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I'm not sure there's anyone on the planet I'd rather spend a little time with on Ole Miss-LSU game day than Jake Gibbs. So Saturday, I did.

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Jake and I were both scheduled to be on Rebel Rags Red Zone Live (say that a dozen times as fast as you can; you'll win a couple dozen corn dogs if you are successful). We shared a mic along with Terry Warren and Scott Spencer in the early afternoon on the powerful northern Mississippi station MISS 98 FM.

I'll never forget what somebody once said to me about Jake Gibbs. It was direct and to the point.

"Jake Gibbs IS Ole Miss."

So true. The quarterback of a national championship college football team who finished third in the Heisman voting. That's for starters. How about catcher for the New York Yankees for seven years?

Athletically Jake could do it all, or so they say. I was too young to know.

And through it all, which included 19 years as head baseball coach at Ole Miss, Jake has remained "Ole Miss."

So Scott, Terry, and I sat there and talked Jake with Jake. I jumped in as quickly as I could, because I know where a conversation about Ole Miss and LSU with a member of the 1959 SEC Team of the Decade – those Rebels of that year – usually begins. On Halloween.

So I said, "Jake, let's talk about the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 1960." He liked that.

Ole Miss 21, LSU nothing. Nothing at all. Just two months after Jake punted to Billy Cannon and the Tigers had won 7-3.

That Halloween game, famous in its own right and which most agree vaulted Cannon to the Heisman that year, has been examined, dissected, talked about, listened to, and rehashed over and over again and again.

Let LSU talk about that game. Ole Miss needs to talk about the rematch in the Sugar Bowl. That's "the rest of the story."

I asked, "Jake, didn't Billy Cannon rush for just eight yards that New Year's Day in old Tulane Stadium?" Said Jake without hesitation, "Minus 8." Said it with a smile, too.

The 1959-60 era Rebels and Tigers remained friends through the years. Both head coaches lived long lives, the Rebels' Johnny Vaught until 2006 at age 96; LSU's "Pepsodent" Paul Dietzel, who died just last month at 89.

On the 50th anniversary of that 1959 season – the one that Ole Miss and LSU each won a game against one other – there was a gathering in Jackson of many members of both teams and Dietzel in 2009. A gathering to reminisce and talk old times between Rebels and Tigers. You can YouTube it. It's on there.

Just last week, the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in Jackson honored the 1959 Ole Miss team, not only its two games against LSU but for being one of the magnificent teams ever in college football. The offense scored a lot of points. The defense allowed basically none. Actually 21 points in 11 total games.

Yes, 21 points in 11 games. That's some serious defense, and it doesn't matter the era.

All things considered, not many gave Ole Miss much of a chance to win the game last night in Oxford. But the Rebels, undermanned and short-handed, lacking some depth and with an injury list even a MASH unit might have had trouble dealing with, prevailed.

But many, including myself, temporarily forgot about the abilities of this coaching staff and their effectiveness to have the Rebels in the best possible position to win a game. Every game.

And I forgot to really consider the heart of the players, and how much they seem to love playing the game and playing for these coaches.

And I forgot, even though Hugh Freeze had mentioned he believed the crowd would help, that if the Rebels came out early and showed they'd come to play, the fans would respond. And boy did you.

Coach Dave Wommack, the man charged with overseeing the Rebel defense, wounded or not, walked into the team meeting room to meet the press.

How did you get it done, the first question came?

"I've gotta say to God goes the glory first, because it was almost scary. Two corners out. Two defensive ends out. One of the starting linebackers out. Several other guys were injured," Wommack said.

Coach Dave Wommack
Chuck Rounsaville

"I give credit to our assistant coaches and the heart of our players. We've had two difficult games we could have won the previous weeks and weren't able to finish. A lot of our guys were missing. Our guys were warriors tonight. They battled their hearts out. I was so proud of them."

Especially in the first half, Wommack said. He knew it wouldn't get easier as the game went on. It was important to stay close early and keep it manageable.

"I knew we'd wear down a little bit in the second half," he said. "We had a couple of breaks go against us. Fortunately – as a team – we won the game."

It wasn't an easy week. The coaches worked all week to figure out who could play, where they could play, how they might play.

Wommack said the Rebels' head coach gets credit for making this thing work as it does.

"I think Hugh does an unbelievable job of motivating this team," he said of the second-year Ole Miss head coach.

"The assistants follow his lead, and the kids believe in us and this program. And we believe in them. We're not healthy and we're not where we're going to be here in the near future with depth. I think everybody believes in each other, and that's a large part of it."

It's what Jake Gibbs and the rest of the Rebels way back when felt about their teammates and coaches. Talk to them. Listen to them. Read about them. You'll see.

Ben Garrett wrote about his dad in his terrific column late on Saturday night. My dad took me to my first game in Tiger Stadium as a kid in 1972, another one of those heartbreaking losses for Ole Miss, 17-16 in the infamous clock game. Somehow LSU got off two plays in the final four seconds to win it.

In the 100th anniversary issue of the LSU football media guide, that game – not any other including the 1959 Ole Miss game – was selected as the greatest game of all-time in Death Valley.

I guess that would depend on what color you were wearing.

My dad called me today and asked, "Do you remember them putting back three seconds on the clock last night before the field goal at the end to make it six seconds to go?"

I said, "Yes."

He said, "Had to be somebody from Baton Rouge messing with that clock again."

And this time, he laughed about it. Not so 41 years ago.

As I talked to Jake on radio Saturday, my dad texted me. He said, "Ask him if he remembers the mural on the wall at the old Bellemont Hotel they unveiled that weekend in 1972 when we stayed there."

Jake did remember. He was there that weekend, too. Since they tore down the Bellemont this decade, we all wonder where that large painted mural went, which was of the 1959 Ole Miss-LSU game. Or if it even still survives.

Something that does survive are classic Ole Miss-LSU football games – the Magnolia Bowl they're now called.

Saturday night in Oxford, the Rebels' 40th win in the series, was another.

I told Jake I had a helmet with his No. 12 on it somebody wanted me to have him sign. He said call him this week and he'd do it.

I'm looking forward to getting his take on all that happened Saturday night between rivals who've played as many memorable games as any two programs in the country.

Because nobody on the planet knows more about Ole Miss-LSU than Jake Gibbs.

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