Ole Miss football has had several seasons ruined by the Memphis Tigers. It is a good idea they are not on the schedule again until 2019.
Ole Miss and Memphis have squared off on the gridiron 61 times since 1921. Ole Miss has owned the rivalry, leading the series 48-11-2. However, some of those 11 losses for Ole Miss have been devastating to some of the better seasons by the Rebels.
Ole Miss fans remember the 2003 season fondly. It was Eli Manning’s senior season. The Rebels won ten games for the first time since the 1960s. Ole Miss went 7-1 in the SEC and nearly won the western division outright. They also went to the Cotton Bowl for the first time in over 50 years. However, many diehard Rebel fans will never forget losing to Memphis in the Liberty Bowl 44-33 that season.
Last season at the Liberty Bowl had a similar feel. Ole Miss won 10 games for the first time since that 2003 season. Everyone believed the Rebels would cruise to a win, especially after jumping up on the Tigers 14-0 early in the first quarter. But the Tigers put a dent in an otherwise great season for Ole Miss.
So what is it about Memphis beating some of Ole Miss’ best teams in the modern era? Well, for one Memphis has had some good players of their own. Back in 2003 they had guys like Danny Wimprine and Deangelo Williams who has gone on to have a very good NFL career.
In 2015, they had a first round quarterback in Paxton Lynch who lit the Rebels’ secondary up. Memphis certainly does not have the talent profile of SEC teams, but they always seem to get up to play Ole Miss and that is a dangerous thing.
It is good that Ole Miss does not play the pesky Tigers again until 2019 as they are season ruiners for the Rebels.