Ole Miss and Tennessee have shared one of the SEC’s oldest rivalries, dating all the way back to 1902. The two teams have faced one another 64 times throughout history, although Tennessee has dominated the series with 44 wins in those 64 games. The Volunteers were 18-0-1 in their first 19 games against Ole Miss before the Rebels finally broke through with a 30-point win in 1947. This will be the first time the two teams have met since 2010.

In honor of “Throwback Thursday,” let’s take a look at some of the other fantastic matchups these two teams have produced throughout the years:

All-time record: Tennessee leads 44-19-1

Current streak: Tennessee, won 1

Longest win streaks: Tennessee 12, Ole Miss 8

Big moments in Ole Miss-Tennessee’s recent history


The 2004 showdown between Ole Miss and Tennessee is the only single digit margin in the last 20 years of this longstanding series. Tennessee won the game 21-17 on an Erik Ainge touchdown pass to Bret Smith midway through the fourth quarter to put the Vols in front to stay. Ole Miss led 17-14 before Ainge’s touchdown toss to Smith thanks to Rebels’ defensive back Bryan Brown’s 34-yard pick-six earlier in the fourth quarter.

The game was significant for both sides as Ole Miss head coach David Cutcliffe faced his former mentor Phillip Fulmer for the first time as opposing head coaches in the SEC. Cutcliffe had worked as offensive assistant at Tennessee for 12 years and then served as Fulmer’s offensive coordinator at Tennessee for another six years prior to taking the job at Ole Miss. Although Cutcliffe’s team was below-500 while Tennessee was a top 15 program at the time, the Rebels came close to spoiling the Volunteers’ season with a monumental upset in Oxford.

Tennessee would finish the season with a 10-3 record, including a 7-1 record in the conference. The Volunteers were SEC East champions, but they lost to Jason Campbell and Auburn in the 2004 SEC Championship Game. Ole Miss ended the year with a 4-7 record.


Ole Miss began the 1983 season with a dismal 1-5 record, and even after three straight wins pulled the Rebels back into contention for a bowl berth, earning another victory against a tough Tennessee team in Knoxville seemed like a longshot. The Vols were considered the cream of the crop in the SEC in ’83, while Ole Miss was a middle of the pack team at best.

Nevertheless, the Rebels played inspired football, taking a 13-7 lead into the locker room at halftime before holding on to an eventual 13-10 victory in front of more than 95,000 fans in Neyland Stadium. Roger Clark’s second interception of the game in the final minute of action sealed the deal with Ole Miss, which pulled even at 5-5 with the victory.

Tennessee scored a touchdown on its opening drive to take a 7-0 first quarter lead. The Rebels would out-score the Vols 13-3 the rest of the way, spearheaded by a Jamie Holder four-yard touchdown in the first half to give Ole Miss a 10-7 lead at the time. The three-point victory represents the closest margin of victory for either side since 1965.


In 1962, the Ole Miss football team was piecing together an undefeated regular season while the Ole Miss campus played host to one of the darkest times in the university’s history. The Rebels were in the midst of one of their greatest seasons ever, but it was overshadowed by James Meredith’s enrollment at Ole Miss and the violent riots that ensued, eventually requiring the military and U.S. Marshalls to quell the chaos.

Ole Miss was a perfect 8-0 that year when it made a trip to Knoxville to face the Tennessee Volunteers in the newly named Neyland Stadium (the stadium had been officially named in former coach Robert Neyland’s honor just one month earlier). The Volunteers had a losing record, and Ole Miss was expected to win the game easily, which it did. However, the final score was not relevant to the story of the game.

Late in the game, a fight broke out and escalated quickly, resulting in both sidelines clearing for an excruciating brawl. Based on the accounts of the fight found in history books and Internet archives, this fight was nastier than any brawl we’ll see in the modern era of the sport. Players were swinging helmets at one another, and were spiking opposing players with their cleats as they laid on the ground. Ole Miss and Tennessee have never been fond of one another, but this brawl escalated tensions between the two for decades to come.

The Rebels would go on to finish the season undefeated following a win in the Sugar Bowl, but the national championship was awarded to undefeated Southern Cal, likely because of the unrest regarding Meredith and Ole Miss’ attempt at desegregation in Oxford.