In the mostly emotionally damaging history of the Ole Miss/Arkansas football series, the Rebels and Razorbacks have stepped into the rectangular circle 63 times, starting in 1908 when head coach Frank Kyle, like so many Ole Miss coaches after him, went to Fayetteville and got BLASTED, 33-0. Of those 63 broken-bottle-and-pool-cue fights, only 13 of them have taken place in the month of September.
The 14th September showdown is scheduled for Saturday, which will mark the first time since 1928 that Ole Miss has played Arkansas in Oxford in the month of September. It’s true!
If you recall, Ole Miss was once in the wonderful habit of playing home games of significance in Jackson or willing to be paid to play home games in Memphis. The first time Ole Miss played more than four games in Oxford was 1992 (1 9 9 2) when they played six. As a result, Ole Miss and Arkansas usually played in Jackson or Little Rock, hence part of the reason for a 90-year September in Oxford delay.
With the rarest of birds about to flutter into our world and bring us sweaty chaos instead of colder chaos, I thought it necessary to document those previous September meetings, in which Ole Miss holds a 5-7-1 record. Wait, why are we doing this?
1928 — Ole Miss 25, Arkansas 0 (Oxford)
It’s your boy, Homer Hazel, causing pre-Great Depression Hogville, then known as Hogville Hollerin’ on the Courthouse Lawn, to descend into an unfortunate scene of suspender-popping, pants-hitching, and hat-stomping in the dirt.
1961 — Ole Miss 16, Arkansas 0 (Jackson)
According to the record books, this was a night game AND a TV game, which meant OH WE FANCY. Of note, Ole Miss played 11 games that season, and Arkansas was one of five teams they held scoreless. KICK A SAD FIELD GOAL, YOU COWARDS.
Now, we fast-forward to 1981, the first year in which Ole Miss and Arkansas would play in September for 11 consecutive seasons. It was also the beginning of sustained offensive incompetence against a single team, which made me legit laugh out loud as I was going through the scores.
Watch this tale of wonder unfold.
1981 — Arkansas 27, Ole Miss 13 (Jackson)
Well, let’s see, head coach Steve Sloan, you finished the 1981 season with a 16-27-1 record in three seasons at Ole Miss, surely that’s the end.
1982 — Arkansas 14, Ole Miss 12 (Little Rock)
Nope, needed to make sure a 4-7 season confirmed what we already knew. Just a reminder, Warner Alford was the Ole Miss athletic director from 1978 to 1994. Let us tell tales of our illustrious athletic history during those 16 (SIXTEEN; OVER A DECADE AND A HALF) years.
1983 — Ole Miss 13, Arkansas 10 (Jackson)
Dog Brewer in his first year as head coach gets the win, but the 14-point barrier remains elusive. REACH FOR THE STARS, REBELS.
1984 — Ole Miss 14, Arkansas 14 (Little Rock)
Quite the on-brand move by Ole Miss. Hitting the 14-point barrier on the nose and TYING. I salute that hustle.
1985 — Arkansas 24, Ole Miss 19 (Jackson)
SCORING MACHINE FREIGHT TRAIN HERE WE GO.
1986 — Arkansas 21, Ole Miss 0 (Little Rock)
1987 — Arkansas 31, Ole Miss 10 (Jackson)
Good call. Let’s get back in the more comfortable neighborhood of scoring, but keeping the total under 14. Think of the under betters out there!
1988 — Arkansas 21, Ole Miss 13 (Little Rock)
NOW WE’RE DIALED IN.
1989 — Arkansas 24, Ole Miss 17 (Jackson)
Whoa there, buddy. Two touchdowns and a field goal? I, for one, am uncomfortable.
1990 — Ole Miss 21, Arkansas 17 (Little Rock)
The game is most prominently remembered for “The Hit” by Chris Mitchell, but I believe it should receive equal recognition for the first time in 10 years that Ole Miss broke the 20-point barrier against Arkansas. THREE TOTAL TOUCHDOWNS.
Granted, one of those three scores was a punt return, but let us not split hairs. That’s two more points that the previous high of 19 against the Razorbacks, and it only took 10 games to get out of the teens.
1991 — Ole Miss 24, Arkansas 17
SCORING RECORDS, AHOY.
When you crunch the numbers in the spreadsheets, over 11 games against Arkansas in September from 1981 to 1991, Ole Miss averaged 14.2 points per game. I reached out to the experts, and they tell me that is not a winning formula.
Does any of this have anything to do with Saturday’s game? Lol, no. ALTHOUGH, 14.2 points might be enough to get the win this week.