I stumbled upon this blog posted back in 2014 and thought it was pretty interesting. I wanted to re-post it / share it here for those who enjoy college football history.
Evidence Reveals Ole Miss Named for Train, Not Antebellum Reference Oct. 6, 2014
This is the second segment in a two-part series on the evolution of the term “Ole Miss.” The piece is written by Dr. Albert Earl Elmore, a noted scholar who holds degrees from Millsaps College and Ole Miss Law School with a Ph.D in English Literature from Vanderbilt.
The History of the Name “Ole Miss”
The controversy about “Ole Miss” as a name for the University of Mississippi was conceived in innocent ignorance and perpetuated by the misinformation of the Internet.
Let us begin with the Internet misinformation that appears in the endlessly consulted Wikipedia entry for the name Ole Miss: “The student yearbook was published for the first time in 1897. A contest was held to solicit suggestions for a yearbook title from the student body. Elma Meek, a student, submitted the winning entry of ‘Ole Miss.’ Meek’s source for the term in unknown. Some historians theorize she made a diminutive of ‘ole Mississippi’ or derived the term from ‘ol missus,’ an African-American term for a plantation ‘old mistress.’”
So why did the 1962 team get new rings? Well, I am not 100% sure but I think I have a pretty good guess. My guess is that whatever ring they received in 1962 only said “SEC Champions,” and did not say “National Champions.” Now that Ole Miss claims the 1962 national title, they figured it was only right to give the players from that squad a ring that reflected the same accomplishment.
*Note: I asked Ross Bjork, via twitter, for more information on the new rings. I will update this site as soon as I hear back from him.