Game history

A Look at the History of Ole Miss’ Storied Bowl Game

Ole Miss earned its first 10-win regular season in program history in 2021, earning its 10th-place finish in the Sugar Bowl.

This will be the final chapter in a bowling story for the Rebels that spans nearly 90 years.


Depending on which metric you use, Ole Miss is either first or second in the FBS in bowl game winning percentage among teams with at least 30 bowl appearances.

If you go by the field record, Ole Miss is first in the nation with a .658 winning percentage. If you go by the NCAA record books, the winning percentage for the Rebels is .631 due to the cancellation of the BBVA Compass Bowl in the 2012 season.

Either way, it’s obvious that Ole Miss has a long bowl game history that began in 1935. Overall, the Rebels have competed in 38 postseason bowls with a record 25 -13 (or 24-13 if you take the canceled game). into account).

Here is an overview of the history of Ole Miss bowling.

A brief history of college football games

The oldest bowling game in the United States, aptly called “The Granddaddy of Them All”, is the Rose Bowl Game.

The Rose Bowl traces its history back to 1902 as the East-West Football Tournament, and it has been played every year since 1916. After the Rose Bowl was born, other post-season bowls began to sprout around the college football, namely the Orange Bowl (1935), Sugar Bowl (1935), Sun Bowl (1935), and Cotton Bowl (1937). The other bowls that are now part of the “New Year’s Six” originated in 1968 (Peach Bowl) and 1971 (Fiesta Bowl).

Since those early days of college football postseason play, the number of bowling games has increased dramatically. As of the 2021-22 football season, there are 44 different bowl games in college football.

Quick Facts About Ole Miss Bowl Appearances

  • Ole Miss has five teams she has played the most with in her bowl history: Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas and Texas Tech. The rebels faced each of these adversaries three times each.
  • Since 1998, Ole Miss’ most played bowl opponents have been Oklahoma State (3) and Texas Tech (2).
  • Counting the Sugar Bowl of the 2021 season, Ole Miss has faced a team currently in the Big 12 nine times in a bowl game since 1998.
  • Johnny Vaught has by far the most bowl appearances as head coach of Ole Miss with 18 appearances from 1948 to 1970. The second most appearances by a rebel head coach belongs to the times to Billy Brewer and David Cutcliffe with five.
  • Counting the now-vacant BBVA Compass Bowl, Ole Miss has won more bowl games (25) than either of the other Mississippi FBS schools have appeared. Mississippi State and Southern Miss both appeared in 24.

History of the game Ole Miss’ Bowl

As mentioned above, Ole Miss has bowled in 38 games in his program’s history, winning 25 in the field and 24 in the NCAA Book of Records.

The Rebels’ bowl history began with the 1935 Orange Bowl in a 20–19 loss to Catholic University in Washington, D.C. As of 2021, this remains the only Orange Bowl berth for Ole Miss in his football history.

Ole Miss has appeared in 14 different bowl games with about a quarter of his overall Sugar Bowl appearances. This is a list of the various Ole Miss bowl berths sorted by number of appearances.

Sugar bowl (10): 1952, 1954, 1957, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1969, 2015, 2021

Cotton Bowl (5): 1955, 1961, 2003, 2008, 2009

Independence Bowl (5): 1983, 1986, 1998, 1999, 2002

Liberty Bowl (4): 1965, 1968, 1989, 1992

Alligator Bowl (3): 1958, 1970, 1990

Fishing Bowl (2): 1971, 2014

Music City Bowl (2): 2000, 2013

Bluebonnet Bowl* (2): 1964, 1966

Orange Bowl (1): 1935

Solar Bowl (1): 1967

Outback Bowl (1): 2020

Delta Bowl* (1): 1948

Motor City Bowl (1): 1997

BBVA Compass Bowl (1): 2012

* denotes a boules game that no longer exists

Ole Miss bowl appearances in the BCS and college football playoff eras

The Bowl Championship Series governed FBS football from 1998 to 2013 and was replaced by the College Football Playoffs in 2014.

Counting the now vacant BBVA Compass Bowl in the 2012 season and the upcoming Sugar Bowl, Ole Miss has appeared in 13 bowl games since 1998 with an overall record of 10-2 in those games.

Independence Bowl of the 1998 season against Texas Tech: F 35-18

Independence Bowl of the 1999 season against Oklahoma: S 27-25

Music City Bowl of the 2000 season against West Virginia: L 38-49

Independence Bowl of the 2002 season against Nebraska: S 27-23

Cotton Bowl of the 2003 season against Oklahoma State: F 31-28

Cotton Bowl of the 2008 season against Texas Tech: F 47-34

Cotton Bowl of the 2009 season against Oklahoma State: M 21-7

2012 Season BBVA Compass Bowl vs. Pittsburgh: F 38-17

2013 Music City Bowl season vs. Georgia Tech: M 25-17

2014 Peach Bowl Season vs. TCU: L 3-42

Sugar Bowl of the 2015 season against Oklahoma State: F 48-20

Outback Bowl of the 2020 season against Indiana: M 26-20

Sugar bowl of the 2021 season against Baylor: To be determined


As the No. 8 Ole Miss prepares to compete in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1 against No. 7 Baylor, it will be a continuation of a bowl story that ranks among the richest in college football history. Kickoff between the Rebels and Bears is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. CT on ESPN.


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