What is Southern Mississippi?
Good question. For these purposes, “Southern Mississippi” can either refer to the actual southern region of the state of Mississippi – or as the colloquial nomenclature for “The University of Southern Mississippi,” which is the opponent for the University of Kentucky Wildcats’ 2017 football opener.
Let’s start with the former. What can you tell me about southern Mississippi?
I can tell you that it’s in Mississippi which, largely, is an unforgiving hellscape of Biscuitvilles and Winn-Dixies held together as a society only by the lifeblood of the state’s inhabitants, dialyzed through the hundreds of thousands of mosquitoes which literally transfer this blood from citizen to citizen.
You don’t make it sound very great.
Oh, it’s fine. It’s one-thousand degrees in the dead of summer, with 300% humidity, and then in the fall it’s still pretty hot. Then, in the winter, it doesn’t get that cold but the leaves still fall off the trees, which just makes everything ugly and it still doesn’t feel like Christmas. Also, there are a great number of things in Mississippi which can kill you, which include but are not limited to timber rattlesnakes, cottonmouth snakes, bears, sinkholes, tornadoes, ticks, raw oysters, wild hogs, sick raccoons, falling out of a tree stand while hunting, skunk apes, letting your cousin shoot an apple off your head, distillery explosion, driving your truck into a swamp, livestock judging mishap, youth archery club accident, and crushing sadness.
What about Southern Mississippi, the University?
That’s probably better, I guess. Southen Miss’ official team mascot was, until the early 1970s, “the Southerners,” before being changed to the “Golden Eagles” in 1972. Critics have hailed this move as misguided, as the golden eagle tends to be found in the western and northern US states and as of 2014 had a southeastern population of only 5,100 when there are currently an estimated 2.99 million southerners in the state of Mississippi. In 2003, Southern Miss tried to trademark a new “golden eagle” logo but was the subject of a lawsuit filed by the University of Iowa, who claimed it looked too much like their logo. Many scholars agree that this is the most boring lawsuit in history.
What is campus life like at the University of Southern Mississippi?
Being honest, if there is a party center of Mississippi, it’s Hattiesburg. It’s about 90 minutes from the ocean and about two hours from New Orleans. They have a giant crawfish boil called “Crawfish Fest” for the school once a year and its list of intramural games include “Battleship” and “Yard Games.” It’s also heavily a greek campus; this greek system, however, consists of only one large fraternity, and even then that fraternity’s letters inexplicably include the letter D, a Pepsi logo and an emoji of a ski boot. Each Friday in the fall the school hosts a “movies at the Hub” event outside the school’s student center, with every week being a showing of the 2005 The Dukes of Hazzard reboot.
What’s it like to be a student at Southern Miss?
Students wishing to register for the fall semester may still do so by visiting Miss Odette in her home at the far corner of Lake Thoreau, where she will scatter bones to tell you what your major will be (registrar’s note: the Boiled Peanut Management major is full for the 2017 fall semester, minor is still available). Ratios for class structure are, generally, 12 students per teacher, 1 teacher per five classes, 8 horses per classroom. Class sessions may be held outside in case of wasps and students are responsible for purchasing their own books, class-required supplies, Yeti™ coolers and bait.
Who are Southern Mississippi’s most famous alumni?
Well-known graduates of the University of Southern Misssippi include musician Jimmy Buffett, quarterback Brett Favre, celebrity chef Cat Cora, The Real World: Las Vegas’ Trishelle, Doug Harvison (the one who ran for city council, not the one who manages the Whataburger on Route 10), Smart Bill down at the courthouse, Dancing Ronnie and Calvin’s slutty girlfriend Taylor, the one with the three kids who works at the truck stop and makes the breakfast sandwiches.
If it’s cool with you I think I’ll just stay here. I’m good.
Suit yourself. More grits for me.