Mississippi-Vanderbilt showdown gaining importance

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The Mississippi-Vanderbilt rivalry may never have a cool name like the Iron Bowl or the Egg Bowl.

But there's little doubt the annual game is beginning to gain added importance now that both schools are upwardly mobile in the notoriously competitive Southeastern Conference.

The fact they're meeting in a season-opening Thursday night spot on national television is another indication of the added stakes.

Second-year Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze says his team's showdown with the Commodores in Nashville is "really important," but it is also vital to remember it's a long season and one game won't define the program's success.

Vanderbilt beat Ole Miss 27-26 last season in Oxford, Miss. The Commodores have won five out of the last six in the series.

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