College football is a very competitive sport. Almost every weekend you’ll find hundreds of anxious and excited college football fans filling the bleachers at local stadiums to support their college team. The rivalry between college football teams is a shocking battle to be the best. In South Carolina there’s an intense rivalry between the Clemson Tigers and our own hometown South Carolina Gamecocks. It’s exciting to watch these two teams battle each other to determine who has the right to call themselves the best in the south. But it’s not only the teams who are rivals. There are many college coaches who have been at the forefront of college football success, and in the midst of some of the most famous rivalries remembered in college football. Such as the feud that lasted for several years between coach Johnny Vaught and Paul Dietzel.
Johnny Vaught was an American college football coach from 1947 to 1970. He began his assistant coaching job at Ole Miss in 1946 and lead them on to several winning seasons. His influence was so strong on the Rebels, that within a year he was named head coach. He won the first conference title for the university in 1947, the initial season of his coaching the team. After that he went on to lead the Rebels to Southeastern conferences titles in 1954, 55, 60, 62 and 1963. Johnny Vaught has the privilege of being the only coach in Rebels history to win an SEC championship title. He had a very impressive record at Ole Miss with 190 wins, 61 losses and 12 ties. He was a phenomenal coach and when he left the team in 1970 the Mississippi Rebels team had moved up to being third in the all time Southeastern Conference football standings.
Paul Dietzel started his coaching career as an assistant coach but his big break came when he landed the head coach position at LSU. He had a bad start and for three years none of the teams he coached had a winning season. But in 1958 his losing streak changed when Dietzel came up with a new 3 team platoon system. While Dietzel had a rough time of it his first 3 years, Vaught was on the top of his game and won 6 conference titles throughout his career. And the titles which he coached them to, are the only conference titles Ole Miss has ever won. He was one of the great coaches and led his team to many championships, a feat that few coaches have tried but even fewer have actually succeeded at. As good as Vaught’s winning days were they could have been even better were it not for Paul Dietzel and his LSU Tigers. When Dietzel developed the platoon system he systematically designed a winning strategy that would take his Tigers from a losing team to a team to be reckoned with. Dietzel threatened to take the tigers far and make them a team to contend with in college football. But after a successful season he accepted a position to be head coach at West Point. So the Tigers were forced to find a new coach. In the seven seasons that Dietzel and Vaught coached the Tigers and the Rebels, these teams only met up 8 times, including once in the 1959 Sugar Bowl, Vaughts Rebels edged that series 4-3-1. Between the years of 1958 and 1961 the 2 coaches won 3 of 4 SEC championships. After Dietzel left the Tigers, Vaught won the next 2 titles without any difficulty. After 1962 these two teams never again reached national prominence at the same team. But the rivalry between the Rebels and the Tigers is one that deserves to be remembered among the great rivalries of the century.
For more information on this great rivalry or for more great college football history visit www.collegefootballhistory.com.