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The Ole Miss Rebels football team represents the University of Mississippi, also known as Ole Miss. The Rebels compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The football history of Ole Miss includes the formation of the first football team in the state and the 26th team on the list of college football's all-time winning programs. The Ole Miss Rebels posted their 600th win on September 27, 2008 when they defeated the (then ranked No. 4 and future 2008 BCS National Champ) Florida Gators 31–30 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.
Throughout the 115-year history of Ole Miss football, the Rebels have won six Southeastern Conference titles (1947, 1954, 1955, 1960, 1962, and 1963); they also have a claim to three national championships (1959, 1960, 1962). The team is currently coached by Hugh Freeze.
In 1890, Dr. A.L. Bondurant, later the dean of the Ole Miss Graduate School, rallied Ole Miss students to help form an athletic department to encompass the sports of football, baseball and tennis. The students brought this initiative to reality and in 1893, with Bondurant as the coach, a football team came to fruition. The first team won four of five games during that inaugural football season. One of those wins was the very first football game ever played by an Ole Miss team, a 56–0 victory over Southwest Baptist University of Jackson, Tennessee (now known as Union University). This was on November 11, 1893.
The next year, 1894, Bondurant passed on his coaching duties. Ole Miss Football, a book published in 1980 by Sports Yearbook Company of Oxford, MS, says J.W.S. Rhea was the first coach at Ole Miss having been hired part-time by Bondurant and having led the 1894 team to a 6–1 record. The annual Ole Miss media guide lists C.D. Clark as the coach of the 1894 team and further says about him, "Although it has never been documented, it is thought that C.D. Clark of Tufts was the first paid football coach at Ole Miss. His name appears as manager of the team as shown in the Ole Miss Magazine dated November 1894." The College Football Data Warehouse also lists Clark as the coach for the 1894 team.
Twice in its history, Ole Miss did not field a football team. In 1897, a yellow fever epidemic cancelled the football season. In 1943, football was abolished at all Mississippi state-supported institutions by the state college Board of Trustees due to World War II.