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Ole Miss Football History

Ole Miss Rebels Football History

1947 Southeastern Conference Champions
1954 Southeastern Conference Champions
1955 Southeastern Conference Champions
1960 Southeastern Conference Champions
1962 Southeastern Conference Champions
1963 Southeastern Conference Champions

SEC West Division Champions (0)

1893-1898 Independent
1899-1921 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Assoc.
1922-1932 Southern Conference
1933-Current Southeastern Conference

No Team: 1897, 1943

Ole Miss Fight Song

Fight Song Lyrics
Forward Rebels, march to fame, Hit that line and win this game, We know that you'll fight it through, For your colors Red and Blue -- Rah, Rah, Rah.

Rebels you're the Southland's pride, Take that ball and hit your stride, Don't stop 'till the victory's won For your Ole Miss. Fight, fight for your Ole Miss.

Red & Blue

In 1893, when Ole Miss' first football team was in training for a five–game season, Dr. A.L. Bondurant, organizer and manager–coach, later recalled that "The team had much discussion as to the colors that should be adopted, but it was finally suggested by the manager that the union of the Crimson of Harvard and the Navy Blue of Yale would be very harmonious, and that it was well to have the spirit of both of these good colleges." These were adopted as the football colors, and have since been adopted by the University as its athletic colors. The PMS numbers for the Ole Miss red and blue are as follows: Red 199, Blue 280.

Ole Miss Nickname

The University's nickname "Ole Miss" became part of University 100 years ago, in 1896, when it was selected in a contest held to identify a new student publication, the yearbook. It was suggested by the late Miss Elma Meek of Oxford. Each succeeding issue of the annual has been given this copyrighted identity.

The name gradually became synonymous with the University and is now a treasured segment of University history.

The late Frank E. Everett, Jr., B.A. '32, LLB '34, put it best when he wrote:

"There is a valid distinction between The University and Ole Miss even though the separate threads are closely interwoven."

"The University is buildings, trees and people. Ole Miss is mood, emotion and personality. One is physical, and the other is spiritual. One is tangible, and the other intangible."

"The University is respected, but Ole Miss is loved. The University gives a diploma and regretfully terminates tenure, but one never graduates from Ole Miss."



Homecoming at Ole Miss was formed as a weekend when alumni would reunite on the Oxford campus. It wasn’t until 1924 that the Homecoming weekend became centered around a Rebel football game.

November 22, 1924, is recognized as the first official Homecoming football celebration at Ole Miss. On that day, the Rebels defeated Mississippi College 10-6. Since then, the Homecoming football game and Homecoming weekend have been an annual event at Ole Miss.

Homecoming is a tradition on nearly every collegiate campus. At Ole Miss, it holds a special place in the hearts of all University alumni and current students.

In 1928, the University students felt it a privilege to invite all former graduates back to the Ole Miss grounds.

“We bid hearty welcome to the alumni on the campus today,” wrote J.P. Dale, the editor of The Mississippian. “It is always a pleasure for the student body to receive you, and to attempt to make you feel at home here as of yore. There are many ties that bind the old grad to his Alma Mater, but the greatest of all the ties, and the one lasting tie, is that feeling of love and veneration of the traditions of Ole Miss.”

Homecoming weekend at Ole Miss is always a festive one. The first Homecoming parade is believed to have taken place in 1930. That year, students held a pep rally followed by a huge bonfire where freshmen dressed in pajamas and joined the Ole Miss marching band as the procession continued on toward downtown.

The Homecoming parade, which has a wide range of participants from the University, still takes place today with the help of the Oxford community. The University celebrates by inducting five new members into the Ole Miss Alumni Hall of Fame. It also honors tradition by selecting a Homecoming Queen and her court. Most every year, the Homecoming Queen and the Alumni Association President appear on the front cover of the official Ole Miss football gameday program.

The Rebels have found much success when hosting a foe on Homecoming. Entering this season’s date with Arkansas State, Ole Miss owns an impressive 60-13-2 record in Homecoming games. The Rebels have won 17 of the last 20 Homecoming contests, including last year’s 52-17 victory over Arkansas State.

The Grove

When Billy Brewer became head football coach at Ole Miss in 1983, he was searching for a way to allow his team to experience the atmosphere and pageantry Rebel fans enjoyed in The Grove while tailgating on gameday. The Grove is a 10-acre grassy plot of ground in the center of campus which is heavily shaded by large oak trees.

Taking a different route two hours before kickoff each home game Saturday, Brewer would walk with the team from Kinard Hall, the athletic dormitory, across campus to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

In 1985, Brewer started going the same route each Saturday as the team would break The Grove on the east side of the Student Union and then proceed down a sidewalk which runs through The Grove. Ole Miss fans fight for position on both sides of the sidewalk and greet the players with loud cheers. The braver fans even reach out and touch the players as they pass before them.

In the fall of 1998, a “Walk of Champions” arch was erected on the east side of the The Grove, where the Rebel players begin their walk for every Saturday home game. The “Walk of Champions” arch was given to the University by the 1962 Rebel football team, which is the only squad in Ole Miss football history to finish a campaign with a perfect record (10-0). The 1962 team won the SEC title and was also named National Champion by the Litkenhous Ratings.

What has become a tradition on Ole Miss football Saturdays continues under sixth-year head coach David Cutcliffe.

The Grove and Ole Miss produce one of the most unique college football experiences in the South and nationwide. The Sporting News ranked it among college football’s greatest traditions and described The Grove as “the Holy Grail of tailgating sites.” In listing America’s top sports colleges, Sports Illustrated named Ole Miss the nation’s No. 1 tailgating school.


Ole Miss Tailgating

Tailgating in The Grove and the Circle are extraordinary Ole Miss football traditions. On game day, thousands of families and friends gather to embrace each other and their beloved university.

To care for fans and the campus, follow these guidelines:

Observe The Grove’s opening time of 6 a.m. on game day and the 15-minute time limit in unloading zones. The Grove closes at midnight.
Only University-sponsored events may be held in “reserved” places. Space is claimed on a first-come basis.

Occupy only the space you need—be considerate of others. No trailers are allowed to park on Grove Loop.

Avoid using ropes, ribbons, etc., to reserve space.

Do not drive stakes into the ground. Electric and water lines lie underground.
No solicitation is permitted, including commercial and political advertising. Posting campaign material to University property is prohibited.

Keep The Grove clean. Trash bags are available in front of the Triplett Alumni Center and throughout The Grove.

Generators are strictly prohibited. Noise disturbs tranquility and creates headaches.
Open flames are strictly prohibited. This includes the use of portable fireplaces, tiki torches, and grills. Propane bottles are not allowed. Grills are permitted on the perimeter of The Grove. To avoid safety hazards, always monitor your grill.
Show patience, courtesy, and respect for all security personnel.

Do not leave valuables unattended. University Police officers are on patrol, but they cannot be responsible for hundreds of picnic sites.

Observe designated emergency lanes. Tents are allowed in The Grove, but a safer, more enjoyable environment is created when emergency lanes are observed.


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