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Ole Miss vs. Oklahoma: A look at the Rebels’ budding rivalry with the Sooners

Ole Miss vs. Oklahoma: A look at the Rebels’ budding rivalry with the Sooners

OMAHA, Neb. – Ole Miss and Oklahoma are about to become quite familiar with one another. The two will square off in a best-of-three games series battle for the NCAA baseball national title.

The two schools will know one another much better in the not-so-distant future when the Sooners join the Southeastern Conference. But they already have a competitive history playing one another.

Saturday will mark the seventh time the Rebels and Oklahoma have met on the diamond. Ole Miss has a 4-2 edge in the series that began in 1992. The two have not met since 2005.

Facing the Sooners in other sports

Baseball is just one sport in which the Sooners and Ole Miss have competed.

In 1999, the Rebels beat Oklahoma 27-25 in dramatic fashion in the Independence Bowl. The Sooners scored a late touchdown to take a 25-24 lead, but Romaro Miller used the two-minute drill to get the Rebels into field goal territory. Les Binkley calmly hit a 39-yarder as time expired to give Ole Miss the win and a 1-0 series advantage.

By the way, the OU quarterback in that game? Current Tennessee coach Josh Heupel.

In men’s basketball, the two schools have met twice with each taking a win. In 1998, Ole Miss topped the Sooners 75-72 in the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic, but Oklahoma got its revenge the next season by beating the Rebels 81-73 in Norman.

On the women’s side, Ole Miss has a 2-1 edge over the Sooners on the hardwood. The last time the two teams met was in 2007.

A look at the University of Oklahoma 

Since Oklahoma will be in the SEC soon, let’s take a brief look at the Sooners.

The school was founded in 1890 as the Norman Territorial University. It did not become the University of Oklahoma until 17 years later and for good reason. Oklahoma did not receive statehood until 1907 and that is when the school received its current name.

Oklahoma has had seven Heisman Trophy winners starting with Billy Vessels in 1952. He was followed by Steve Owens (1969), Billy Sims (1978), Jason White (2003), Sam Bradford (2008), Baker Mayfield (2017) and Kyler Murray (2018).

The Sooners may lead Ole Miss 7-0 in Heisman winners, but the Rebels lead 3-1 in Miss Americas.

As impressive as the OU Heisman list is, there are two other Sooner players that must be mentioned – Waddy Young and Bob Kalsu.

Young was killed in action in World War II as a bomber pilot in the U.S. Army Air Force, while Kelso died in action in Vietnam as an Army artillery officer. Both were playing professional football when they were called to service.

Other notable alumni include actors Ed Harris, James Garner and Olivia Munn as well as Fred Haise who served as an astronaut on Apollo 13. Dari Nowkah, who is anchoring the SEC Network coverage of the CWS, is also an OU grad. 

UP NEXT

The Rebels will face Oklahoma in the championship series beginning Saturday at 6:00 p.m. CT. The game will air on ESPN.

(Feature image credit: Austin Eldridge, The Rebel Walk)

Steve Barnes
Steve Barnes

Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers.

He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio.

A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series.

Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time.

He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk.

Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.

About The Author

Steve Barnes

Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers. He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio. A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series. Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time. He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk. Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.

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