As you may have heard, Ole Miss recently defeated Mississippi State to run their SEC winning streak to three games, which hasn’t happened since Hugh Freeze was leading his team to a 6-0 start and still finding the time to be up in the mentions of every person who dared to type his name into Twitter dot com. If you’re just now hearing about the win and streak, you missed out on a frustrating yet ultimately rewarding win that didn’t take four years off your life. Congrats!
While a three-game SEC winning streak doesn’t seem like much, you should know that in the 87 seasons Ole Miss has played football in the SEC (including this one), they’ve put together a streak like this or better just 29 times, which is good for 33 percent of all SEC seasons. In fact, since the SEC expanded to 12 teams in 1992 (28 years ago), it has only happened six times. Six!
[brief pause for a 1,000-yard stare and questioning of previous life decisions]
To help wrap your head around the rarity of extended SEC game winning streaks, let’s explore every instance of an SEC winning streak of three games or more. As a warning, prepare yourself for finding out Houston Nutt is responsible for 33 percent of these streaks since 1992.
Six straight SEC wins
- 2003 (10-3, 7-1)
- 1965 (7-4; 5-3)
- 1962 (10-0, 6-0)
Love to do something great twice in four seasons and then wait 38 years before doing it again. Very healthy.
Because Ole Miss can’t be normal, they achieved something that hasn’t been done in four decades, yet prior to doing so, they managed to also lose to Memphis and Texas Tech.
We shall not discuss what happened in 2003 during the seventh conference game because firing off a mostly incoherent 750-word paragraph with little to no punctuation about a game that happened 17 years ago is probably not an ideal use of time.
Speaking of more not normal, the 1965 team started out 0-3 in SEC play. They won the last five conference games, with a loss to Houston thrown in the middle because why not, and then closed out the season with a Liberty Bowl win over Auburn to get to six straight.
Five straight SEC wins
- 1963 (7-1-2, 5-0-1)
- 1957 (9-1-1, 5-0-1)
- 1954 (9-2, 5-0)
I thought the 1999 season-opening game against Memphis, which ended with a 3-0 Ole Miss win, was the worst game in the history of the series, but, friends, I STAND CORRECTED. In 1963, the two teams opened the season in Memphis with a 0-0 tie.
After less than 20 seconds of searching, I can find no video of this war crime, but I did find video of the same 1963 Memphis team beating South Carolina 9-0. So you can watch these highlights and ignore the parts where Memphis scored to get a better idea of what September 21, 1963 was like for the Ole Miss fans who attended a 0-0 game.
Four straight SEC wins
- 2014 (9-4, 5-3)
- 2008 (9-4, 5-3)
- 1990 (9-3, 5-2)
- 1983 (7-5, 4-2)
- 1975 (6-5, 5-1)
- 1970 (7-4, 4-2)
- 1969 (8-3, 4-2)
- 1966 (8-3, 5-2)
- 1955 (10-1, 5-1)
- 1947 (9-2, 6-1)
As with the seventh conference game in 2003, let us not speak of the fifth conference game in 2014, where our massage-parlor loving former head coach tried to win 7-3 and failed. I do not have energy reserves to address that right now, but know that upon completion of that disaster, I walked to the gas station a few blocks from my house, purchased six alcohols, and walked around my neighborhood while consuming at ass-late o’clock at night.
While there are a number of twists in any of those seasons mentioned above, one of the best is in 1983, which was Billy Brewer’s first year. Dog’s team started out 1-5 (0-2 in the SEC), including a 27-7 loss to Southern Miss in Oxford, before winning five straight to end the year (4-0 in the SEC) and carrying all of that momentum to a 9-3 loss to Air Force in the Independence Bowl.
Three straight SEC wins
- 2020 (???)
- 2009 (9-4, 4-4)
- 2001 (7-4, 4-4)
- 1986 (8-3-1, 4-2)
- 1971 (10-2, 4-2)
- 1961 (9-2, 5-1)
- 1960 (10-0-1, 5-0-1)
- 1959 (10-1, 5-1)
- 1953 (7-2-1, 4-1-1)
- 1952 (8-1-2, 4-0-2)
- 1948 (8-1, 6-1)
- 1940 (9-2, 3-1)
With the 2001 season, we’ve got another 2003 and 2014 situation at hand. While I will never forgive David Cutcliffe for that debacle, I don’t need to compose a manifesto that ends up in a government file. FLYING BENEATH THE RADAR, FRIENDS.
One final very normal Ole Miss moment occurred during the 1948 season when the team won three straight SEC games twice. They opened the season with wins over Florida, Kentucky, and Vanderbilt before Tulane (an SEC member until 1966) beat them in Week Four.
The following week they trashed Boston College in Memphis (sure, why not), and then they went on to beat LSU, Tennessee, and Mississippi State, with a dunking on Chattanooga (go Mocs) mixed in. As I said, totally normal and it’s happening more and more.
Let us hope the 2020 version of Ole Miss climbs to a higher win streak category, but if not, we should appreciate that they’ve been able to do something only 28 other Ole Miss teams have done, and none of those teams did it with a conference-only schedule during a pandemic that could take away multiple players the week of a game.