I accidentally had the Paul Finebaum show on Tuesday when CBS football expert Gary Danielson called in. I was trying not to listen until I heard Danielson say that before Saturday’s victory over Bama, the two biggest games in Ole Miss football history were both losses.
He was referring to the Billy Cannon-LSU game in 1959 and the 33-32 Alabama game, which featured Archie and Scott Hunter. Neither of these two games had any bearing on the national title from an Ole Miss perspective. My reasons are as follows.
The 1959 loss to LSU in Baton Rouge was more than rectified as Ole Miss defeated LSU 21-0 in the Sugar Bowl and won the national championship as a result. Maybe Mr. Danielson forgot or overlooked this particular game.
The 1969 mid season loss (33-32) to Alabama was an exciting game for television, but occurred during a season in which the Rebs would also lose to Kentucky and Houston.
The 38-0 black jacking of No. 3 Tennessee that year earned Ole Miss an invitation to the Sugar Bowl (even with 3 losses) where the Rebs defeated highly touted Arkansas on January 1, 1970. I know because I attended both these games. Maybe Mr. Danielson forgot or overlooked these two games as well.
In 1960 and 1962 Ole Miss won national titles again because of great seasons and wins in the Sugar Bowl over Rice and Arkansas respectively. Maybe Mr. Danielson forgot or overlooked these two games additionally.
And then there was the 1952 matchup between Ole Miss and highly ranked Maryland (in Oxford) on November 15th that season which Ole Miss won 21-14. This game is frequently referenced as the turning point in Ole Miss football history. I doubt Mr. Danielson even considered this game by his “flippant” remark of attempting to bash Ole Miss.
I asked brother George who was Sports Editor of The Daily Mississippian in the early 70’s what was his opinion of the two greatest games in Ole Miss history prior to Saturday. He referenced the 1962 Sugar Bowl victory (17-13) over Arkansas and the 1969 trouncing of Tennessee.
My only request of Mr. Danielson is simply this. If you’re going to take shots at Ole Miss, please do your homework in full, not on sound bites. Instead of celebrating the 23-17 victory Saturday over #1 Alabama and adding another fabulous chapter to Ole Miss football successes, don’t attempt to belittle us by claiming this was the “greatest” victory in Ole Miss history opposed to one of many…a very good many!
Should CBS once again televise a major Ole Miss victory later this year, possibly Mr. Danielson will reconsider where this win might fall in our inventory of “great games.”
Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. In addition, he is a certified economic and community developer and currently, a highly successful leader in the real estate business with Premier Properties of Oxford. Steve’s lifelong dream has been to live in Oxford full-time. “I am now living my dream daily as is my wife Rosie, who works with the Oxford Chamber of Commerce,” Steve said. You can contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 985-852-7745
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