Ole Miss athletics enters the 2020/21 calendar year with 16 men’s and women’s NCAA-sanctioned athletic teams that compete on the Division I level in the Southeastern Conference. If there are college sports, that is. (Pssst... wear a mask!!)
The first group to play for the University of Mississippi was the football team, which began play 24 years after the first college football game between Princeton and Rutgers, in 1893.
Since then, the Rebels have added baseball, softball, women’s soccer, rifle and volleyball, and men’s and women’s golf, tennis, cross country, track and field and basketball.
As sports have been added, and football remains the king of the south, there has been a deep-rooted debate as to which school is regarded as Ole Miss’ biggest rival. Most of the nation would assume it is Mississippi State, based on the recent fake pee pee antics and off-field extracurriculars (*cough cough Leo Lewis*). However, the Rebel faithful know that the yearly tussles with Louisiana State can hold equal weight, and that other SEC foes make their case in sports beyond the gridiron.
We polled some of the Red Cup community about two of the primary sports on campus and who they believe to be the ultimate foes. Here is what we found:
When you look at the all-time records between Ole Miss basketball and the four listed schools, the numbers would tend to agree with the results. Since 1949-50 where both schools were classified as major schools, the Rebels have played 145 times against the Bulldogs with a 66-79 record, 143 times against the Tigers with a 60-83 record, 109 times against the Wildcats with a 11-98 record (ouch), and 107 times against the Commodores with a 41-66 record. The results have certainly been closer to even with many tight matchups in the past few years, and Auburn not receiving enough votes to qualify comes as a surprise to us. Should the Tigers from the plains have made the list? What about the Tide?
On the football field, there were two clear-cut answers that received 100% of the vote.
Against the Magnolia Bowl opponents, the Rebels trail 41-63-4 to the Tigers. However, against the in-state rival Bulldogs, the series swings the other way. Ole Miss and Starkville Mayor Arthur James Brown own the state and lead the all-time record 62–46–6. Now, with Mike Leach and Lane Kiffin at the helm, it will be more weird than ever.
Is it clear that Mississippi State is Ole Miss’ biggest rival? What about in baseball?
Let us know what you think!