TEAM OF THE DECADE . . . 1959 OLE MISS REBELS
by Van (Bubba) Burnham
The best team in the history of the SEC and the NCAA is far and away, JOHNNY VAUGHT'S '59 OLE MISS REBELS. The Johnny Rebs finished the season at 10-1 which included a 21-0 revenge victory over 9-1 LSU. The Tigers had earlier defeated Ole Miss 7-3 when Heisman winner Billy Cannon returned a fourth quarter punt 89 yards for the game- winner. Cannon then applied a game-saving tackle on 4th- and -1 at the LSU goal line in the waning seconds of the game.
Vaught's Rebels posted eight shutouts in eleven games in 1959, amassing 350 points while allowing ONLY 21.
And the Rebel defense NEVER ALLOWED A TOUCHDOWN drive! Tulane's Green Wave were sunk at the Ole Miss Homecoming 53-7. Their touchdown was a result of a PASS INTERCEPTION.
The Rebels blasted Bowden Wyatt 's Tennessee Vols 37-7 at Crump Stadium in Memphis. UT's lone score was the result of a blocked quick kick in the first half.
And Cannon 's 89-yard punt return on Oct. 31st was the final TD scored against the Rebels.
Shutouts were posted against Arkansas, Houston, Kentucky, Memphis State, Vanderbilt, Chattanooga, Mississippi State and LSU. EIGHT SKUNKINGS --- Count 'em!
No other team in modern day football can boast of accomplishments like these. Yes, the '59 REBELS were even better than the '61 Alabama team. And --- the '60,'61 and '62 OLE MISS teams weren't far from the top of your list. REMEMBER 350 POINTS SCORED & ONLY 21 ALLOWED! HOTTY TODDY!!!