tennessee's Steve Kiner was interviewed by Sports Illustrated. When asked about the Rebels and all their horses in the backfield, Kiner replied, "...more like a bunch of mules." When asked specifically about Archie Manning, he responded, "Archie who?" This inspired the Johnny Rebs and propelled them to a 38–0 shellacking of the Vols. This win would push the Rebels into the 1970 Sugar Bowl where they defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks to cap off the season.
  • 1977: Notre Dame- On a hot, humid day in the south, the Rebels took advantage of the weather to stun the Irish 20–13. It would be the only loss the Irish would suffer that season as they went on to claim the 1977 AP national championship. The Rebels were actually awarded the national championship by Reader's Digest at the end of the season due to being the only team to defeat Notre Dame that season.
  • 1986: LSU- The Rebels jumped out to an early lead in Baton Rouge and managed to hold on to a 21–19 win. It was the biggest win for the Rebels in a relatively dry decade that only saw the Rebels go to three bowl games.
  • 1997: LSU- Coming off two years of probation, it was anticipated it would be a couple of more years before the Rebels would fully recover. However, Ole Miss served the rest of the SEC notice that they were far from being dead by knocking off the 7th ranked Tigers 36–21 in Baton Rouge a week after LSU shocked the top-ranked Florida Gators. The Rebels would sustain several years of moderate success in the years following culminating with a top 15 finish in 2003 and winning 10 games in a season for the first time in 30 years.
  • 2008: Florida- After three years of SEC purgatory, the Rebels desperately needed a spark. That spark came in the form of defeating the fourth ranked Florida Gators 31–30 in Gainesville. Ole Miss took a 31–24 lead with 5 minutes to go in the game on an 86-yard touchdown pass thrown by Jevan Snead to Shay Hodge. Florida responded within two minutes to bring the game within one, only to have their PAT blocked by Kentrell Lockett. Florida regained possession but turned the ball over on downs after Heisman winner Tim Tebow was stopped on fourth-and-one. The win would catapult the Rebels to back-to-back Cotton Bowl victories. The win gave Ole Miss their 600th win all-time.

Modern era head coaches

John Vaught


John Vaught, a line coach at Ole Miss in 1946 under Harold D. "Red" Drew and a former All-American at TCU, remained in Oxford as head coach in 1947 and led the Ole Miss program to national prominence over the next 24 years, posting 23 winning records.

In his first season at the helm in 1947, the Rebels posted a 9–2 record and won the first of six SEC crowns (1947, 1954, 1955, 1960, 1962, 1963). That 1947 season also saw Ole Miss great Charlie Conerly become the first Rebel player to be a contender for the Heisman Trophy, placing fourth in the voting for the prestigious honor.

Vaught's squads, however, didn't stop at just winning league titles, as the Rebels claimed three national championships in 1959, 1960 and 1962. Ole Miss won the 1959 Dunkel System national crown, the 1960 Football Writers Association of America, Dunkel System, and Williamson System national championships and the 1962 Litkenhous Ratings national title. Vaught's 1962 squad remains the only undefeated team in Ole Miss football history. Vaught's 1959 squad, which was honored as the “SEC Team of the Decade,” was ranked the third best collegiate football team from 1956 to 1995, according to the Jeff Sagarin Ratings released in January 1996.

The Rebels were also among the winningest programs in the country under Vaught during the 1950s and 1960s. From 1950 to 1959, Ole Miss posted an 80–21–5 record (.778 winning percentage). The 77.8 winning percentage was

In the 1950s and 1960s under Vaught, Ole Miss was a fixture in the national polls. The Rebels were ranked atop the Associated Press poll for three weeks during the 1960 season and one week during the 1961 campaign. In 1964, Ole Miss was ranked preseason No. 1 in the Associated Press poll.

Vaught also made going to postseason play the norm rather than the exception for the Rebel football program. Ole Miss played in 15 consecutive bowl games from 1957 to 1971 which, at that time, was a national record. In all, Vaught led Ole Miss to 18 bowl game appearances, posting a 10–8 record in those contests. For his efforts, Vaught was named SEC Coach of the Year six times (1947, 1948, 1954, 1955, 1960, 1962).

During his time at the helm, Vaught coached some of the best players ever to wear the Red & Blue. In 24 seasons, Vaught produced 26 All-America first teamers. He also coached four players who finished in the top five in the Heisman Trophy voting. Along with Conerly in 1947, Charlie Flowers (5th in 1959), Jake Gibbs (3rd in 1960) and Archie Manning (4th in 1969, 3rd in 1970) were in the running for college football's top honor.

Failing health forced Vaught to resign his position in 1970 and the reins of the Ole Miss football program were turned over to Billy Kinard.

See also: 1959 Ole Miss Rebels football team

Billy R. Kinard

Billy Kinard became the first Ole Miss alumnus to head up the football program, while Frank “Bruiser” Kinard, an offensive line coach under Vaught since 1948, was named athletic director that same year.

The Rebels went 16–9 under Billy Kinard, including a 10–2 record and a 41–18 Peach Bowl victory over Georgia Tech in his first year in 1971. Kinard's 10 victories are tied for fourth most by a first-year head coach in NCAA Division I history.

Kinard coached the Rebels through the 1972 season and through the third game of the 1973 season. After the disappointing 5–5 season in 1972, there was some pressure among the alumni to have Kinard removed. The administration bowed to this pressure after the Rebels started the 1973 season 1–2, including a shutout loss to Missouri, 17–0, and was upset by Memphis State, 17–13. Both Billy Kinard and Frank Kinard were fired, and John Vaught was rehired as both the head coach and athletic director.

Following the 1973 football season, Vaught resigned once again as head coach, but remained on as athletic director. His final record with the Rebels was 190–61–12. The 190 victories still rank Vaught in the top 25 winningest coaches in NCAA Division I history, and he is the fourth-winningest coach in SEC history. In 1979, Vaught was inducted in the National College Football Hall of Fame.

Ken Cooper

Ken Cooper, an assistant under Kinard since 1971, was named head coach on Jan. 17, 1974, and took Ole Miss through the 1977 season. Cooper compiled a 21–23 record during his four years at the helm, and his tenure is probably best remembered for one hot and humid day in September 1977. In one of the most memorable games in Rebel football history, Ole Miss upset Notre Dame, 20–13 in Mississippi Memorial Stadium on Sept. 17, 1977, in Jackson. That loss was the Irish's lone setback of the 1977 campaign, as Notre Dame finished the season with an 11–1 record and claimed both the AP and UPI national titles.

Steve Sloan

Following the 1977 season, Steve Sloan, the former All-American quarterback at Alabama under Paul "Bear" Bryant, was hired as the new Rebel boss and began his five-year stint in 1978. Sloan posted a 20–34 record from 1978 to 1982.

Billy Brewer

After stepping outside the Ole Miss family football tree the previous nine seasons, Ole Miss looked for a familiar face to lead the football program, and the Rebels found that person when Billy Brewer returned to Oxford to take over as head coach in December 1982.

In his first season in 1983, Brewer guided the Rebels to their first winning regular season since 1977 with a 7-4 record (Tulane win a result of forfeit). The Rebels also went to their first bowl game since 1971 losing to Air Force 9–3 in the Independence Bowl.

Brewer remained in Oxford for another ten seasons, leading the Rebels to five winning seasons and four bowls, including Ole Miss' 1990 New Year's Day Gator Bowl appearance, which was the program's first January bowl game since 1969. He was named SEC Coach of the Year in 1986 (8–3–1 record) and 1990 (9–3 record), and in 1986, the Rebels return to the national rankings for the first time in over a decade.

Brewer coached 11 years (1983–93) and compiled a 68–55–3 record, making him (at the time) the second winningest Ole Miss football coach behind Vaught. Brewer also led Ole Miss to eight Egg Bowl victories over rival Mississippi State.

Brewer was dismissed just prior to the 1994 season after the NCAA infractions committee found him guilty of "unethical conduct," and Ole Miss defensive coordinator Joe Lee Dunn took over as interim coach, directing the Rebels to a 4–7 record under difficult circumstances highlighted only by a 34–21 victory over rival LSU.

Tommy Tuberville

On Dec. 2, 1994, Tommy Tuberville was selected as the coach in charge of getting the Rebels on the right track.

After serving as an assistant coach on the collegiate level for nine seasons (eight at Miami and one at Texas A&M), Tuberville began creating excitement in his first season in 1995, finishing the campaign with a 6–5 record and an Egg Bowl victory over Mississippi State.

That excitement grew in 1997, when Ole Miss recorded its best season since 1992 with an 8–4 record, a thrilling 15–14 Egg Bowl victory over Mississippi State and a Motor City Bowl win over Marshall University. The bowl appearance was the program's first since 1992, and the Rebels earned a final national ranking of No. 22 in both polls.

The revitalized Ole Miss program continued in its success in 1998, but suffered a setback after the Egg Bowl when Tuberville, despite repeated assurances that he would not leave - even going so far as to say "They'll have to take me out of here in a pine box"[17][18][19] -, agreed 2 days later to become the head coach at SEC West rival Auburn University.

David Cutcliffe

David Cutcliffe took over as head coach on Dec. 2, 1998. Cutcliffe, who came to Ole Miss from his offensive coordinator post at Tennessee, took over the reins just 29 days before the Rebels' Sanford Independence Bowl date versus Texas Tech. Despite the short preparation time for the game, Cutcliffe led the Rebels to a 35–18 victory over the Red Raiders, quite arguably the biggest upset of the 1998 bowl season.

Cutcliffe brought with him to Oxford a high-powered offensive style that energized the Rebel fanbase.

In the time from 1997 to 2003, the Rebels played in six bowl games, tied with Arkansas for the most bowl appearances among SEC Western Division schools during that span.

Cutcliffe had four winning seasons in his first five seasons at Ole Miss, in 1999 (8–4), 2000 (7–5), 2001 (7–4) and 2002 (7–6), becoming the first Rebel mentor since Harry Mehre (1938–41) to post winning marks in his first five years. Cutcliffe also directed Ole Miss to four bowl appearances in his first five seasons, and is the only head coach in Ole Miss history to do so.

In 2003 Cutcliffe guided the Rebels to a 10–3 overall mark and a share of the SEC West title with eventual BCS National Champion LSU. Following their 31–28 victory over Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl Classic, the Rebels finished #13 in the final poll. It was Ole Miss' first New Year's bowl since the 1991 Gator Bowl against Michigan.

Despite his 44–29 record, five straight winning seasons, and guiding the team to its first 10 win season in over 30 years, Cutcliffe was fired by Ole Miss's Athletic Director Pete Boone in December 2004 after the team posted a disappointing 4–7 record and three consecutive losses to LSU.

Ed Orgeron

Ed Orgeron, regarded as one of college football's premier defensive line coaches and recruiters, was named the 35th head football coach in the history of the University of Mississippi on December 16, 2004.[20] Orgeron, who took control of the Ole Miss program after serving the previous seven seasons as defensive line coach at the University of Southern California, and played a role in Pete Carroll's Trojan championship in 2004. He also served as USC's recruiting coordinator from 2001 to 2004 and was named assistant head coach in 2003. Orgeron was named the 2004 National Recruiter of the Year by The Sporting News and Rivals.com.

Orgeron's talent as a recruiter created a buzz among Rebel fans and drew national attention when Ole Miss' 2006 signing class ranked as high as fifteenth in the rankings. His 2007 recruiting class was also listed among the best in college football (#31 according to scout.com). However, his recruiting success did not translate to on the field performance. In 2007, Ole Miss was last in the SEC in scoring offense, turnover margin, rushing offense, rushing defense, punt returns, opponent first downs, red-zone offense, opponent third-down conversions, field goal percentage, time of possession and kickoff coverage.

The 2007 season was a historic one for Ole Miss. The Rebels went winless in the SEC for the first time since 1982 – 25 years. The Rebels, under Orgeron, ended the season at 3–9 (0–8 in SEC play).

The 2007 season culminated with the firing of Orgeron on November 24, 2007. Three days later, Houston Nutt was hired as the next head football coach.

Houston Nutt

On November 27, 2007, Houston Nutt was hired as the new head football coach of the Ole Miss Rebels.[21] Nutt's hiring made him the 36th head football coach at Ole Miss.

The next day, November 28, 2007, just five weeks after having defeated Ole Miss as the head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks, Nutt was officially introduced as the new Ole Miss head football coach at a press conference at the Gertrude Castellow Ford Center for Performing Arts on the Ole Miss campus.[22] During the press conference, Nutt stated, "One thing I love about Ole Miss is the tradition," naming past players such as Archie Manning, Jake Gibbs, Frank "Bruiser" Kinard, Deuce McAllister and Eli Manning. "It's about tradition. That's the reason I am here. I feel like this place can be successful. I feel like this place can win. I can't wait to tell our players this afternoon. That's how you spell fun. The way you spell fun is “W-I-N.” That's what it is all about."[23]

During Nutt's first season, he guided the Ole Miss Rebels to a 9–4 record with marquee victories over the eventual BCS National Champion Florida Gators squad, the reigning BCS National Champion LSU Tigers, and the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the 2009 Cotton Bowl Classic. At the end of this season, the Rebels were ranked in the Top-15 in both major polls.

It was announced on April 16, 2009 that Nutt and his wife Diana had committed to give a gift of $100,000 dollars to Ole Miss. Half of the contribution will create scholarships for student-athletes. The other half of the gift will be used toward the university’s Indoor Practice Facility, which opened in 2004 and cost $17 million to build.[24]

On November 7, 2011 it was announced that Coach Nutt would resign from the position of head coach at Ole Miss. His resignation became official once the season came to a close as he finished his final 3 games at the university.[25]

Hugh Freeze

On December 5, 2011, Hugh Freeze was announced as the new head coach of the Ole Miss Rebels football team. Freeze was previously the head coach at Arkansas State and had previously been the tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator from 2005-2007. In his first year he went 7-6 and finished the regular season with a win over rival Mississippi State. The Rebels won their bowl game against Pitt in the BBVA Compass Bowl.

Current coaching Staff

Name Position
Hugh Freeze Head Coach of Football
Dan Werner Co-Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
Grant Heard Wide Receivers
Maurice Harris Recruiting/Tight Ends
Matt Luke Co-Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
Derrick Nix Running Backs
Paul Jackson Strength and Conditioning
Dave Wommack Defensive Coordinator/Safeties
Jason Jones Co-Defensive Coordinator/Cornerbacks
Chris Kiffin Defensive Line
Tom Allen Linebackers

Recent history

2007 season

The 2007 season was a historic one for Ole Miss. The Rebels went winless in the SEC for the first time since 1982 – 25 years. The Rebels, under head coach Ed Orgeron, ended the season at 3–9 (0–8 in SEC play).

Orgeron's talent as a recruiter created a buzz among Rebel fans and drew national attention when Ole Miss' 2006 signing class ranked as high as fifteenth in the rankings. His 2007 recruiting class was also listed among the best in college football (#31 according to scout.com). However, his recruiting success did not translate to on the field performance. In 2007, Ole Miss was last in the SEC in scoring offense, turnover margin, rushing offense, rushing defense, punt returns, opponent first downs, red-zone offense, opponent third-down conversions, field goal percentage, time of possession and kickoff coverage.

The 2007 season culminated with defeats to LSU (27-41) and Mississippi State (14-17) which resulted in the firing of Orgeron the following day. Three days later, Houston Nutt was hired as the next head football coach.

2008 season

The biggest change for the Rebels going into the 2008 football season was the head coach. Houston Nutt began his first season as head coach of the Rebels, replacing Ed Ogeron, who was fired after his 2007 team failed to win an SEC game.

With a new head coach also came new assistants, including Tight ends/special teams coach James Shibest, Running game coordinator Mike Markuson, Defensive line coach Tracy Rocker, Recruiting coordinator and road in No. 4 (at the time) Florida and No. 18 (at the time) LSU and ended the regular season on a five-game win streak. The 20th ranked Rebels then beat the 8th ranked Texas Tech Red Raiders in the Cotton Bowl Classic.

2009 season

The 2009 season was one of ups and downs for the Rebels, as the team entered the year with some of the highest expectations of any Ole Miss team in almost half a century. Ultimately, the Rebels failed to meet those lofty expectations. The Rebels finished with an 8–4 (4-4 SEC) record and an invitation to the Cotton Bowl Classic, a respectable showing but far short of the results that the team, its fans and the national media had anticipated before the season.

The Rebels began the 2009 season ranked no. 8 by the Associated Press Poll and no. 10 by the USA Today Coaches Poll. Ole Miss started the season with wins over Memphis and Southeastern Louisiana, and after some key early season losses by other top-10 schools, the AP poll put the Rebels at no. 4 in week 3—the team's highest ranking since 1970.

On a Thursday night, September 24, the Rebels were defeated by an un-ranked University of South Carolina Gamecock squad in Columbia, SC by a score of 16–10, before a nationally televised ESPN audience. [26] The loss snapped an 8-game winning streak for the Rebels, dating back to late in the 2008 season, and sent them tumbling to #21 in the AP Poll. Ole Miss would rise no further than 20th in the poll for the remainder of the 2009 campaign.

The Rebels bounced back to beat Vanderbilt on the road, but then fell to #3 Alabama at home the next week. Ole Miss recovered to win consecutive home games against UAB and Arkansas in impressive fashion before losing at Auburn in another uneven performance, establishing what would become a signature pattern for the Rebels in 2009: strong play at home but weak efforts on the road.

Following the Auburn loss, the Rebels won three straight home games, including quality wins over Tennessee and LSU. Entering the final week of the season, the team was back in the rankings (no. 20) and seemed set for another winning record in the SEC and a trip to the Capital One Bowl, the SEC's highest-paying bowl destination outside of the BCS. Those plans were dashed, however, when Rebels lost to Mississippi State in Starkville, 41–27, finishing the regular season at 8–4 overall and 4–4 in conference play.

One week later Ole Miss accepted an invitation to play in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, marking the team's second-consecutive trip to Dallas and the program's first back-to-back January bowl births in 40 years. Ole Miss defeated Oklahoma State 21–7.

2010-2011 seasons

The 2010 team went 4-7 with one SEC win over Kentucky. The highlights were running back Brandon Bolden and All-SEC defensive lineman Jerrell Powe.

2011 was even worse with Ole Miss going 2-10 and winless in the SEC. Offensive tackle Bobby Massie was one of the few bright spots. Coach Houston Nutt was fired on November 7, 2011 but finished out the season.

Uniforms

The Ole Miss Rebels currently have four combinations of uniforms that they are known to sport. All combinations involve gray pants with stripes of red and blue. The Rebels use blue jerseys for their primary home uniforms and red jerseys as alternates; both have bold white numbers and white shoulder stripes. White jerseys with red numbers and stripes are used on the road.

On October 30, 2010, the Rebels wore all-gray uniforms for the first time in their annual bout with the #1 Auburn Tigers. The gray jerseys are adorned with blue and red shoulder stripes and blue numbers outlined in red. Although worn at home, Mississippi's all-gray uniforms are considered white jerseys (rather than colored); consequently, visiting opponents will wear their home, colored jerseys while the Rebels wear all-gray. The Rebels broke out the all-gray combination again for their 2012 game at Alabama.

Announced on April 13, 2013 were new uniforms sporting blue pants with "REBELS" in white print on the sidings to go along with white a silver pants. White away jerseys were also added with the stripes and numbers colored in blue rather than the usual red. One notable combination is blue on blue.

Rivalries

Mississippi State

Main article: Egg Bowl

The Battle for the Golden Egg (nicknamed the Egg Bowl) is an annual college football game between the Ole Miss Rebels and in-state fellow SEC team Mississippi State University (MSU) Bulldogs. While the 2 teams have played each other since 1901, with 2003 being the year in which the 2 teams had played each other 100 times and now having played each other a total of 108 times, the first game officially known as "The Battle of the Golden Egg" was in 1927.[27] While it is called a "Bowl", the game is not a postseason bowl game, but rather a regular season Southeastern Conference (SEC) game. Ole Miss leads the series with 61 wins to MSU's 42 wins. There have been 6 ties.

LSU

Main article: Magnolia Bowl

Ole Miss first played LSU on December 3, 1894 winning 26–6 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Throughout the fifties and sixties, games between the two schools featured highly ranked squads on both sides and seemingly every contest had conference, and at times national title implications - a tradition recently renewed, as the 2003 matchup decided the SEC Western Division Champion, and helped propel LSU to a national championship. A trophy has now been named for the LSU-Ole Miss rivalry known as the "Magnolia Bowl" which began in 2008 with a 31–13 victory by the Ole Miss Rebels. The 2009 game was also won by Ole Miss 25–23.[28] The 2010 edition was another classic, typical of the games between these two, with LSU scoring with under a minute left to prevail 43–36. LSU leads the overall series over Ole Miss 59–39–4.

The 100th meeting of the series in 2011 was forgettable for the Rebels in every regard. LSU humiliated the Rebels 52-3 at Oxford, and could have made the score even more lopsided if not for Tigers coach Les Miles ordering third string quarterback Zack Mettenberger to take a knee four times after LSU gained a first-and-goal at the Ole Miss 1-yard line with five minutes to play.

Arkansas

Ole Miss first played Arkansas in 1908, with Arkansas winning that game 33–0. They would play each other many times, though sporadically, over the next several decades, including two meetings in the Sugar Bowl in 1963 and 1970; Ole Miss won both Sugar Bowl matchups.

In the 1980s Arkansas dominated the Rebels; however, the 1990 edition produced one the greatest moments in Ole Miss football history. Having the ball inside the Ole Miss 20 and trailing by 4 with seconds remaining, Arkansas needed a score. The Hogs chose to run the option play. The ball was pitched to Ron Dickerson who seemed to have a clean shot at the endzone. At the 2, Safety and Mullins award winner Chris Mitchell produced what is simply known in Oxford as "the hit". Dickerson fell limp at the one, and time expired, preserving the Ole Miss victory.

In 1991, Arkansas joined the Southeastern Conference, and was placed in the same division as Ole Miss when the conference split into two divisions in 1992. Ole Miss won the first conference contest in Little Rock by a score of 17–3.

The two teams have played each other annually since 1981 yet the intensity of the rivalry pretty much died from the early 1970s until 2007.

The 2001 Ole Miss-Arkansas game set a NCAA record for most overtime periods played (7). It has since been tied, but never broken. Arkansas won that game 58–56 off a 2-point Rebel conversion that got stopped just short of the goal-line.

The end of 2007 saw the rivalry return to a heated one when after Houston Nutt resigned as the head coach for Arkansas, only to be hired as Ole Miss' head coach a week later.

2008 saw the first game between Ole Miss and Arkansas in which Nutt returned to Arkansas in his first game against his former team. Emotions were high, and pads popped throughout the game. Ole Miss kicked a field goal with less than 3 minutes remaining to go up 23-14, seemingly icing the victory. Not to be outdone, Arkansas took one minute to march down the field, and scored with a minute left. After a replay review, Arkansas was awarded with the recovery of an onside kick. Unfortunately for the Hogs, a controversial offensive interference was called, pushing them back, and ultimately turned the ball over on downs. Ole Miss and Nutt won 23-21.

The following season, 2009, Arkansas went to Oxford to take on Ole Miss. Ole Miss again won, 30–17, this time at the hands of an all-world performance by Dexter McCluster, who had over 200 all purpose yards, including a 60 yd touchdown bolt in the 3rd that broke the game open.

In 2010, Arkansas was able to finally claim a win over their former head coach Houston Nutt with a 38–24 decision in Fayetteville that was dominated by sloppy play and sloppier weather. 2011 proved to be another thriller with the Hogs escaping Oxford with a 29-24 victory.

Alabama

The Alabama–Ole Miss football rivalry is an American college football rivalry between the Alabama Crimson Tide football team of the University of Alabama and Ole Miss Rebels football team of the University of Mississippi. Both universities are founding members of the Southeastern Conference (SEC), and both have competed in the SEC Western Division since the 1992 season. It has been one of the conference's most lopsided rivalries, with Alabama officially leading the series 46–9–2 (50–8–2 without NCAA vacations and forfeits).

Vanderbilt

Main article: Ole Miss-Vanderbilt football rivalry

Vanderbilt and Ole Miss have played annually since 1942. When the SEC split into divisions in 1992, the Commodores and Rebels were selected as permanent cross-division rivals. Though Vanderbilt won the first 18 games in the rivalry, Ole Miss leads the all time series 48-37-2.

Memphis

The Ole Miss-Memphis football rivalry has also been a far less competitive rivalry series. The Rebels hold a 47-10-2 advantage over the Tigers in the series. The two schools have met 59 times between 1921 and 2009, and will resume the series in 2014 and run through 2017, with Ole Miss playing at home in 2014 and 2016 and Memphis playing at home the other two years.

Team of the Century

In 1992, to commemorate the 100th year of Ole Miss football, the Ole Miss Athletic Department put together a so-called "Team of the Century," recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of 27 different players. (The term "team" is used loosely, as 12 and 13 players were chosen to represent offense and defense, respectively, rather than 11, which would reflect the number of players on the field.)

The head coach for the Team of the Century was John Vaught, who coached Ole Miss from 1947–70 and again in 1973.

Offense

Position Player Years Hometown
QB Archie Manning 1968-70 Drew, MS
RB Charlie Conerly 1942, 46-47 Clarksdale, MS
RB John "Kayo" Dottley 1947-50 McGehee, AR
RB Charlie Flowers 1957-59 Marianna, AR
E Floyd Franks 1968-70 Biloxi, MS
E Barney Poole 1942, 47-48 Gloster, MS
C Dawson Pruett 1987-90 Mobile, AL
OL Jim Dunaway 1960-62 Columbia, MS
OL Gene Hickerson 1955-57 Atwood, TN
OL Stan Hindman 1963-65 Newton, MS
OL Everett Lindsay 1989-92 Raleigh, NC
OL Marvin Terrell 1957-59 Indianola, MS

Defense

Position Player Years Hometown
DL Frank "Bruiser" Kinard 1935-37 Jackson, MS
DL Kelvin Pritchett 1988-90 Atlanta, GA
DL Ben Williams 1972-75 Yazoo City, MS
LB Tony Bennett 1986-89 Alligator, MS
LB Kenny Dill 1961-63 West Point, MS
LB Larry Grantham 1957-59 Crystal Springs, MS
LB Patrick Willis 2003-07 Bruceton, TN
LB Freddie Joe Nunn 1981-84 Noxubee Co., MS
DB Billy Brewer 1957-59 Columbus, MS
DB Glenn Cannon 1967-69 Gulfport, MS
DB Chris Mitchell 1987-90 Town Creek, AL
DB Jimmy Patton 1952-54 Greenville, MS
DB Todd Sandroni 1976-79 Ripley, MS

Special Teams

Position Player Years Hometown
PK Robert Khayat 1957-59 Moss Point, MS
P Jim Miller 1976-79 Ripley, MS

[29]

Bowl history


Season Bowl Game Result Opponent Score Bowl Record
1935 Orange Bowl L Catholic University 19-20 0-1
1948[Univ of Miss Athletics - Ole Miss Football 1] Delta Bowl W TCU 13-9 1-1
1952 Sugar Bowl L Georgia Tech 7-24 1-2
1954 Sugar Bowl L Navy 0-21 1-3
1955 Cotton Bowl W TCU 14-13 2-3
1957 Sugar Bowl W Texas 39-7 3-3
1958 Gator Bowl W Florida 7-3 4-3
1959 Sugar Bowl W LSU 21-0 5-3
1960 Sugar Bowl W Rice 14-6 6-3
1961 Cotton Bowl L Texas 7-12 6-4
1962 Sugar Bowl W Arkansas 17-13 7-4
1963 Sugar Bowl L Alabama 7-12 7-5
1964 Bluebonnet Bowl L Tulsa 7-14 7-6
1965 Liberty Bowl W Auburn 13-7 8-6
1966 Bluebonnet Bowl L Texas 0-19 8-7
1967 Sun Bowl L UTEP 7-14 8-8
1968 Liberty Bowl W Virginia Tech 34-17 9-8
1969 Sugar Bowl W Arkansas 27-22 10-8
1970 Gator Bowl L Auburn 28-35 10-9
1971 Peach Bowl W Georgia Tech 41-18 11-9
1983 Independence Bowl L Air Force 3-9 11-10
1986 Independence Bowl W Texas Tech 20-17 12-10
1989 Liberty Bowl W Air Force 42-29 13-10
1990 Gator Bowl L Michigan 3-35 13-11
1992 Liberty Bowl W Air Force 13-0 14-11
1997 Motor City Bowl W Marshall 34-31 15-11
1998 Independence Bowl W Texas Tech 35-18 16-11
1999 Independence Bowl W Oklahoma 27-25 17-11
2000 Music City Bowl L West Virginia 38-49 17-12
2002 Independence Bowl W Nebraska 27-23 18-12
2003 Cotton Bowl W Oklahoma State 31-28 19-12
2008 Cotton Bowl W Texas Tech 47-34 20-12
2009 Cotton Bowl W Oklahoma State 21-7 21-12
2012 BBVA Compass Bowl W Pittsburgh 38-17 22-12

Hall of Famers

Ole Miss has ten former players and coaches in the College Football Hall of Fame.

Ole Miss has two former players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Ole Miss has three former players in the Helms Athletic Foundation Hall of Fame.

  • 1955 Frank M. "Bruiser" Kinard
  • 1959 Charles "Charlie" Conerly
  • 1966 Barney Poole

Ole Miss has one former player in the National Quarterback Club Hall of Fame.

  • 2004 Archie Manning

Active in the NFL

First round draft picks

Ole Miss has had 19 players selected in the first round of professional football drafts.

National Football League

*see Manning-Rivers trade
**2009 marks the first time in school history Ole Miss has had two players taken in the first round of the same NFL draft.

American Football League

Songs and cheers

Songs

Official

The school's fight song is Forward Rebels, also known as Rebel March.[30]

Main article: Forward Rebels

Another official song is called Alma Mater.[30] The song's lyrics are as follows:[30]

Way down south in Mississippi,
There's a spot that ever calls,
Where amongst the hills enfolded,
Stand old Alma Mater's Halls.

Where the trees lift high their branches,
To the whispering Southern breeze,
There Ole Miss is calling, calling,
To our hearts fond memories.

Unofficial

A modification of the Elvis Presley song An American Trilogy, now known as From Dixie with Love or Slow Dixie, was also played during football games, both home and away. The first time the song was played was during the half-time show performance by the "Pride of the South" band at LSU in 1984. It was played at every game continually until 2009. The traditional song "Dixie" </articles/Dixie_%28song%29> is another school song.

Another unofficial song is I Saw the Light.[30]

Cheers

The school cheer is entitled Hotty Toddy:[31]

Are you ready?
Hell yes! Damn Right!
Hotty Toddy, Gosh almighty
Who the hell are we, Hey!
Flim Flam, Bim Bam
Ole Miss By Damn!

Tailgating

Main article: The Grove (Ole Miss)

Confederate symbols


Since 1983, the administration has distanced itself from Confederate symbols, including barring faculty from displaying any Confederate imagery in their offices. In 1997, the university student senate passed a resolution requesting fans not to display the Confederate battle flag at university athletic events. Using this action as encouragement, the university then banned sticks under the guise of fan safety, to discourage fans from displaying the Confederate flag at football games and other athletic events. This controversy began when head coach Tommy Tuberville complained that the battle flag had hampered his attempts to recruit a few top-notch black athletes. Coaches prior to Tuberville also expressed concerns about the difficulty of recruiting top-notch black athletes.

In 1972, Ole Miss' first black football player, Ben Williams, was signed and began playing. The defensive tackle, recruited out of a small school in the Delta region of Mississippi, eventually claimed All-SEC honors and had a long and successful NFL career following his stint at Ole Miss.

In 2003, the school's mascot, Colonel Reb, was discontinued from official participation in athletic events by the school.[32] The school solicited ideas to replace Colonel Reb, but after an exceedingly lackluster response, decided to go without a mascot. An unofficial Colonel Reb mascot still makes appearances in The Grove, Ole Miss' tailgating area, before home games. In 2010, the university began its plan to phase out the use of Colonel Reb on official merchandise such as hats and shirts. The university has reclassified the Colonel Reb trademark as a historical mark of the university.[33] On October 14, 2010, it was announced that students, alumni and season ticket holders at the university had picked Rebel Black Bear as their new mascot.[34][35] The announcement was the result of a campuswide vote in February and months of polling. The bear beat out two other finalists, the Rebel Land Shark and something called the "Hotty Toddy," an attempt to personify the school cheer.

"Chucky" Mullins

October 28, 1989, Roy Lee "Chucky" Mullins (July 8, 1969 in Russellville, Alabama – May 6, 1991 in Memphis, Tennessee) was an American football player at Ole Miss (University of Mississippi) best known for the devastating football injury that left him a quadriplegic. Mullins was injured on October 28, 1989, during the Ole Miss Rebels' Homecoming game against the Vanderbilt Commodores in Oxford. As Mullins plunged head-first into a tackle of Vandy fullback Brad Gaines after a short pass reception, the impact shattered four vertebrae in his cervical spine, immediately paralyzing him.

After being airlifted to Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Mullins underwent a tracheotomy and five-hour bone graft operation to fuse the vertebrae. Mullins never regained sensation below his neck; shortly before his death, however, he was able to move a hand across his body and touch his chest.

As soon as the injury occurred, Mullins became the recipient of a huge outpouring of community support. Ole Miss fans, college football fans in the South and people from all over the nation immediately began to donate money towards Mullin's growing medical expenses. President George H.W. Bush visited Mullins in his hospital room and encouraged him while on a visit to Memphis. Soon, Ole Miss established the "Chucky Mullins Trust Fund" to properly manage the donations. The city of Oxford donated land for a specially-designed handicap accessible house for Mullins. Donations to the trust fund eventually exceeded $1 million.

Mullins returned to Ole Miss on June 20, 1990 to complete his undergraduate studies.

Death

Less than a year after returning to school, Mullins was stricken by a pulmonary embolism, caused by blood clots formed by inactivity and poor circulation. He died in the hospital on May 6, 1991 and was buried outside his home town of Russellville, Alabama.

Memorials

During Mullins' time in the hospital, he and Gaines, who did not know each other before the accident, became close friends. Every year since Mullins' death, Gaines, alone, visits and maintains his friend's gravesite three times a year: May 6 (the anniversary of Mullins' death), October 28 (the anniversary of the injury) and December 25 (Christmas Day). Brad Gaines continues this personal tradition to this day.

Each spring, during the annual Grove Bowl (a game at the end of spring practices pitting Ole Miss players against each other), the senior defensive player who most embodies Chucky Mullins' spirit and courage receives the "Chucky Mullins Memorial Courage Award". With the award, the player receives the right to wear jersey number 38, the same number Chucky wore on his jersey. Chucky's number 38 was retired on September 3, 2006 in a pregame ceremony before the Rebels' victory over Memphis. Along with Archie Manning's number 18, Chucky Mullin's number 38 was only the second number to be retired. The winner of the "Chucky Mullins Memorial Courage Award" wore a patch in honor of this award. In 2011 the number 38 was scheduled to come out of retirement with award winner D.T. Shackelford wearing it. Leading up to the 2011 season, Shackelford sustained a season ending knee injury. The 2012 award winner, Jason Jones, is scheduled to officially unretire the number 38 when Ole Miss plays The University of Central Arkansas on September 1, 2012.

Winners of the Chucky Mullins Courage Award

  • 1990 - Chris Mitchell
  • 1991 - Jeff Carter
  • 1992 - Trea Southerland
  • 1993 - Johnny Dixon
  • 1994 - Alundice Brice
  • 1995 - Michael Lowery
  • 1996 - Derek Jones
  • 1997 - Nate Wayne
  • 1998 - Gary Thigpen
  • 1999 - Ronnie Heard
  • 2000 - Anthony Magee
  • 2001 - Kevin Thomas
  • 2002 - Lanier Goethie
  • 2003 - Jamil Northcutt
  • 2004 - Eric Oliver
  • 2005 - Kelvin Robinson
  • 2006 - Patrick Willis
  • 2007 - Jeremy Garrett
  • 2008 - Jamarca Sanford
  • 2009 - Marcus Tillman
  • 2010 - Kentrell Lockett
  • 2011 - D. T. Shackleford
  • 2012 - Jason Jones

Retired numbers

Future non-conference opponents

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
vs Southeast Missouri vs Boise State* vs Fresno State at UAB vs South Alabama at Georgia Tech TBA Tulane
vs Texas vs UL–Lafayette vs New Mexico State vs Georgia Tech vs Tulane
vs Idaho vs Presbyterian at Memphis vs Tennessee-Martin vs Wofford
vs Troy vs Memphis vs Memphis at Memphis

[36]

The 2014 game against Boise State will be played in Atlanta, Georgia.

See Also

  • Ole Miss Football All-Time Record

References

External links

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