This morning in the Cup's Twitter mentions, we received this interesting question:
As if you haven't heard us mention this enough, The Ole Miss Rebels are again ranked No. 10 in the Associated Press poll this week. Mississippi State is suddenly ranked as well, making a strong debut this week at No. 14 after upsetting then-No. 8 LSU in Baton Rouge this past Saturday. Now both of the Magnolia State's SEC programs are earning significant national buzz, something which is not particularly common as evidenced by the aforementioned tweet.
So what's the answer to Mr. Jernigan's question? As it turns out, my initial answer of "probably never" was wrong. It hasn't happened often, nor has it happened in recent history, but it has indeed happened, most recently in the September 29, 1958 poll. That week, Ole Miss was ranked No. 6 and Mississippi State was ranked No. 11. The following week, the Bulldogs dropped out of the rankings altogether after losing 13-8 to an unranked Tennessee Volunteers squad in Memphis.
The last time the Rebels and Bulldogs both finished a season ranked in the top-15, was just one year earlier. In the final 1957 poll, Ole Miss finished at No. 7 and Mississippi State finished at No. 14. That year, Auburn won the SEC and national titles with an undefeated 10-0 season (7-0 SEC). Ole Miss came in second in the SEC, going 9-1-1 overall and 5-0-1 in conference. Ole Miss didn't play Auburn that season (they didn't really play very much at all until the 1990's), lost to Arkansas, and tied Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl. State finished that season as the SEC's third best team, going 6-2-1 overall and 4-2-1 against conference competition.
So there's the answer to your question, Dustin. There have been Associated Press polls that have ranked both Ole Miss and Mississippi State in the top-15, but this week's poll is the first in almost 56 years to do so.