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Georgia Tech Football: Snarky Preview - Ole Miss

A duel against the 1963 (seriously that was their last one) SEC champs

NCAA Football: Mississippi at Georgia Tech Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Join us on Saturday evening as the Jackets make their first-ever trip to Oxford for a unique clash between prestigious research universities. This will be Tech’s first football game ever at Oxford and possibly in the United Kingdom, and it’s the team’s first trip across the pond since 2016, when—

(earpiece buzzes) ...oh. My apologies. It’s the *other* Oxford. I guess it explains why football is involved. Kinda dents the “prestigious research university” thing though...

Ahem. Join us on Saturday evening as the Jackets make their first-ever trip to Oxford, Mississippi to face Ole Miss at The Grove, one of the most famous tailgate environments in the country. It’s remarkable that this will be Tech’s first trip there given that the two teams overlapped in the SEC for over 30 years. But most of those 30 years included the coaching tenure of Bobby Dodd, who famously said he saw no reason that the Jackets should ever travel to the state of Mississippi. Other than a road game against Team Clanga in 2009, Tech has largely held to that tradition.

The Ole Miss Rebels are, of course, named after *those* rebels. They have honored that grand history by winning the same number of SEC titles as the Confederacy over the last 59 years.

For a minute in the mid-2010’s, it seemed like they might be ascending. They recruited suspiciously well, beat Alabama in back-to-back years, and generally looked like serious contenders. But it turns out that suspicious recruiting is a sign of suspicious business, particularly when your coach is Hugh Freeze, one of the only people in America who wasn’t aware that it’s a bad idea to call an escort service from your work phone. And so it all came crashing down.

One coach later, they’re ostensibly on the rise again with Lane Kiffin. The issue is that Lane’s main achievement so far seems to be just offering gobs of NIL money to every good GT player so he doesn’t have to work hard in recruiting. (That and having a mustard bottle full of hard liquor thrown at him in Knoxville a year or two ago.) Hard to blame him for that strategy, though. He’s probably still bitter about getting embarrassed by Tech in the 2012 Sun Bowl after doing absolutely everything in his power to disrespect both Tech and the Sun Bowl in the lead-up to the game. Insecurity can be quite the drug.

Ole Miss’s greatest disappointment will always be from their search for a new mascot to replace Colonel Reb. (This took place in 2010, because yes, it took until 2010 for Ole Miss to no longer have a Confederate army officer as their mascot.) The Rebels had a golden opportunity to make the greatest Rebel of all time their mascot: Admiral Ackbar, the fearless leader of the Rebel Alliance. An on-campus movement spawned to push for what by all accounts was the objectively correct pick. And in the end they went with... a black bear.

Anticlimactic, but at least it was better than the option that was essentially a frat bro. I’m not making that part up. It probably would’ve been even more perfect frankly.

Anyway. Tech heads into this game as a heavy underdog, being a rebuilding team that’s on the road against a top-20 opponent. But the Jackets have found a few offensive playmakers over the first two weeks, and they’ll be motivated against an Ole Miss defense that features three starters who previously played at Tech. It may well come down to whether the defense can get any heat on QB Jaxson Dart, who I’m mentioning solely to have an excuse to point out that their QB is named Jaxson Dart.

Honestly an upset here is a long shot. But the football gods are known to have a sense of humor. And what would be funnier than Lane Kiffin losing to Tech again?