Texas A&M University’s transfer to the Southeastern Conference placed them in a division with some of the top athletic universities in the nation. Alongside such names as the Alabama Crimson Tide and LSU Tigers is another powerful southern university: The University of Mississippi, better known as Ole Miss with the mascot the Rebel Black Bear.
The University of Mississippi is in the Western Division of the SEC with Texas A&M. This means that the two schools will be playing together in the 2012 season, with Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Arkansas, and Mississippi State. The Aggies line up to face Ole Miss on October 6th of 2012 at the University of Mississippi, in their Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
Texas A&M’s history with Ole Miss is mostly ancient. They have played only one football game together since 1937, and that was the relatively recent 2000 Independence Bowl Game. Ole Miss barely snuck past the Aggies with a 43-41 victory, marking their second win in the four game history between the two schools. The two schools’ most recent game before the millennium was in 1937, when the Aggies shut out the University of Mississippi Rebels 14-0.
Like several of the Southeastern Conference Schools from the American Southeast, Ole Miss has a long and traditional history. Founded in 1844, Ole Miss is only the 6th oldest University in the SEC. Compared to Texas A&M University, the Rebels are a full thirty-two years older than the Aggies. University of Mississippi is a public university as well, being the second largest institution of higher education in the State.
Ole Miss’ enrollment for the fall of 2011 was 20,800 students, qualifying them as the second largest campus in Mississippi. Texas A&M, however, had a fall enrollment of over 50,000 students, the highest ever for the University’s history, and the 6th largest in the United States.
Both Schools offer multiple undergraduate programs and graduate programs. In fact, University of Mississippi’s medical programs have been some of the best in the nation, with research leading to the first human lung transplant in 1963 and the world’s first animal to human heart transplant in 1964. While Ole Miss’ medical research has paved the way for modern medicines, Texas A&M has been making a name for itself in contemporary research institutions. TAMU was ranked in the top 20 of all research universities in 2011, placing third for universities without medical schools.
University of Mississippi is located in Oxford, Mississippi, a town with a meager population of 19,000. The population of the university therefore nearly doubles the population of the town, marking it as the top economic stimulator for their location. A&M is likewise situated in a city where their economic role is substantial to the prosperity of the local economy. However, College Station has a population of nearly 97,000, marking TAMU as an additional 50% to the city’s population.
Unlike Texas A&M, however, a full 25% of Ole Miss’ student population lives in on campus housing. With the current popularity of off campus apartments, dorms, and houses in College Station, Texas, the Aggie community brings much more real estate business to the local market. Especially considering the overall size of the university.
The University of Mississippi joined the Southeastern Conference in 1936, along with the rest of the conference’s original members. At this point they renamed their athletic program from the ‘Mississippi Flood’ to the Ole Miss Rebels. The school’s colors are cardinal red and navy blue, and their mascot is the Rebel Black Bear. Texas A&M’s colors, meanwhile, are blood maroon and white. Their mascot is Reveille, a live collie.
Mississippi’s primary rivals are their neighbors, the Mississippi State Bulldogs, along with LSU and the Arkansas Razorbacks (the latter two representing potential future rivalries of the TAMU Aggies).
In 2012 the Ole Miss athletic program received a new director, Ross Bjork: meanwhile, Texas A&M also hired a new athletic director for the year of 2012. As far as football is concerned, however, Ole Miss out distances the Texas Aggies slightly.
The Mississippi rebels have claim to three national championships, all of which occurred within the years of 1959 and 1962. Texas A&M only has one national championship title from 1939, although with official rankings they have claim to an additional two national titles that are not recognized, in 1917 and 1927.
Ole Miss also has six SEC titles, although the most recent was in 1963. In fact, their most recent seasons have been rather disappointing. In 2010 the Rebels had a season record of four wins and seven losses. Then in 2011 their record was even worse, ending with a 2-10 record, losing every game against SEC schools.
The University of Mississippi athletic history might be slightly impressive; however, their recent history suggests that they may offer little competition against the Texas Aggies. But to assume the matchup between both universities will be an easy win for the new SEC Aggies would be a major mistake. Ole Miss has an athletic history rather similar to Texas A&M, and with their new athletic director their football program will be out to make a statement: and they will see the Aggies as a good way to show their returned presence to the Southeastern Conference.
Susan Hilton (979)764-2100
CENTURY 21 Beal, Inc.