OM’s Bjork talks football opener, Vanderbilt

By John Davis

Special to the Journal

Two years ago, Ross Bjork was named Ole Miss Athletics Director. He entered his job with the Rebels coming off back-to-back losing seasons in football, and facing a fan base for the first time that didn’t know what to expect from him, or Hugh Freeze, who was also heading into his first year as head coach.Thursday morning’s breakfast at The Inn at Ole Miss was just another stop on the 2014 edition of the Rebel Road Trip. Bjork was joined at the event by Freeze, men’s basketball coach Andy Kennedy, who introduced Freeze as Ed Orgeron, as well as women’s basketball coach Matt Insell.

Bjork talked highly about the event, and the other stops, that have also included Dallas and Jackson, Tenn., just to name a few.

“We keep saying it, but to get out in front of people, on their home turf, and keep saying that we need you, we’re inviting you, keep coming, that’s mean a lot to them because we are asking them to come to us,” Bjork said about the road trip overall. “You’ve got to do it, especially (in Oxford) because people care so much. I think that’s been our message. People care, so we need to be out, we need to see people and the energy has been off the charts at every stop.”

Ole Miss opens the 2014 season against Boise State in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome. The game will be on ESPN in a prime-time television spot and Bjork thought the game would benefit the program in a multitude of ways.

“I think it was great foresight to sign this contract in 2010 because neutral site games are becoming much more prevalent. It helps build your brand. They’re typically going to be on primetime for the nation to see. We’re on ESPN on a Thursday night to kick off college football so it helps give you exposure. You’re playing in an NFL stadium, so your players are going to be hyped up about that,” Bjork said. “Atlanta is obviously the destination you want to get to at the end of the year. Recruiting … it all fuels itself and now that we’ve had some success, you can say ‘Hey, check us out.'”

Bjork called the second game against Vanderbilt in Nashville “a home away from home” for the Rebels. The team’s last game in 2013 was at LP Field, site of the contest with the Commodores. Bjork said he first heard about the possible move to where the Tennessee Titans call home back in December from Vanderbilt’s AD, David Williams.

“When they approached us, obviously it’s their home game, it’s in the same city, so we love the fact that we get to play at LP Field because we believe we will have a lot more fans there, access to tickets. Again it’s back to an NFL stadium so it helps from a hype standpoint for the players and we were just there and had some success on that field,” Bjork said. “We didn’t really have a say so in the decision, but when David Williams mentioned it to me back in December, I said we’re in. It was their call, but if you need our permission or asking us, we’re in. We had no issues.”

Post by John Davis, Sports Editor of Oxford Citizen

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

Posted in Athletics, Basketball, Football, Recruiting Tagged with:
  • karl hungus

    Of course you must include the fact that, although highly unlikely, you could get embarrassed in two NFL stadiums, in prime time. But, Boise St. isn’t what they were. Vandy has owned the Sharkfins over the past 6 seasons, so there looms the possibility of a devastating loss.

    • Ilovebulldoglosers

      Good one Karl. You are the man!!

      • karl hungus

        Thanks!! It’s nice to have my views appreciated. I feel that my fan base is growing day by day. It’s what keeps me yearning to set the truth free. Your welcome.

        • Ilovebulldoglosers

          I can not believe you took the time away from the Jerry Springer show to reply to me. Thank you! You have a bunch of fans down here at the trailer park. I have to read the post to most of them, but they really like what you have to say. Some of them were wondering if you wear one piece jumpers like Elvis did.

  • karl hungus

    Will Freeze make the county fair, before the road trip is through? He would make a great barker for the bearded lady or the man-eating chicken.

    • Ilovebulldoglosers

      Karl, did you ever work the county fair. I think Elvis did. i want to be your barker. KARL IS THE KING.

  • karl hungus

    110 million could buy alot. The Sharkfins need a spy in the coaches box, like Bama had last season.

    • Ilovebulldoglosers

      I could be your spy Karl and find out who those mean people are who do not believe everything you say. 00karl.

  • karl hungus

    I see that Karl Hungus has an admirer. It is good to be worshiped in such a flattering manner. I’m also flattered that you see things the way I see them. Finally a fellow truth seeker.

    • Ilovebulldoglosers

      truth seeker, yes. nudge,nudge, wink, wink. We are truth seekers. We seek the truth. You the king, Karl.

  • karl hungus

    Yes, we do seem to have alot in common. Did we just become brothers? Nope, stepbrothers!

    • Ilovebulldoglosers

      I hope that does not mean we have to be together like me and my sister. I don’t go that way Karl.

  • karl hungus

    Enough about me, though. Let’s combine our skills and seek the real truth about the inequities of the Sharkfin sports programs. Let’s dig up the truth…you seem to have a good grasp on what’s really going on with the Sharkfins.

    • Ilovebulldoglosers

      I am bulldog fan like you Karl, I really do not know who these sharkfins are. But as long as you do, that is good enough.

  • karl hungus

    You know of the underhanded deeds being done as well as I do, so unite with me and let’s expose the truth.

    • Ilovebulldoglosers

      Underhanded deeds? I really don’t know, but I am sure you will tell us. All of us here at the trailer park are hanging on your every word.

  • karl hungus

    One rule and one rule only…don’t touch my drum set.

  • karl hungus

    Wow!! Just heard about Sigma Phi Epsilon getting shut down…you know the three members that did that noise thing with Mr. Meredith’s statue…and everybody told Karl that he was wrong. Guess my sources were right after all. Stay classy Sharkfins.

    • Ilovebulldoglosers

      what noise thing are you talking about Karl? Did they ring there cowbells at the statue? No that would be us. I hate it when preemptive spelling shows my ignorant.

  • karl hungus

    The noose thing was a despicable act. Will we eventually find out the same kind of news about that frat beating?

    • Ilovebulldoglosers

      What do you mean Karl? Did they hit them with a statue? I don’t get it.

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