Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Barnes Lands Job Sooner Rather Than Later

NORMAN, Okla. -- Oklahoma men's basketball head coach Jeff Capel completed his staff today by announcing the hiring of former Division I head coaches Rod Barnes and Ben Betts.

"I've always had a lot of respect for Coach Barnes. When I was at VCU I had the opportunity to coach against him and his teams were always very good defensively. They got after you, they were tough, they were disciplined and they played with passion. I respected the way his teams played. I feel like this is a great hire for OU."

Said Barnes, "My family and I feel really blessed that I have this opportunity to coach at the University of Oklahoma and to work with Coach Capel. I coached against him on several occasions and I've felt that he's been one of the bright, up-and-coming coaches in the business. I'm anxious to get to OU, to help him, to help the university and to help the young men that we'll be working with to build one of the best programs in the country."

Is This Orgeron or Is It Pure B.S.???

From a recent Commercial Appeal article:

"Slive remains steadfast in his goal. Here's hoping he gets there, but erasing cheating in recruiting is hard. MDR has had a couple of football coaches tell him that one coach currently in the league was turned in by seven different schools (and not all in the SEC) for alleged recruiting violations."

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Bianco Comments

Below are some comments by Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco that appeared in the Baton Rouge paper concerning the possible firing of LSU head coach Smoke Laval:

“I think college baseball is a little different now,” Bianco said, alluding to the parity in the game. “Even when he (Bertman) was there, the expectations were so high, if you don’t win it, it’s almost not good enough.”

Bianco reminded reporters he is moving into a new home in a swank subdivision of Oxford, Miss., and although he left out this part, that’s one of many benefits of a salary higher than the one LSU pays to Laval.
“As far as my situation, I love Oxford,” Bianco said. “My wife and I love it here. We’re looking forward to our regional.”

Still, the conversation couldn’t avoid the past. Bianco was a first-year LSU player in 1988, the last time the Tigers stayed home during the regionals.
“Well,” he joked, “I won’t be known as the only team from LSU that didn’t get in.”

A New Look

OXFORD, Miss. - Taking a page from Rebel athletics history, the Ole Miss Loyalty Foundation is announcing a new look and a new name: the UMAA Foundation. The change comes as the organization rapidly approaches its football membership deadline on Wednesday and the excitement of the 2006 season.
Further information on the UMAA Foundation and its membership is available at or by calling 662-915-7159.
"We felt we needed to make a change for name recognition," said George Smith, Executive Director of the UMAA Foundation. "The name UMAA is synonymous with Ole Miss athletics of the past. The new name is also similar to what our fellow SEC schools are calling their fund-raising departments."
In addition, the UMAA Foundation is now a private organization, ensuring the privacy of its members and their contributions to Rebel athletics.
The mission of the UMAA Foundation is to aid the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics at The University of Mississippi. Such assistance takes the form of providing scholarships for student-athletes, funding for necessary facility improvements, supplements to coaches' salaries, and by supporting the department in many other ways necessary to have an outstanding athletics program.
A non-profit corporation, the UMAA Foundation also holds the rights to priority seating for Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, C.M. Tad Smith Coliseum, and soon, Oxford-University Stadium/ Swayze Field. Reserved parking and other benefits are also available to the agency's over 6,000 members.
The organization was founded on July 1, 1969 to provide supplementary income for use by the Rebel Athletics Department. Through this medium, alumni and friends of the Ole Miss can contribute to the department to aid in financing the high costs of educating student-athletes and improving facilities.
UMAA Foundation membership is open to all interested persons, and all donations are tax deductible.

Hosting Again

The Rebels will be hosting a regional in the NCAA Tournament for the third year in a row. The Rebels are the number 1 seed and will face number 4 Bethune Cookman on Friday at seven. Number 2 Tulane will play Number 3 South Alabama the afternoon game on Friday.

I have done a little research on Bethune Cookman. They are a historically black school. The baseball team is full of hispanics from a variety of countries. It should not be too bad for the Rebels first match up. However they will have a good pitcher on Friday that is 9-1 on the season. Coach Bianco announced today he will throw Will Kline on Friday. Not sure how I feel with that, I think there are arguments both ways. But I am not going to disagree with him at this point, because things seem to be going just fine with his coaching decisions.

We all know a little about South Alabama and Tulane. Two historically tough baseball teams. The Rebels need South Alabama to upset Tulane to make it an easier route to the finals.

If the Rebels can make it out of their regional. They will play the winner of the Nebraska regional. It looks like the only way the Rebels could host a super regional is if Miami upsets Nebraska as the number 2 seed.

Overall I feel like the Rebels got the draw they deserved. Not extremely easy, but at the same time not a cakewalk. It should be interesting to see how they play. If they continue to play like they did in Hoover it is going to take alot to stop this team from continuing to rack up wins. Seats have long been sold out in Oxford, however we all know there is plenty of room in the outfield and on the hill. It should be another packed house in Oxford this weekend.

Hoover Recap And Some Views From The Stands

It was a great week at Hoover. The Rebels walked away from Hoover with their first SEC Championship of a major sport in my lifetime. The Rebels have been to some big games and bowls won divisional championships and have experienced alot of success in my lifetime, but a Conference Championship puts them in the books for good. The crowd of Rebels that were there the whole time were loud and we ruled Hoover for 5 days.

This was the best consecutive days of baseball I and many others in attendance have ever seen. No doubt about it they were the best team there last weekend. I do not want to do the story any injustice, so I am going to paste an article from the Birmingham News. Doug Segrest summed it up better than anyone ever could. Here is the story:

Call back the National Guard. We've lost control of the borders.
Because they poured in from Tupelo and Columbus, Vicksburg, Yazoo City and parts in between. Dressed in red and navy blue, driving SUVs with ``M" decals, they turned Hoover Metropolitan Stadium into an annex of Swayze Field for nearly a week.
Amnesty's too little, too late. Many are already living all over Shelby and Jefferson counties, working respectable jobs. One survey says Birmingham is the school's fourth-largest alumni base in the country.
Hotty toddy, gosh almighty, who the heck are we talking about? Ole Miss, of course.
The ever-healthy Hoover economy just swelled again, Some 9,025 fans packed the Met on Sunday for Ole Miss' coronation, a 9-3 SEC Tournament championship victory against Vanderbilt, ending a 29-year title sabbatical.
Word of warning for the Rebels faithful: This isn't the only streak coming to an end.
Prepare for one long, hot, expensive summer.
In fact, pack the bags and check out airfare to Omaha. Ole Miss is the hottest team in the nation's most competitive league, thus the school's first College World Series appearance since 1972 isn't merely a possibility, it may be predestined.
Once upon a time, the Mississippi baseball program made more trips to Nebraska than a midsummer twister. From 1956 to ÷2, Ole Miss made four CWS trips. The numbers should have been more impressive.
Ask former catcher Robert Khayat, now the university's chancellor. ``We won the SEC in õ9, beating Georgia Tech, and again in'60, beating Florida," Khayat said Sunday. ``We had two-and-a-half really good pitchers, all you needed back then, and a lot of hitters. Coach (Tom) Swayze taught us techniques, like baserunning, better than anyone. And he taught us how to handle any situation.
``I would like to have seen what we could have done" in Omaha.
Alas, Mississippi law barred state schools from competing on the field with integrated teams. Ole Miss stayed home.

Monday, May 29, 2006


I just got back in Oxford from a long week in Hoover/Birmingham a few minutes ago. I will have a full recap of the weeks events and a look at what is ahead for the Rebels sometime tomorrow.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Live From Hoover

Hoover, AL - A quick post on the Tourney. Last night's game was a great one. The Rebels jumped early on the Hogs and stayed that way for a couple of innings before the Hogs came back around. In the end the Rebels put it on the Hogs and locked up a birth to the second round against LSU. The Rebels will take on LSU tonight and it looks like it is going to be another late night for us Rebel fans. The game probably will not start until after nine. I will try and find access to the internet again and get recap of the game.

There area a good number of Rebel fans in Hoover probably the second most fans behind Alabama. If the Rebels can manage to win tonight. There will be tons of fans coming from all over the South to watch the game. I encourage everyone in Oxford and surrounding areas to find their way over to Hoover. There is no class/work on Monday so there is no reason you should not be here. Tickets are cheap and it is the best baseball you can watch. I know of at least a dozen people that are on their way as I type this. Pack it in the car and head to Hoover.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Vista III to Carry Games

If you have ever lived in Oxford you have grown to hate Vista III media. However you now have a reason to like them. It was announced today that Vista will be broadcasting all the SEC Tourney games on their networks. Previously it looked like no one in North Mississippi would be able to view the games, but now they will. Not sure which channel the games will be on but all will be televised. Hope you all will find your way to Birmingham to cheer on the Rebels this weeend.

Are You Kidding Me???

Pictured above is Chris Coghlan sliding into home against MSU last weekend and former JA all star Joseph McCaskill missing the tag. Somehow, Chris was called out. How does the umpire miss this call. It is not even a tie or close. He is clearly safe. This just shows how bad of a call that it really was and Bianco was clearly correct when arguing the call. It is dissapointing that they missed a call like this. I hope someone shows this to the SEC and this ump is re-evaluated.

All SEC Team

Really think Alex Presley should have been on here somewhere.

FIRST TEAM 1B - Ryan Strieby, Kentucky 2B - Jeffrey Rea, Mississippi State 3B - Pedro Alvarez, Vanderbilt SS - Zack Cozart, Ole Miss SS - Thomas Berkery, Mississippi StateC - J.P. Arencibia, Tennessee OF - *Emeel Salem, Alabama OF - Quinn Stewart, LSU OF - Michael Campbell, South CarolinaDH - Mike Bianucci, Auburn P - Nick Schmidt, Arkansas P - Wade LeBlanc, Alabama RP - Joshua Fields, Georgia

SECOND TEAM 1B - Josh Morris, Georgia 2B - John Shelby, Kentucky 3B - Chris Coghlan, Ole Miss SS - Michael Hollander, LSUSS - Reese Havens, South Carolina C - Kody Valverde, Alabama C - Sean Coughlin, KentuckyOF - Jake Dugger, Arkansas OF - Joey Side, GeorgiaOF - Julio Borbon, Tennessee DH - Robbie Grinestaff, South Carolina P - David Price, Vanderbilt P - Bryan Augenstein, Florida RP - Wynn Pelzer, South Carolina

ALL FRESHMAN TEAM 1B - Justin Smoak, South Carolina 2B - J.T. Wise, LSU3B - Pedro Alvarez, VanderbiltSS - Tony Delmonico, Tennessee OF - Luke Greinke, Auburn OF - Jared Bogany, LSU OF - Andrew Crisp, South Carolina DH - Mike Bianucci, Auburn P - Tommy Hunter, Alabama P - Mike Cisco, South Carolina RP - Cody Satterwhite, Ole Miss

Monday, May 22, 2006

Neat Site

If you have some time on your hands go to this web site The website is a collection of game day programs from Ole Miss games over the past century. It is pretty interesting to see the different teams that Ole Miss has played over the years. It is also interesting to see how the design of programs have changed over the years. This guy has a pretty big collection of programs

Tourney Update

Arkansas Coach Dave Van Horn announced today he would start Nick Schmidt against the Rebels on Wednesday. Schmidt is their ace that handled the Rebels in the lone loss to the Hogs two weekends ago in Oxford.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Meeting With Kennedy

While I was in Birmingham last week, I had the opportunity to meet new Ole Miss basketball coach Andy Kennedy. From hearing Kennedy speak it appears he will be a good fit for Ole Miss. He did make some comments that I was happy to hear. He announced that Marquis Young, Mike Smith, and Brandon Patterson will not be back on the team next season. This benefits us big time opening up some scholarships for guys Kennedy wants on the team. He did say that we have one more scholly to give and he is looking for a possible transfer.

I received the impression that Kennedy was not impressed with the talent on campus from the little bit he had evaluated the team. I do not think he believes they have a good work ethic and are lazy on the court. A style that will not fit in well with Kennedy. He appears he is going to be an intense in his coaching and practicing, a style that is new to Oxford and one I am very fired up about.

He talked about the Tad Pad and what needs to be done. I agree with him on the fact that we do not need a new arena. The number of seats are exactly where they need to be. There just needs to be some renovating in different parts to the arena. The administration is in agreement also and look for some changes over the next few years.

Kennedy talked about the passion he has for this job. He commented about the passion each Ole Miss fan should have for this team also. He talked about building the program where people would make the three hour drive on a Wednesday night to watch the team play. They do it in Indiana, Kentucky, Arkansas, why can we not do it in Oxford.

Overall I think he was very impressive. He is going to be an extremely hard worker and good for the program. We have two coaches in football and baseball that are very dedicated to Ole Miss and the success of their programs. We now have a coach in basketball that ranks up their with the other coaches of major sports at Ole Miss.

Day One SEC Tournament Schedule

2006 Tournament Bracket Wednesday, May 24

Game 1 10:00 a.m. #7 South Carolina vs. #2 Kentucky [CSS]
Game 2 1:00 p.m. #6 Vanderbilt vs. #3 Georgia [CSS]
Game 3 5:00 p.m. #8 LSU vs. #1 Alabama [CSS]
Game 4 8:00 p.m. #5 Ole Miss vs. #4 Arkansas [CSS

Dogs Staying At Home

The Rebels won the series against the Bulldogs this weekend keeping them out of the SEC Tournament in Hoover. It was a series of ups and downs for both teams. The Rebels won on Thursday night beating the Bulldogs 6-5 in a game that took ten innings. On Friday it was all MSU as the Dogs won 11-1. It looked like it was going to be all Ole Miss on Saturday before the Bulldogs made a game out of it in the final two innings, however the Rebels wrapped up the series with a 13-11 win.

The win moves the Rebels to 36-20, 17-13 in the SEC, and finished 5th overall in the SEC. The focus now is on the SEC Tournament. The Rebels will be facing Arkansas in the final game on Wednesday night. It is still up in the air as to who either team will pitch. The Hogs are good, but so is everyone in the tournament. That is why the SEC is the best in the nation in collegiate baseball.

Ole Miss is the only team to post a winning record in SEC play each of the past four seasons and with Saturday's win, leads the league in wins over the past four years with 70 wins in league play going back to the beginning of the 2003 season.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Blog Update

I am going to be out of town through the weekend. There will probably not be any posting unless the place I am going has internet. The Rebels are on the road to MSU Thursday to Saturday. It is important for the Rebels to win 2 if they want to host a regional. Right now regional predictions have us on the border some of them have us hosting while others don't. If you are in Mississippi I encourage you to go to Starkville to watch the games, it is an interesting place to watch games.

Find A Way To Win

OXFORD, Miss. — Zack Cozart's walkoff three-run home run lifted Ole Miss to a 7-5 victory over Memphis on Tuesday night.
The Rebels (34-19) trailed 5-4 entering the ninth when Justin Henry reached on an error by pitcher Matt Yokley with one out.
Chris Coghlan singled and Cozart followed with a drive to left field off Yokley to end the game and give Ole Miss a victory in its final non-conference home game of the regular season.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Number One: 2004 Cotton Bowl

The 2004 Cotton Bowl ranks as the number one story/memory for those of us at Ole Miss over the past 4 years. The 2003 Rebels finished the regular season 9-3. After a win over Mississippi State in a rain soaked Egg Bowl the Rebels had to wait a couple of week to find their destiny. After the SEC Championship the Rebels found out they would be going to Dallas to face Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl. The Cotton Bowl is one of the most prestigious bowls anyone could go to due to its history. The Rebels had quite a history in Dallas and many fans looked forward to making the trip.

Although some fans had wished for a better bowk than the Cotton Bowl, we were happy to be there. I decided to fly over with a couple of my friends rather than drive. Once arriving at the airport it was obvious many Rebels had decided the same. When the stewartist came over the intercom she referred to it as the "Ole Miss Express, Non Stop to Dallas." I knew when she said that it was going to be a fun trip.

The game was on Jan. 2, but many Rebel fans headed to Dallas to celebrate New Year's Eve. When we arrived at the hotel, I knew we were at the right place, because the entire staff, bell boys, and front desk staff were dressed in Ole Miss hats and Rebel football t-shirts. Later that night a group of Rebels threw a huge New Year's Eve party at a local bar that was attended by several hundred Ole Miss fans. I could not have asked for a more fun New Year's Eve party.

Jan. 1 was spent at the hotel bar by many fans as they spent recovering from the night before and watching bowl games that were taking place. Also pep rally's were held around town as well as party's thrown for different leaders from Ole Miss. With the game being an early game, many Rebel fans took it easy on Jan 1.

Jan.2 came about and many Rebel fans were up bright and early and ready for the game. Upon arriving on the fairgrounds and getting past the long lines at the historic Cotton Bowl stadium, one witnessed a perfect sea of orange and red, as the stadium was divided perfectly between Rebels and Cowboys. The Rebels led by as many as 17 at one point in the game, but the Cowboys never gave in. They were led by All-America receiver Rashaun Woods who made a catch to cut to lead the Rebel lead to three late in the fourth quarter. Rebel fans who at one point in the game, thought it was in the bag now began to worry. However a 25 yard run by Tremaine Turner when the Rebels faced 3rd and 4 with 2 minutes in the fourth helped push the Rebels down the field and pin the Cowboys deep in their territory. The Rebels held on to defeat the Cowboys 31-28 in front of an over flow crowd of almost 74,000.

This day was the proudest many Rebel fans had been in years. They thought that football was back and back for good. As Coach Cut said after the game, "this is only the beginning", everyone was fired up and could not wait till next year. We all know how the story played out as the Rebels had a losing season and Cut was fired. Those that decided to make the trip to Dallas were not let down. Many still talk about it to this day as to how fun the trip was. Those that did not go still kick themselves for not going. They realized how big this game was for the Rebels and how much fun they missed out on in spending several days in Dallas. We might not make it to the Cotton Bowl next year or the year after that, but when we do, I promise you I will be the first person back on the, "Ole Miss Express, Non Stop to Dallas."

Staying Put

Memphis had been making a hard push to get the tournament to Autozone Park, but I read the following in the Birmingham news this morning:

The SEC Baseball Tournament will remain at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium through 2011, the league will announce at a press conference today.
The SEC, the city of Hoover and the Alabama Sports Foundation recently finalized new contracts, extending the tournament another five years after league presidents and athletics directors voted unanimously to stay put.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Number Two: THE GAME

One of the top 3 games in Ole Miss history will be number two on the list of the top 10 sports stories/memories of the past 4 years. It is not number one for an obvious reason. The 2003 Ole Miss football game against LSU was the most anticipated game in the history of Vaught-Hemingway stadium. A SEC Western Division Championship and a trip to Atlanta for the Championship Game were on the line. A 17-14 victory by the Tigers saw LSU win the outright divisional championship.

Any time LSU and Ole Miss get together for anything it is a fight, but this time it was special. A rivalry that dates back decades and has scence great battles throughout the years, the Tigers and Rebels were fired up to play this one. The week leading up to the game was the most exciting time in Oxford. No one cared about class and everyone was ready for The Game. A special pep rally was held on the Square the Thursday before the game. That was a sight in itself. Rebel fans from all over the nation came to town that week to be a part of the history. Students were camping out for extra tickets and tickets were being sold on Ebay for hundreds of dollars. It was like no other Ole Miss game in modern history.

Everyone was at the game two hours early to guarantee their seats. The stadium was rockin and then the infamous Hotty Toddy was played on the jumbotron. A message and video from Russel Crowe gave fans chill bumps. The moment had finally arrived and the game began. Early in the first quarter Ole Miss had LSU pinned deep inside their own territory. An Ole Miss interception return for a touchdown was followed by an outburst of screaming, cups flying, etc. It was the loudest the Vaught has ever been and probably ever will be. With the Rebels up 7-0, many Rebel fans thought it was finally our time.

After several a couple of LSU scores the Rebels were down 17-7 early in the fourth quarter. Eli Manning then led the Rebels on a scoring drive to cut the lead to only three for the Tigers. A couple of missed field goals by Jonathan Nichols and an Eli Manning slip in the forth quarter saw the Rebels lose the game in the final minutes.

I still remember and will never forget watching Nichols miss that field goal. He was supposed to be automatic and when he missed I lost it and knew it was not going to be our day. But it was no where near Jonathan's fault. The offense just could not find their A game for most of the day.

As the final seconds ticked off the clock and the game was over, the true Rebel faithful stayed in the stadium and just sat in the stands shocked by what they had witnessed. The game was an emotional roller coaster and it had just taken many years off of our lives. We all knew this was the team that could get us to Atlanta and we were just a play or two away from being there. My memory of watching John Herzog leave his seat and walk pass security onto the field to sit and watch the post game conference will last forever. It was a great day in Ole Miss sports history and one that we will never forget.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Number Three: 2003 Auburn Victory

One of the greatest games in Ole Miss modern history finds its way to number three on the greatest sports memories/news of the past four years. The 2003 football game in which the Rebels defeated the Auburn Tigers on the road 24-20 was a heck of a game to attend. With a crowd of over 86,000 in Jordan Hare the night was perfect for college football. Many Rebel fans will remember this game for years due to the famous picture posted above.

The game was back and forth in the first half before the Rebels took a 14-10 lead going into halftime on a Manning connection to Mario Hill. In the second half the Tigers came out hot and were up on the Rebels. The Rebel offensive line was struggling as both starters Justin Sawyer and Tre Stallings were forced to leave the game due to leg injuries.

Down 20-17 late in the fourth quarter, the Rebels staged an 80-yard comeback drive that ended in a Brandon Jacobs touchdown before Auburn responded with their own 78-yard drive to the Ole Miss three-yard line with 45 seconds remaining. Facing third and goal, Auburn chose to pass to wide open receiver Ben Obomanu. Obomanu just flat out dropped it. Auburn was then forced to call a timeout. At the timeout the entire Rebel football team met on the sideline and everyone was determined to win the game. Auburn chose again to pass, and it was deflected by Eric Oliver and the Rebels won the game. The victory over Auburn moved Ole Miss to 6-0 in the SEC West, their best conference record since 1962, and left only the Rebels and LSU left in the Western Division race.

This was without a doubt one of the best trips I took in college. Jacob Whelan, Chris Sherman, Collin Tackett and I all piled up into the Volvo and headed to Auburn. Upon reaching our destination of the Knights Inn Opelika(a fine establishment I might add), we hit up the Sigma Nu house at Auburn. For those of you that were there you remember the scene. At the end of the knight it was all Ole Miss people and the Hotty Toddy's were more prevalent than War Eagles, it was awesome. The day of the game was even better, since their is no real tailgating, we ate our chicken in a church parking lot and headed to the game. The Ole Miss section was in the opposite endzone of the Obomanu drop. So when I saw Campbell's pass, I thought Obomanu caught it and our run was over. Well we all know the rest of the story from that point. This game was probably the best road game played in the past four years. I have been to Jordan Hare several times, and will go back many more. But no game in Jordan Hare will ever pass this one.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Number Four: The 2003 Football Season: A Peak

The 2003 football season finds it's way to number 4 on the biggest sports memories/news of the last four years. This entry will not be long, because the following three entries all fall under the 2003 football season. But I felt like the 2004 season as a whole should be mentioned at this point.

Once Eli Manning announced he would come back for his senior season after the 2002 football season, season ticket sales sky rocketed. Many Rebel fans believed Eli would lead the Rebels to an SEC Championship. After the first four games many began to believe we were destined for the Independence Bowl again. The Rebels were 2-2 after a close win over Vandy plus a win of LA-Monroe and two losses to Memphis and Texas Tech. Having to travel to the Swamp it looked like the Rebels would start the season 2-3. However the Rebels defeated the Gators and the fire was back into the Rebel nation. I still remember this game was during Rush and everyone in the house was watching the game, no one cared that Rush was going on. All eyes were on the big screen. After the Florida victory, the Rebels won five straight and were on course to win the SEC West. The rest will be told over the next several days.

For those of us that have been in Oxford for the past 4 years, the 2003 football season was the peak of Ole Miss athletics. The football team has gone 7-15 since that season. Also a new coach has taken over. I can remember being at the press conference when David Cucliffe was fired. It was a tough scene to watch, but it comes with the territory. I believe brighter things are on the way for the Rebels. Ed Ogeron has brought a new style to Oxford, and it is only a matter of time before things return to the way they were during the 2003 season.

Number Five: 2005 Postseason Baseball

2005 Baseball Postseason finds its way to the halfway point in the Top 10 sports memories/news of the past 4 years. The 2005 baseball team was a special team. They managed a school record 48 games and tied for a Western Division Championship with LSU. They not only set records on the field but in the stands as well. Over 170,000 fans came to O-U Stadium to watch this Rebel baseball team play. Fans came by the thousands to see all star players like Brian Pettway, Stephen Head, Mark Holliman, Eric Fowler and many others.

After a runner up finish in the SEC Tournament, the Rebels were selected to host a regional. The second regional host in as many years. The regional was a quick three days for the Rebels as went 3-0 in the double elimination tournament with wins over Maine and Oklahoma(twice). After the regional win the Rebels then had to wait and see if they would host a super regional. It was announced a couple of days later that the Rebels would host NCAA powerhouse the University of Texas. It would be the first ever super regional hosted in the state of Mississippi.

The week leading up to the super regional had many Rebel fans excited and making plans to come to Oxford. It was the first time in several decades that the Rebels actually had a chance to return to the College World Series in Omaha. It was announced that a couple of the games would be on ESPN so fans across the country could watch the games. That did not keep any fans away as over 26,000 fans came to Oxford to watch the series.

The Rebels jumped out early on the Longhorns and won the first game. The Rebel faithful were extremely excited and many began to think a trip to Omaha might be a reality. The second game saw the Longhorns get up early on the Rebels, before a tropical storm forced the game to be suspended. The Longhorns eventually won the game and the series was tied at 1-1.

Game three was played on a Monday night and a trip to Omaha was on the line. The Longhorns went to their specialty and played perfect small ball on the Rebels. Texas got lead off guys on four times and scored every time. Three times, it was with a sacrifice bunt followed with a timely hit. The fourth time, it was a solo home run that broke a 3-3 tie in the sixth inning. The Rebels went into the ninth down 6-4. Two Rebels managed to get on base and the winning run was at the plate with two outs. Stephen Head was at the plate and Rebel fans believed the all-star could drive a couple of runs in. Instead Head struck out on a 2-2 slider from Longhorn closer Brent Cox.

Unfortunately I was only able to witness the first game of the regional in person, because I left to live in Washington for the summer. Thanks to some friends and the power of DotTV and the internet, we were able to watch the game on the internet. I remember the first thing I did upon landing was rush to my friends house to watch the game against Oklahoma. The week leading up to the super regional was intense, even in Washington, D.C. The loss to Texas hurt, we were some of the biggest Ole Miss fans out there and we were not in Oxford to watch the game in person. The good thing is that Coach Bianco is still here and as long as we keep him in Oxford, I believe there is a good chance one day we will get to witness a super regional in person in Oxford. Rebel baseball is back and is here to stay.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Number Six: 2002 17-14 Victory Over Florida

A football defeat over a top ten team in the nation in 2002 finds its way to number six on the biggest sports/news memories of the last four years. The 2002 Ole Miss Rebels led by QB Eli Manning defeated the never six ranked Florida Gators 17-14. This game was the largest on campus attendance at the time with a record 61,140 fans in attendance.

I can still remember the headline of the DM to this day, it simply read: "UNBELIEVABLE" with a picture of Conner Bills rushing onto the field arms raised. The headline was perfect, it truly was unbelievable. I would have never dreamed we would have beat Florida on that October afternoon. Older fans put this win up there with the Notre Dame and Sugar Bowl victories. While Ole Miss had won many big games, none had ever happened this big in Oxford and it christened the new South Endzone addition.

The Ole Miss defense really accounted for this win. They held Rex Grossman and the Gators to just four first downs and zero points in the final 30 minutes. They were also responsible for eight of the Rebels 17 points. Including a safety intentional grounding call on Grossman and a Matt Grier interception return for a touchdown. The defense was all over Grossman that afternoon and forced him to throw four interceptions.

I would have to say the worst part of the game was when Ole Miss had it on the two yard line and it was first and goal. A combination running back duo of Vashon Pearson and Tremaine Turner could not get it across the goal line in four tries. The fact Ole Miss won this game without Eli even throwing a touchdown is incredible.

Ole Miss fans were on the edge of their seat not knowing if the win would actually hold up until Travis Blanchard's interception with over two minutes left, did I believe we would win. After the interception the place erupted and the celebration began. Rebel students and fans rushed the field. Cobra Security at their finest were ready and threatening anyone who tried to take down the South Endzone goal post. Fans did however manage to make it to the North Endzone and take the goal post down. The sight on the field was amazing. Girls were getting knocked out and players were on fans shoulders.(Note the picture above, that is me in the red hat, picture appeared in Clarion Ledger)

The Rebels were 4-1 and and the last time the Rebels had beaten a higher ranked team in Oxford, was Maryland in 1952. Rebel fans were excited again and football was king in Oxford once again. We all know how the season ended. But Ole Miss was back on the map for a couple of years, and the Florida win put us there.

The Bad Get Worse

Just when I thought basketball officials in the SEC might get better over time, becuase John Clougherty was hired away from the SEC, the SEC hires Boudreaux. Boudreaux has been refeering for about as long as I have been alive in the SEC. He is not one of the better refs. The good thing is he will not be on the court anymore. The bad thing is, he will be making the decisions of who goes where to officiate each week.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Gerald Boudreaux, a veteran of college basketball officiating for 25 years, has been named Coordinator of Men’s Basketball Officials for the Southeastern Conference, Commissioner Mike Slive announced today. Boudreaux was a referee in the SEC from 1986-2006. He was named the interim coordinator of men's basketball officiating in December of 2005. "We are extremely pleased to have someone of Gerald's experience and knowledge to lead our men's basketball officiating program," said Slive. "Gerald's passion for college basketball and his leadership qualities made him an obvious choice for this position."

“I am extremely pleased for the honor of being selected to serve as Coordinator of Officials in the Southeastern Conference. Reflective of the most recent Final Four, we have the top coaches, players and officials in the country. I have accepted Commissioner Slive's challenge to keep the officiating at a high level," said Boudreaux. “I appreciate the support that I have received from Commissioner Slive and the staff in the conference office.”

Monday, May 08, 2006

Hook Em Horns

It is being reported by an Austin newspaper that Ole Miss and the University of Texas are in talks about a possible football home and home series. I am not sure what to think about this. I like the big name school, but we are talking about a true national powerhouse. It is my understanding Coach O really wants to play them. Here is the article

Number Seven: 2005 SEC Baseball Tournament

The 2005 SEC Baseball tournament will appear at number seven on the biggest sports news/memories of the last four years. Going into the tournament the Ole Miss baseball team was seeded number four in the SEC and was ranked high nationally. Ole Miss and LSU were tied for the SEC Western Division Championship, but LSU had won the series against the Rebels so the Tigers were given the number two seed in the tournament. Ole Miss as the number 4 seed drew number 5 seeded in state host Alabama.

I had been to many SEC Basketball tournaments in my life, but this was my first ever trip to the SEC Baseball tournament. To be honest, this was the first time in my life that this many Ole Miss fans were excited about Ole Miss baseball. I made the trip to Birmingham and planned to stay as long as the Rebels were playing. Many Rebel fans were there that first day and the crowd of Rebels grew as the weekend went on, especially Sunday. I got the privilege of sitting next to SwayzeCrazy(the throw it in the dirt guy) on opening night. He is full of excitement and is a great guy to sit next to during the game, he is full of knowledge.

The Rebels had a great tournament. They started out on Wednesday against Alabama. The Rebels got up early on the Tide and were up 3-0 going into the ninth inning. A late Bama rally in the ninth scored a run and left two runners on to end the game in scoring position, but Stephen Head prevailed and closed out the game on the mound for the Rebels in strong fashion as he always did. On Thursday, the Rebels were forced to play number 1 seed Florida, it was a high scoring game and the Gators won it 10-7.

In this double elimination tournament the Tide and Rebels were forced to play again. It was another close game, with the game being tied going into the eighth. A Brian Pettway shot to dead center scored two to solidify another victory over the Tide and sent many fans in Birmingham home. The bad thing many thought, was that the Rebels were going to have to play the number 1 seed Florida again, and defeat them twice in one day.

With this fact being known, I thought there was no way we could do this and went to relax at a lake outside from Birmingham. Boy, was this a mistake. The Rebels turned it on on Saturday behind some excellent pitching of Anthony Cups, Stoney Stone, and Tommy Bumgardner. The Rebels miraculous defeated the Gators 14-1 in a game called in seven innings due to the mercy rule. They then came back an hour later and defeated the Gators 4-2. The matchup was now set, it was the two Mississippi schools in the SEC Championship game.

Highway's 82 and 78 were reportedly packed as Rebel and Bulldog fans made their way to the Hoover Met to watch their teams play in the SEC Championship game. It was the third largest championship game in attendance in the history of the tournament. Unfortunately the Bulldogs won the matchup as the Rebels could never really get base runners in scoring position. Brooks Dunn took the mound for the Bulldogs, and pitched a pretty good game. The final score was 4-1, Dogs.

Overall it was a great tournament for the Rebels. After losing to Florida on Thursday if you would have told me they would make the finals, I would have never believed you. I believe it was one of the few if not only times the Rebels have made it to the finals, and it was the first time the Rebels and Dogs had ever met in the finals. The 2006 SEC tournament is just two weeks away, I plan on being their again this year. I hope the Rebels can play like they did last year, because we definitely need them to.

Number 38 Should Stay

Many people are aware of the situation concerning Patrick Willis and him wanting to wear number 49 next year instead of number 38, which he was awarded this spring. I was made aware of this situation last month when a former Chucky Mullins winner and M-Club board member brought up the situation with me and asked my thoughts. I told him it is selfish of Willis to not want to wear 38. Wearing number 38 is the highest honor an Ole Miss footbal player can acheive and is recognized throughout the Southeast and by many college football fans.

When I was told Willis wanted to wear his number instead of Chucky's, I was shocked. Willis is a great guy and one of the most down to earth, personal athletes on this campus. The award is given to the defensive back who portray's leadership and the never give up attitude that Chucky had. Willis is definately the guy that deserves the award.

By no means should this jersey be retired, I believe the tradition should continue in the same fashion it has been for the bast 17 years. Someone needs to convince Willis to wear the jersey this year and then when he makes it to the NFL he can return to Number 49. I am interested to hear everyone's thoughts on this.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Number Eight: 2006 Baseball

Number eight on the list of sports memories over the past 4 years is a story that is still developing. The 2006 Baseball season has been somewhat of a roller coaster. The Rebels started the season out with the prediction of being a good team but not as good as last year. They were also supposed to be a young team that would make alot of mistakes and errors.

Well, things have gone a little different than planned. The Rebels lost some games early in the year, that made many Rebel fans think this years team would not be as exciting. The Rebels made their first trip to the west coast to take on the UCLA Bruins, a trip I also made. Being my first time on the west coast, I knew I would be in for a treat. The experience was awesome, the number of Ole Miss fans in L.A. were more than UCLA fans. This shows you just how far the Ole Miss baseball team has come. We only wish we could have won a couple of more games out their, but the trip was worth it.

When SEC play came along the next weekend the Rebels struggled losing their first two series. Since then though, the Rebels have swept three series including two back to back series sweeps over LSU and Tennessee. Those back to back weekends and 10 game home stretch were fun times and reminded people of the 2005 baseball team. The one thing about this baseball season has been the rain. Rain has kept people away from the ballpark on the weekends. It has rained every home series in some form or fashion on the weekend.

As stated earlier, this story is still developing, the Rebels recently lost a series for the first time in several weeks as they were swept by very good Kentucky team. This will drop the spirits of Rebel fans a little bit, but come next weekend the Arkansas series will tell how this team will be for the rest of the season. This team has a chance to host a regional if they play well from here on out. A strong SEC tournament appearance looks like it is going to be key. One thing is for sure the last weekend of SEC play is going to be a big one as the Rebels travel to Starkville. The pressure will be on both team in the final series. However, I hope this season ends up like a season that will be talked about later this week as the Top Ten list continues.

Two Down One to Go

The Rebels have dropped the first two games on the road at Kentucky this weekend. Was not able to watch the game last night due to DotTV not working as it seems to always not work. However I did watch Saturday game, the Rebels never really got runners on base until the eighth inning. In the eighth the bases were loaded with one out. Logan Power took three pitches straight down the middle without taking the bat off his shoulder, followed by Justin Brashear's strike out looking. Down 3-2 in the ninth, Jon-Jon Hancock led off with a hit, but try to advance it into a double and was thrown out. Hancock does not have the speed to advance to second on a hit like that. Nor did the Rebels need him to be at second. A runner was all we needed and then we pulled this inexcusable move, and lost 3-2. It is a must win game tomorrow for the Rebels as they can not afford to get swept.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Number Nine: The Independence Bowl

The Number Nine spot on Ole Miss sports memories over the last five years would be the 2002 Independence Bowl. Everyone knows that for about 5 years it appeared that the Independence Bowl would be a permanent home for the Ole Miss football fans come the end of December. The 2002 season was up and down and lost several close games including a 14-13 game to LSU. The 2002 football season wrapped up and some were unsure if the Rebels would go to a bowl with a 6-6 record. In the end the Rebels would be making the trip to Shreveport yet another time.

Many students decided not to attend this game, because after all it was Shreveport and who wanted to spend part of their break in that town. I had been to Shreveport once before to watch Ole Miss play Oklahoma in the last game of the 20th century a couple of years before. So I knew what the atmosphere was like and I myself had no plans of going to the game also.

However I received a phone call the day before the game and was offered two tickets and two RebelClub of Jackson bus tickets to go to the game. I decided what the heck, might as well go, not much else going on in Greenwood on a December night. So I called Lenwood Brooks, he was going to make the trip with me. I woke up at 4:30 in the morning to make it to Jackson by 6:00 to catch the bus and make the trip to Shreveport. Upon arriving in Shreveport we made a stop by the casinos to east and headed over to the game.

It was Eli's junior year and some thought this bowl game might be his last. Ole Miss squared off against Big 12 powerhouse Nebraska in the bowl. The game was an eventful one. Not a huge crowd, but a large number of Rebel faithful in attendance. The game went back and forth for most of the afternoon/night. Former Pillow Academy great and Groza award winner Jonathan Nichols made a kick with about 4:30 minutes left to seal a 27-23 victory for the Rebels.

All in all it was a great trip and one to remember. Yeah it was the Independence Bowl, but a bowl win is a bowl win. Out of four years we only went to two, so I look back on it and am thankful that I made the trip.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Number Ten: The Fall of Ole Miss Basketball

The number ten Ole Miss sports memory I will walk away with from Ole Miss, is the fall of the Ole Miss basketball program. Growing up through my teenage years the Ole Miss basketball team dominated, and I was looking forward to having the same experience during my college years at Ole Miss. I can remember going to the SEC Tournament growing up in Orlando, Atlanta, New Orleans, Memphis, etc. Seeing players like Gerald Glass, Joezon Darby, Keith Carter, J.J. Sims, Justin Reed, Raheem Lockhart and many many more. I was ready to witness the same type tournament play in college.

Well, things did not work out as planned. During my four years at Ole Miss, the overall record was 55-63. Never having a winning record in the past four years. Most of the games were awful, the competition was bad, and we were just plain bad. However there were some good ones thrown in here and there throughout my college career. And I attended the games win or loose, Christmas Break or Spring Break, I was there hoping my Rebels could win. The only excitement I got out of many of these games was watching Robert Cook never win the free pizza passed out in the stands during his tenure at Ole Miss. This excitement rivaled watching Sam Ford and Drew Levanway as part of the Rebel Patrol Squad try to fire up the few fans in attendance.

One of the best trips Ole Miss basketball fans can take is the trip to Memphis for the Ole Miss/Memphis State game. My freshman year as a pledge I received a phone call at home in Greenwood from Sidney Allen wanting to know if I wanted to go the game in Memphis with them. I drove to meet Sid, Keith Studdard, and Sam Peters(who I did not really know until this trip, boy has knowing this guy been a rollercoaster) in Oxford, not knowing if I was going to have to conduct pledge activities on this trip. Needless to say I did not. We arrived in Memphis and after checking in went bar to bar to Rendezvous to bar to game. If memory serves me correct we lost this game at the Pyramid by about five or six points After a long night on Beale Street and a homeless man taking us to Denny's, my first experience of a basketball road trip was over. There has never been and probably never will be a better trip to watch the Rebel Roundballers. If we continue to play Memphis in basketball, I encourage everyone to make this trip.

I did however attend one SEC Tournament my freshman year in New Orleans. My sister and I made the trip down to the Big Easy. There were only true basketball fans there. Students like Morrow Bailey, Jamie Hart, Charlie Swayze, and Edward Peacock just to name a few. These guys, like myself were true basketball fans and experienced part of the glory days of Ole Miss basketball. The Rebels surprising beat South Carolina on the first day, extending our stay an additional day, before losing to Mississippi State the next day.

The good thing is times are a changing. The University decided to let go one of our own with the firing of Rod Barnes. I liked Rod and he was always nice to me, but we had been bad for too long, and it was time for a change. A new guy is in town by the name of Andy Kennedy. Kennedy appears to have alot of fire under him and has hired an energetic staff. Those close to the program believe things will change for the better.

Unfortunately my memory of Ole Miss basketball while enrolled at the University will be a bad one. However I will sacrifice this memory for a Final Four appearance any day of the week.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Blog Update

As graduation approaches for the class of 2006, is undergoing research to present the top 10 sports news/stories/events at Ole Miss over the past 4 years. The list will probably be argued by some saying there are bigger news stories, and the editors here at Worldclassglass are more than likely going to leave a story out. But I am going to tell the stories of my experience at these sporting events and I hope you will enjoy. The list will be posted randomly over the next two weeks.

Signing the Dotted Line

Ole Miss offensive tackle Tre' Stallings was selected in the sixth round of the 2006 National Football League draft here Sunday. Stallings was the 186th overall pick of this year's draft.
"Kansas City showed a lot of interest in me from the very beginning," Stallings said. "I'm excited about the opportunity to play for Coach (Herm) Edwards and ready to go to work."
Stallings, a 6-4, 317-pounder from Magnolia, Miss., visited Kansas City on April 18-19 and came away with a good feeling about his chances of being drafted by the Chiefs.

Six players from last year's Ole Miss football team have signed free agents to play in the NFL

Wide receiver Taye Biddle: Carolina Panthers
Defensive tackle McKinley Boykin: New Orleans Saints
Defensive tackle Michael Bozeman: Atlanta Falcons
Wide receiver Mario Hill: Tennessee Titans
Defensive end Jayme Mitchell: Minnesota Vikings
Running back/wide receiver Micheal Spurlock: Arizona Cardinals

Kennedy Inks One More

Ole Miss head basketball coach Andy Kennedy has added yet another signee to this years signing class. Peabody HS G Rodney Jones from Alexandria, LA who was AAAA Player of the year in Louisisana had signed with the Rebs. Jones averaged 25 points and 10 rebounds per game. Story developing.....

Monday, May 01, 2006

Presley Named National Player of Week

Alex Presley was honored with National Player of the Week honors by the on Monday. Presley led the Rebels at the plate on the week as he hit .529 with 12 RBI and eight runs scored. He tallied six RBI producing hits including a pair of two-RBI singles, and RBI double, and RBI triple, a solo home run and a two-run homer on the week. Presley had a hand in generating 20 of the Rebels runs on the week. The junior outfielder also posted a slugging percentage of 1.059.

Movin On Up

The Rebels moved up 5 spots this week. Anyone notice who is absent??

1. North Carolina (39-8)
2. Rice (39-9)
3. Nebraska (36-6)
4. Cal. St. Fullerton (33-11)
5. Alabama (34-13)
6. Oregon St. (32-10)
7. Texas (31-15)
8. Notre Dame (35-9-1)
9. Clemson (33-13)
10. Houston (31-16)
11. Oklahoma (35-11)
12. Virginia (38-10)
13. Florida St. (35-11)
14. Georgia Tech. (33-12)
15. Kentucky (34-11)
16. Miami, Fla. (29-16)
17. Mississippi (30-15)
18. North Carolina St. (32-15)
19. South Carolina (32-12)
20. Arizona St. (29-16)
21. Wake Forest (30-14)
22. Washington (30-16)
23. Arkansas (31-14)
24. Vanderbilt (27-18)
25. Old Dominion (35-8)

The Broom Is Beginning to Make Itself at Home

Another week, another sweep, as the Rebels defeated Tennessee in a three game series this weekend in Oxford. With the sweep over the Vols the Rebels move to 30-15 and 13-8 on the season. The Rebels are now in sole possession of second place in the west and tied for second overall in the SEC.

A ten game win streak for the Rebels has been led by some extrodinary hitting at the plate. This continued against Tennessee as the Rebels defeated the Vols 13-5, 21-13, 5-3. It was once again some spectacular baseball in Oxford.

The question is can the Rebels continue to be this hot. They will go on the road this weekend to Kentucky to take on the No. 15 ranked Wildcats. It should be an interesting weekend in Lexington. Before the Rebels leave for Lexington they will host Nicholls State on Tuesday.

Kennedy Adds Another

OXFORD — Andy Ogide of Paulding County (Ga.) High has signed a letter of intent to play basketball at Ole Miss, new Rebel coach Andy Kennedy said today.
Ogide, a 6-foot-8, 225-pound forward, averaged 25.3 points and 10.3 rebounds a game as a senior at Paulding County. He joins St. Petersburg (Fla.) College forward Kenny Williams in Ole Miss’ signing class.“He really is the epitome of what we’re looking for in a student-athlete atOle Miss,” Kennedy said. “He’s a leader in the classroom, he’s got a 3.8GPA. He’s 6-foot-8, 225 pounds of athleticism and his skills will allow himto play multiple positions. For him to be available and for us to be able toadd him to our roster at this point is very encouraging.”Ogide was coached in high school by former Clinton High coach Joel Boone.

The Rebels hosted two recruits last weekend, former Cincinnati guard Devan Downey and Peabody (La.) High guard Rodney Jones.

Update: As Sparky stated Devan Downey is going to enroll at South Carolina. It appears the AAU coaches are making alot of this decision for him. Coach Kennedy did not want to start off on a bad relationship with some of the AAU coaches, so he did not persue this one too hard.