Throwback Thursday: 1961 Sugar Bowl, Rice vs. Ole Miss

Let's go way back in our Throwback Thursday series to the 1961 Rice Owls vs. the Ole Miss Rebels matchup in the Sugar Bowl. They don't make them like this anymore. For one, the game has since become integrated, and announcers don't talk like this anymore. The announcing part is a shame. We'd watch this guy narrate anything - Sugar Bowl highlights, weddings, dog fights, a Jay Z concert. 


- Ole Miss were ranked 2nd in the country with a 9-0-1 mark while the Owls were unranked at 7-3. 

- Rice was coached by the legendary Jess Neely. Neely went 144-124-10 at Rice with four conference titles and three Cotton Bowl births. The Owls finished second in the old SWC twice. 

- Neely's 1949 team ended the season 10-1 with a #7 ranking and a Cotton Bowl win over North Carolina. The Owls one loss in '49 was a 14-7 defeat at LSU. 

- Rice intercepted 17 passes in 1960 and were a pretty good defensive squad.

- Ole Miss was coached by Johnny Vaught, who played at TCU and was born in Olney, Texas. His Ole Miss teams went 190-61-12. An incredible run. The Rebs claimed 6 outright SEC Titles and three National Titles. Now the National Titles are a bit of a contention, several schools claim the titles because several rankings services gave them out. But whatever, it looks good displayed in the stadium. 

- Ole Miss were named the National Champions after the Sugar Bowl. From the footage it doesn't appear the confetti cannons were working and we have no evidence of hats handed out after the game. 

- Rice would lose 14-6 to the Rebels, the Owl quarterback threw four interceptions, negating any chance the Owls had of pulling off the upset. 

- The Sugar Bowl was played at Tulane Stadium in 1961, the game moved to the Superdome in 1975. 

- Note that on offense neither team lined up players wide in any formation.  Back in the 50's and early 60's football was a fistfight in a phone booth. 

- 82,851 paying customers showed up for the Sugar Bowl in 1961

- A couple of interesting notes on the 1960 football season, 1960 marked Texas Tech's first year in the SWC and Oklahoma State's (then Oklahoma A&M's) first year in the Big Eight. 

Enjoy the 1961 Sugar Bowl, a 22 man rugby scrum.  

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Posted on July 28, 2016 and filed under Southwest Round-Up.