An Overview of Ole Miss Football from 2000 to 2021

Ole Miss Football’s up and downs over the last 20 years.

Image credit @OleMissFB on Twitter

Ole Miss football has been a roller-coaster ride with many ups and downs over the last twenty years.

As a fan, I’ve loved some of the ride.

Some parts, not so much.

David Cutcliffe from 2000–2004 (Record: 35–25)

I liked David Cutcliffe — and I still do.

His time with Ole Miss is best remembered as the years with Romaro Miller, Deuce McAllister, and Eli Manning.

Eli Manning’s senior season (2003), Ole Miss, fell short of beating LSU and going to the SEC Championship Game.

However, Coach Cutcliffe was let go after an abysmal 2004 season. Looking back, Ole Miss probably acted a bit too quickly in firing Cutcliffe. Especially considering what happened next, they should have been more patient.

Ed Orgeron from 2005–2007 (Record: 10–25)

Yes — Ed Orgeron coached at Ole Miss before winning it all with Joe Burrow at LSU.

Coach Orgeron’s teams were talented — especially on the defensive side of the ball (remember Patrick Willis?)

But the record speaks for itself. Orgeron’s teams couldn’t score enough points to be competitive. However, the talent he recruited would pay off — it would just be with the next coach.

Houston Nutt from 2008–2011 (Record: 24–26*)

If Ed Orgeron could have been Houston Nutt’s recruiter, Ole Miss would have had something special.

Coach Nutt deserves a lot of credit — he put some of the best Ole Miss teams on the field from 2008–2009 that Ole Miss fans had seen in a long time.

The Ole Miss Rebels beat the Tim Tebow-led Florida Gators in 2008 — the eventual National Champions.

However, Houston Nutt’s downfall was his lack of consistent recruiting and control over the team.

The 2010–2011 Rebels were the worst Ole Miss football teams I’ve ever seen, which is saying a lot.

The asterisk is beside the record because some of the wins were vacated because of NCAA sanctions.

Hugh Freeze from 2012–2016 (Record: 39–25*)

This one is painful for Ole Miss fans.

Hugh Freeze was building something amazing. And then it all went down the drain.

Under Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss beat Alabama in back-to-back seasons (2014–2015) and nearly won again in 2016. Thanks to Hugh Freeze, Ole Miss measures themselves by Alabama now.

But, many things went sideways (NCAA investigation, Hugh Freeze misconduct, etc.), and Freeze resigned before the 2017 season began.

The asterisk is beside the record because some of the wins were vacated because of NCAA sanctions.

Matt Luke 2017–2019 (Record: 15–21)

Matt Luke is another coach on this list that I like. I wanted him to succeed at Ole Miss.

He coached Ole Miss through the sanctions imposed by the NCAA. He did as good of a job as anyone could have done, in my opinion.

After several losing seasons in a row, Ole Miss was ready to start winning again, and they parted ways with Matt Luke.

Coach Luke going 1–2 in the Egg Bowl against Mississippi State is a large part of what ended his run at Ole Miss.

Lane Kiffin 2020-Present (Record: 15–8)

Welcome to the Lane Train!

I remember hearing Ole Miss was about to hire Lane Kiffin, and I was so excited.

To explain for outsiders: Ole Miss tends to hire “Ole Miss” approved people (aka Hugh Freeze and Matt Luke). Some Ole Miss fans did not want — and still don’t like — Lane Kiffin.

Ole Miss finally committed to winning and not just doing the same things they’d always done.

Lane Kiffin has done an excellent job through two seasons, and he continues to build the program into a contender.

Just win, baby win!

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Letters from an Ole Miss sports fan to his beloved university. Celebrations, musings, and complaints. Hotty Toddy Ole Miss fans!

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Jameson Steward

Jameson Steward

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