Thursday, October 8, 2009

Rebels and Tide Clash in Oxford

The tension between Ole Miss and Alabama fans is rising and I'm sure will reach a fevered pitch some time after last call on the Square tomorrow night and before kick-off Saturday at 2:30.

While the Tide hold a dominating record in the series, the Rebels have made most of the recent games very close. Many Ole Miss fans believe there is some sort of curse related to this rivalry since Ole Miss doesn't have nearly as bad a record against any other SEC foe. Most Alabama fans believe that the Rebel program is just inferior to their almighty program and always will be. So where's the truth? As usual, it lies somewhere in the middle.

You see, Alabama has beaten Ole Miss more than 79% of the time. But, look at something in the official record that has eluded me until yesterday. Ole Miss only played Alabama 3 times between 1934 and 1965. That's 3 times in the most successful 31 years of Ole Miss football history. Consider that Ole Miss had a 21 game undefeated streak and a 15 game winning streak during that time frame and had 6 teams with one loss. The Rebels also won 2 national championships and 6 SEC championships during that span. Having suffered through many a Rebel loss to the Tide, I am not naive enough to claim Ole Miss would have a better record against Alabama had they played during the "Glory Years." But, you do have to wonder...

On to Saturday. Coach Nutt and company must have something up their sleeves since he closed practice this week to everyone. With the tragic death of Tony Fein and the huge step Ole Miss can take in its quest for a trip to Atlanta, I expect the Rebels to come out swinging and give Alabama the game of its life. Will it be enough? Well, the defense will have to rattle McElroy and Snead will have to be steady and play nearly flawless ball for the Rebels to win.

I believe this game will turn out to be a classic match-up - regardless of the outcome. But my prediction is that the Rebels trip up the Tide and continue on their march to the SEC Championship game.


Ole Miss 27
Alabama 20


  1. "Ole Miss only played Alabama 3 times between 1934 and 1965. That's 3 times in the most successful 31 years of Ole Miss football history."

    Maybe that's WHY they were so successful during that span... They hardly ever played Alabama.

  2. Yeah, I'm sure that's it, Carter...

  3. Jet, I was hoping to find a little more Tiiiide optimism out of you on this one. Cannot say I totally disagree though. I think the matchups are fairly even across the respective rosters, but the fact that one Houston Nutt is coaching this game give me the creeps. The guy is a survivor and has a distinguished history of tricking fanbases and ADs into thinking he is a championship level coach by winning games exactly like this one. Arnold Porkzenegger knows this better than anyone.

    As a tide fan, this game is going to tell an awful lot on where we stand as a team because Ole Miss is not only talented, but they need this game to keep their season alive. Very dangerous time to be playing them.

    Big remaining questions: Do we find a more consistant running game?

    Can we make a real run for an SEC title without Donte Hightower? Will Jerrel Harris make a big enough impact when he returns?

    and finally kickoff coverage...Nothing crushes the all important momentum in a road game faster than a Sp Teams touchdown. Hopefully, it won't get us beat on Sat.

    Final Score:
    Tide: 30 Ole Miss: 27