Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ole Miss Rebels; SEC 101 - A Fan's Guide to the History and Tradition of Mizzou's New Conference

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Ole Miss Rebels; SEC 101 - A Fan's Guide to the History and Tradition of Mizzou's New Conference

Article excerpt

UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI

Location: Oxford, Miss.

Enrollment: 16,586

Colors: Harvard crimson and Yale blue

Stadium: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium at Hollingsworth Field.

Capacity: 60,580. Year built: 1915.

All-time record/first year played: 621-486-35/1893

Bowl record: 21-12

Conference championships: 6 (All in SEC)

TRADITIONS

One of the most storied tailgate areas in the country is The Grove, a 10-acre site in the shade of the oak trees. The Sporting News hailed the Grove as "the Holy Grail of tailgating sites." Starting in 1985, coach Billy Brewer walked - perhaps paraded is more accurate - the players from their dorm through The Grove to the stadium. It became known as the Walk of Champions and is a can't- miss ritual for which die-hard fans will line up hours in advance.

FOOTBALL HISTORY

The Rebels won three national championships, 1959, '60 and '62, under coach John Vaught, who amassed 190 victories from 1946 to 1970. The program went dormant through much of the 1970s and '80s but was revived under Tommy Tuberville and David Cutcliffe in the mid-'90s. Though Ole Miss has never produced a Heisman Trophy winner, two of the program's biggest names have been Manning. Archie quarterbacked the Rebels from 1968 to 1970. Eli followed in his father's footsteps in Oxford from 2000 to 2003 and is the school's only No. 1 draft pick. Mississippi has sent 270 players in the NFL.

NICKNAME

The Rebels, a nod to the state's membership in the Confederate States of America. The name emerged from a contest in 1935, sponsored by the Mississippian, a student newspaper. The paper received more than 200 entries, and Rebels was suggested by Judge Ben Guider of Vicksburg. Sportswriters around Mississippi picked the nickname from five finalists.

MASCOT

A black bear named Rebel, of recent vintage. Less than two years ago, the bear officially replaced Colonel Reb, controversial because of the negative connotations associated with the Confederacy, slavery and segregation. …

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