The Gamecocks’ first opponent for the 2010 season is an unfamiliar foe, The Southern Miss Golden Eagles. As the two teams have never met on the gridiron, here are a few facts about the other, OTHER school from the State of Mississippi:
– The University of Southern Mississippi was founded in 1910. Originally named the Mississippi Normal College (students were called “Normalites” if you can believe it), the school now boasts an enrollment for about 16,000 students in and around its main campus in Hattiesburg, MS.
- Hattiesburg is in that part (all) of Mississippi that really annoys and depresses you on the drive to New Orleans.
– The university is perennially ranked as one of the nation’s top “study abroad” programs, which may be as much a testament to the general undesirability of USM’s campus life as anything.
– The entire university closes down for Mardi Gras, and in a bold statement of academic priorities, also closes for the Monday prior. That makes a nice, round, five-day drunkfest if you count the proceeding weekend. This schedule, coupled with the USM official spirit song, Anyone. Anywhere. Anytime. probably gives you an adequate understanding of what’s going on down in Hattiesburg (Hint: Their official rallying cry of “Eagle Fever” might be a warning . . . ).
- During the civil rights unrest, future University of Mississippi enrollee James Meredith flirted with enrolling at USM, but in the last known example of student (much less athlete) selecting USM as a first choice over Ole Miss, he enrolled in the latter on October 1, 1962 and made history as the first african-american to enroll in the state’s then-segregated university system.
– Notable graduates include former Packer QB Brett Farve, musical “artist” Jimmy Buffett, tv chef Kat Cora, and Viking QB Brett FarveĀ (yes I know I listed him twice, it was supposed to be a joke. See, he retired then came bac . . .oh, nevermind).
– Head football coach Larry Fedora is an active twitter participant. Of course, his tweets seem to be constantly pimp-hatting a beach party he’s attending or offering apparently inappropriate comments such as “for Women tonight. Call 601-266-6551”. The last one is real, but might refer to a women’s football clinic . . . we hope. Check out @coachfedora and judge for yourself.
So, how will the above information impact the outcome of the 2010 Gamecock opener? Probably very little. But it is my sincere hope that it gives you a little ammunition for your Southern Miss friends in the weeks leading up to kickoff. No Southern Miss friends you say? That makes two of us.
Maybe we need to start looking abroad. . .