Many Ole Miss football fans are already booming out of their mouths that this is their team's year. They just can't wait for what their team can do this year. Sure, they beat the Florida Gators last year, but that wasn't luck. They are a team, a great one. Mississippi columnist Rick Cleveland has never seen so much optimistic fans.

It has been 46 years, yes, count that 46 years, that the Rebels have won an SEC title. It has been since 1963! ESPN says that was when Steve Spurrier was a freshman at Florida. Hell, that is how old my father is! Here is what ESPN.com said in their Rebels' post:

It was one of the last schools in the league to integrate its football team, in 1972, and Ole Miss coaches were continually frustrated in recruiting black players amid the Old South trappings that clung to the program: the band playing "Dixie," legions of fans waving confederate flags at home games, and a Colonel Reb mascot who evoked a plantation owner's image. If the school had landed just some of the in-state black superstars who instead played elsewhere for whatever reason -- Harold Jackson, L.C. Greenwood, Walter Payton, Sammy Winder, Hugh Green, Jerry Rice, Steve McNair, etc. -- how different might its history be?

But Ole Miss has played an energetic game of cultural catch-up in recent years, wiping out the totems of a racist time. Thanks in large part to the efforts of freshly retired chancellor Robert Khayat, it no longer feels like 1963 at an Ole Miss home game -- though they'd love to taste that level of success again.

"Ole Miss clearly had a harder time dealing with integration than anyone else because of the symbols," Cleveland said. "Having said that, they've overcome it now. You used to see 30,000 people waving confederate flags. Now you may see one guy who snuck one in."

Looks like Ole Miss will not be facing tough times anymore. They are certainly a new team. After last year's amazing 9-4 performance, capped off by that win against Florida, the Rebels have looked to strike this year, especially with all-star quarterback Jevan Snead, who threw for 26 touchdowns last year and was a Heisman Trophy candidate. ESPN says that Ole Miss has reached it's highest preseason ranking over about 40 years and have their ticket-selling system towards a shattering sale.

"There's a great buzz going around our program right now," Snead told ESPN.

Of course there is big buzz going on around the program. This is going to be a fun year for Ole Miss football, and if you can't handle it, don't even bother to check out the SEC. Let's hope people are ready for some fun for this year's College Football season!


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