Ole Miss football has announced a home-and-home series scheduled with Charlotte for 2026 and 2027. The Rebels will first travel to North Carolina, with the 49ers making the trip to Oxford the next year.
This unique non-conference matchup will be the first time that the two teams meet on the football field, and will be the 46th matchup between Ole Miss and a Conference USA opponent. The Rebels are currently 36-9 against C-USA members, and will host Middle Tennessee in 2024.
After disbanding in 1948, Charlotte voted to bring back a football team in 2008 and played its first game back in 2013. An NCAA football team is required to play at least two years on the FCS level before moving up, so Charlotte did not play its first FBS game until 2015.
Current head coach Will Healy is considered one of the rising coaching talents in the nation and brought Charlotte to a bowl game in his first season at the helm last year with a 7-6 record. At only 35 years old, he has changed the culture of the program and went viral for his postgame celebration in ‘Club Lit’ after the 49ers became bowl eligible for the first time.
Head Coach Will Healy and @CharlotteFTBL celebrating bowl eligibility for the first time. #ClubLit @NCGridiron #NCCFB pic.twitter.com/lNhtDyTtDj— Brian Barnes (@NCGridironNews) November 24, 2019
Though Healy will surely have moved on to bigger and better things by the time Ole Miss heads to North Carolina in 2026, it is a rising program that is trending in the right direction, undergoing a transition to relevance.
Beyond the potential for a quality out-of-conference road game, Athletic Director Keith Carter is working to schedule unique and interesting matchups that are not only entertaining, but bring the Rebels exposure beyond a typical market. (Psssttt recruiting!!)
In the next 10 years, Ole Miss will play Tulane, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Southern California, Charlotte and Oregon State. These are all better than playing a yawn-inducing FCS program, as is typical of a certain school across the Alabama state border from a town that begins with a T.
Also, and perhaps most importantly for the ‘Road Rebs,’ Charlotte is a fun city.
Craft beer, culture, cuisine and history just a puddle jumper flight away. In fact, there is a direct flight into one of the nation’s biggest airports from pretty much anywhere in the United States, including Jackson. Sounds like a win, win.