Many Ole Miss and Mississippi State fans simply enjoy a giving a good ribbing toward Southern Miss fans because that’s what fans do.
There are the small minority who feel a little more strongly. They’s point to the 36,000 seat stadium, the association with Conference USA, the poor basketball facilities. But it’s getting harder and harder to mock what has and is being accomplished. No one can deny what the football program has done, especially over the last 18 years where every season resulted in a winning record, the school has been to 10-straight bowl games and won 5 conference championships (the most of any C-USA member). Tack on the consistent success of the baseball program and the resugence of the basketball program and Southern Miss’ “All We Do Is Win” motto stands for itself.
The Hattiesburg American recently interviewed defensive coordinator Tommy West and offensive coordinator Rickey Bustle:
“The good thing about here is this is a football place,” West said. “These guys came here to be good in football.
“I kind of see now there’s a great mentality here about winning – whether it’s baseball or basketball. It’s nice being a part of this. It reminds me a little bit of when I was at Clemson. They really don’t just expect to win, they expect to be really good. I feel that here.”
West admitted it was a very different scenario when he took over as head coach at Memphis in 2001.
“The bar was really low,” he said. “It was ‘Man, if we could ever just go to a bowl game,’ because they hadn’t been to one in 30-something years.
“We go to five bowls in our last seven years and get fired. So we moved the bar.”