Know Thy Enemy: Ole Miss

Up next, the 3 hole in our second trip through the SEC West batting order with our second conference match up with Ole Miss.  Though the truckloads of money and national branding are both nice, our favorite reason for joining The Conference was the development of multiple Interstate rivalries with variety of new and more interesting characters.

Let’s do a quick review of what extensive internet research has shown:

  • Their current mascot, a Louisiana Black Bear, seized the position by eating the old white guy that used to be their mascot.

olemiss bear

  • Noted scholars seem to dispel the popular notion that Ole Miss girls are hotter than the girls at other SEC schools.
  • Their males seem to be, to a man, foppish pricks.

Besides Archie, Poor Cooper & Eli Manning and 1960s Deep South racism, those seem to be the only historically relevant items about Ole Miss from a cultural standpoint. Before we make our weekend pick, let’s find provide our fans a little backstory to the development of the modern (mid-90s forward) Ole Miss program by breaking down their recent coaching eras.  In a salute to the sartorial sense of the Ole Miss Louisiana Black Bears, let’s break down the performance of the last five coaching tenures according to the clothing brand that best exemplified their success.

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Tommy Tuberville (1995-1998):

ole miss bear tubby

W/L Record: 18-16.

Brand: Trusty Ralph Lauren Polo

Summary: After serving as defensive coordinator for the Ags last undefeated season in 1994, Tubs brought SEC respectability to the Grove. Just like the Polo shirt is a trusted staple in any SECer wardrobe, the Riverboat gambler became an SEC coaching icon.  Just like the Polo shirt, right when Ole Miss found the one with right fit, another bro showed up at the frat party wearing their shirt and decimated their in-state recruiting and their defensive linemen’s knees for over a decade. Highlight of his tenure was blazing a trail for unceremonious exits soon ripped off by one Dennis Franchione.

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David Cutcliffe (1999-2004):

ole miss bear cutcliffe

W/L Record: 43-29

Brand: Bugle Boy

Summary: Hired to ensure the Rebels didn’t lose another Manning, Cutcliffe brought offensive fireworks to the Grove.  However, the jeans never really fit right and the knock-off Manning couldn’t quite match dad’s or older brother’s success. After a solid run, declared bankruptcy in the early 2000s.

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Ed Orgeron: (2005-2007)

ole miss bear brogeron

W/L Record: 10-25

Brand: N/A

Summary: These were dark times in Mudville. The student body experimented with new Dillard’s brands. Tropical Storm EdHardy had just been upgraded to Hurricane Affliction. Many men whose name ended in “the IV” considered lowering their sophomore muffy into a nuclear bunker under  Bill Faulkners dead rotting taint.

Then, between the pines, a shirtless man appeared. The Oxford natives dropped the Solo cups at the sight of a human being swallowing a football.

BrOgeron prowled about like a lion, brashly displaying his unlotioned skin.  The sparkles about him came not from polished silver pocketwatches, but from gaudy golden spray tan oil.

Oh the gnashing of teeth.

Oh the wailing.

Waving a brightly colored blue whale adorned flag.  The Shroud of Vineyard vines covered the faithful, but they still shuddered at their leader’s ghastly, hairy barreled chest. Songs were made. Brent Schaeffers were squandered.

Then, and as swiftly as he appeared, BrOgeron vanished, selflessly leaving the cupboard stocked for the next traveler.

Was he really ever there, or was it just a myth all along?   The bench press on the front porch steps of the Administration building still hasn’t been wiped down…

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Right Reverend Houston Nutt: 2008-2011

ole miss bear nutts

W/L Record: 24-26

Brand: Jos. A Bank

Summary: Down on their luck after the unfilled promised of the shirtless one, the Rebs looked above and to the west for an answer.  But just like the time you tried replenish your wardrobe by buying 8 suits for the price of one, everything fell apart after a few trips through the dry cleaners. Was the free bowl of soup worth it?

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Hughbert Ignatius J Reilly Freeze

Hughfreezebeaver

W/L record: 10-8

Brand: Hanes beefy-T, RealTree, Huggies

Summary: Born in Mississippi, he was discovered in a state fair eating corn on the cob through a picket fence.  He was brought to the campus in Oxford first in 2005, but later freed himself by chewing through the wire cage housing him in the back of BrOgeron’s 1993 Ford Ranger Splash edition.

He followed the smell of gooseberry pie all the way to Arkansas State, where he was able to attend his first movin picture show.  Oddly enough it featured him as a high school coach, though he was unable to make the connection to himself as a dashing Burt Cotton.

He spent hours upon hours staring into nearby Lake Frierson, pondering aloud (born without the ability of inner monologue) “am I ugly?”    His answer came when the Ole Miss good ol boys club came calling with a coaching opening, and low lit press conference. He is still baffled by all the orthodontist boosters writing him fan mail, but tries to focus on his job.

When  you see dufflebags full of cash, and a trail of Bojangle’s biscuit wrappers these days, you know  your in Ole Miss country!

The Pick: Ags 48 Bears 35

The Ags grind it out again after the defense continues to struggle, but pull away late after Bo Wallace has an accident

ole miss bear classy

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