For the Texas Longhorns fans making their first trip over to Oxford, MS this weekend for the Texas-Ole Miss game, let me extend a warm Mississippi welcome! We should have done this a long time ago.
Accept this as my travel primer to you, the faithful fans, willing to spend your time and money to follow the Longhorns. You will be rewarded on this trip.
First, understand that Oxford, MS is a special place in the hearts of many Mississippians. It is fertile literary and artistic ground, from William Faulkner to Barry Hannah, Glennray Tutor, Willie Morris and Larry Brown. (We don’t consider John Grisham “academic,” but we claim him as a part-time resident too.)
It is the athletic center of the state, producing such greats as Bruiser Kinard, Charlie Conerly, Kayo Dottley, Deuce McAllister, current gold medalist Brittney Reese and the patriarch of the first family of football Archie Manning (and don’t forget Eli).
It is the storehouse of American music: The Blues Archive at the University of Mississippi is one of the largest collections of blues recordings, publications and memorabilia anywhere in the world, currently housing over 60,000 recordings.
And more importantly, perhaps, for you visiting fans, Oxford is home to the best tailgating experience in all of college football. The Grove is ranked as the No. 1 tailgate location in the nation by Sports Illustrated, described as "the Holy Grail of tailgating" by Sporting News and called “the mother and mistress of outdoor ritual mayhem” by the New York Times.
So, let me give you a few quick tips on things to do while in and around The Grove and Oxford this weekend.