Looking at how well each team knows the conference's newest members
|Ole Miss History vs. New SEC Teams
It's not like Ole Miss was tearing up the SEC before Texas A&M and Missouri came around. After all, the Rebels were 10-30 against the SEC over the last five seasons, even when the Cotton Bowl seasons of 2008 and 2009 were taken into account. (Two winless seasons and a one-win season will offset a lot of things.)
Now, the SEC has added a pair of teams that have defeated Ole Miss nine of the 10 teams they've faced the Rebel Black Bears. Of course, history can be a tricky way to measure how well current teams will do against other current teams. But it's safe to say that if the past is any guide, the latest round of SEC expansion will be a cruel blow for Ole Miss.
By some measures, the Rebels have had more success against Missouri than against Texas A&M -- after all, at least Ole Miss has won one of the half-dozen games they've played with the Tigers. That would a 10-0 win against Missouri in Jackson back in 1974. (Four of Ole Miss' six games against the Tigers came between 1973 and 1979.)
Then again, by at least one other way of looking at it, Ole Miss should be glad that Missouri is headed to the SEC East. The combined score of the four Texas A&M wins against the Rebels over the year is 61-37 -- not great, but what do you expect when you lose all four games? On the other hand, Missouri has outscored Ole Miss by a combined margin of 167-63. That's an average margin of defeat of 17 points, even if you count the sole Rebels win in the average.
And many of the games haven't even been that close. The Tigers defeated Ole Miss 45-14 in 1978, 33-7 in 1979 and 34-7 in 2006. The only game between the Aggies and the Rebels decided by more than one score was the inaugural meeting between the two teams in 1911, when TAMU won 17-0.
Of course, Texas A&M is Ole Miss' more immediate concern. The Rebels won't face Missouri again until at least 2013 and will only meet them sporadically, especially if the SEC continues its stubborn resistance to a nine-game conference schedule.
The game against the Aggies is scheduled for Oct. 6 in Oxford -- right after Ole Miss visits Alabama in the SEC opener and before the set of Tigers from Auburn swings by. Hugh Freeze's introduction to the conference was always going to be a difficult one, but adding A&M might have made it a bit harder.