Ole Miss has some land mines awaiting them this season with the first coming right off the bat (make that opening kickoff) in Orlando, Florida. Looking at the season from a realistic perspective, about the only certain “W’s” are Wofford; Memphis; GA Southern; Vanderbilt; and State. Yes, State! The other six will be strongly contested. The five that we give the Rebels a clear edge is strictly due to the talent advantage which is “huge.”
We went back to the 1980 season (36 years ago) to see how the Rebs have fared against five of its western foes save A&M. The picture has not been pretty. Here’s why.
Versus LSU – Won 13 – Lost 22 – Tied 1: In this timeline, Ole Miss had only two winning streaks (86-88; 97-98). LSU won 6 straight from 1991-96.
Versus AL – Won 5 – Lost 25: The current Ole Miss winning streak (2014-15) is the longest ever. Twice since 1980 Bama has won ten straight twice!
Versus AR – Won 13 – Lost 21 – Tied 1: This series has been one of streaks. Arkansas won five straight from 1985-89 and four straight from 2004-2007. The Rebs won four in a row 90-93.
Versus AU – Won 5 – Lost 22: One has to go back to 1949/51/52 to find an Ole Miss winning streak. The Tigers won six consecutive from 93 through 98.
Versus MSU – Won 20 – Lost 16: In the Hugh Freeze era, Ole Miss owns State. Had it not been for a chip shot missed FG in 2013, the Rebs would be 4-0 instead of 3-1.
History reflects the difficulties of this season and recent history at that. Added to the above traps are FSU and Georgia, both highly successful programs. Texas A&M in College Station will be anything but a Texas two-step. And facing GA Southern the week before will be a nightmare in the daytime should the Rebs be looking past this one.
The good news is playing Vanderbilt and State in the last two league games which are clearly the easiest. Assuming the Rebs can win at home and defeat the Aggies in Texas, this season should end with at least five straight wins and possibly more. For the first time
in many, many years, Ole Miss is now the team attempting to get upset on most Saturday’s opposed to being the spoiler! Coach Freeze didn’t arrive soon enough.
Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. Currently, Steve is a highly successful leader in the real estate business who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 985-852-7745.