31 Flavors of Football: The MSU/Ole Miss Confusion

To help you and me get through the drudgery of August, I will present in this space a daily scoop of MSU football-ness, as inspired by a certain ice cream chain. August has 31 days, so I’ll let you work it out from there. Here is today’s flavor.


Ever since I was a kid, the national media has had a hard time distinguishing between Mississippi State and Ole Miss. I’m sure the confusion existed long before I came along, and you’d think by now folks would’ve figured it out.

The examples are numerous. MSU gets the Rebels nickname attached to it, or vice versa, or the ‘State’ is dropped, or an Ole Miss player is said to play for MSU. Happens all the time, and fans hate it. But there must be a reason for it.

Obviously, Ole Miss’ proper name is Mississippi, and a lot of people outside the state – especially the national media – uses the latter name. So you have Mississippi and Mississippi State, and it’s kinda understandable how a mix-up could happen.

On the other hand, you’d think by now that ‘Ole Miss’ would be used more commonly than it is, and that things like mascots and uniform colors would be enough to help people make the distinction. Laziness is a culprit, no doubt.

I know people get New Mexico and New Mexico State confused – I sure do – but those teams don’t play in the SEC. They’re not as prominent. There is ultimately no excuse for misidentifying the Bulldogs and Rebels, but both schools could help curb future occurrences by becoming more competitive, especially in football, and that’s something MSU is doing. So, you’re up, Ole Miss.

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