Ole Miss-LSU Football Rivalry Now The Magnolia Bowl


OXFORD, Miss. Student governments from Ole Miss and LSU have worked to enhance the spirit of the football rivalry and this year are introducing the Magnolia Bowl.

After first garnering the support of the universities' athletics departments and alumni associations, student leaders set forth in April with a “Name that Rivalry” campaign for students to provide input on the name via text messaging. The student governments then voted in their respective Student Senates.

"After narrowing down the hundreds of names we received, we asked students at both Ole Miss and LSU to vote on their favorite title from a list of five choices," said Elizabeth Yerger, Director of Student Services for the Ole Miss Associated Student Body. "The title Magnolia Bowl was the obvious winner at both of the schools, because the Magnolia serves as the state flower for both Mississippi and Louisiana."

The Ole Miss ASB played a major role in the development and finalization of the logo, which was designed by an Ole Miss student from Cultigraphic. The logo contains the Ole Miss, LSU and SEC logos as well as the magnolia flower.

The trophy was designed by LSU senior sculpture major Evan Trapp with input from the leaders of the two student bodies. The trophy is carved from bass wood with a stained finish. The game’s logo is emblazoned on the base, as will all of the scores following Saturday’s game. The top of the base has four wood-carved leaves cradling a bronze-cast magnolia flower.

The trophy and all parties involved will be introduced on the field before the game. The student body president of the winning school will then present the trophy to their team following the game, and the prize will remain with that team until the following year’s encounter.

“Our purpose is to enhance the school spirit surrounding the rivalry,” Yerger said. “Both schools believe that the Magnolia Bowl will bring out the livelihood, excitement, and traditions for not only the teams and fans, but for media outlets and football lovers around the country as well.”

The first Ole Miss-LSU football game was staged in 1894, and since then, the teams have not gone more than five years without playing and have faced each other every season since 1945. In 1960, the rivals met twice, including the Sugar Bowl which saw the Rebels prevail 21-0 en route to the Football Writers’ national championship. and will be presented to the victorious head coach by that school’s student body president. The winning team will be able to take the prize to their school until the following year’s contest.

With this year’s 97th meeting, the series is the second-most played for Ole Miss and tied for second-most for LSU.

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