2004 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Tollison, Michel, Chamberlin, Browning, Butler, Chaney, Flowers, Gordon, Hewes, Jackson (15th), Jackson (11th), King, Kirby, Little, Moffatt, Robertson, Thames, Walls, Wilemon, Frazier, Lee (35th)
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION COMMENDING AND CONGRATULATING THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI "OLE MISS REBELS" FOOTBALL TEAM, COACH DAVID CUTCLIFFE AND QUARTERBACK ELI MANNING FOR THEIR OUTSTANDING 2003 SEASON, FOR WINNING THE SEC WESTERN DIVISION TITLE AND FOR WINNING THE 2004 COTTON BOWL CLASSIC IN DALLAS, TEXAS.
WHEREAS, 2003 was a landmark year in the history of "Ole Miss Rebel" Football; and
WHEREAS, Ole Miss finished the 2003 football season with a 10-3 overall record, which included a 7-1 mark in the Southeastern Conference, as the Rebels shared the SEC Western Division title with BCS National Champion LSU; and
WHEREAS, Ole Miss defeated Oklahoma State, 31-28, in the 2004 SBC Cotton Bowl Classic in Dallas, Texas, as quarterback Eli Manning was selected Offensive Player of the Game and defensive lineman Josh Cooper was named Defensive Player of the Game. Defensive back Wes Scott received the Scholar-Athlete Award; and
WHEREAS, the 2004 SBC Cotton Bowl Classic marked Ole Miss' 31st all-time bowl appearance, tying the Rebels with Florida for 15th on the NCAA Division 1-A's all-time list of bowl appearances and the victory over Oklahoma State left the Rebels with a 19-12 bowl record, which ties for 10th on the NCAA Division 1-A's list for bowl victories. In the final national polls, Ole Miss was ranked No. 13 by The Associated Press, No. 14 by USA Today/ESPN and No. 14 by the FWAA Grantland Rice Super 16 board; and
WHEREAS, Head Coach David Cutcliffe was named Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year by the SEC Coaches and Co-Coach of the Year by the Associated Press. He was also selected NCAA Division 1-A Region 2 Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association; and
WHEREAS, Quarterback Eli Manning and kicker Jonathan Nichols both earned first team All-American honors, while Manning, Nichols, wide receiver Chris Collins, offensive guard Doug Buckles and defensive tackle Jesse Mitchell were named first team All-SEC and punter Cody Ridgeway made the All-SEC second team; and
WHEREAS, Quarterback Eli Manning received the Maxwell Award as the nation's top player, the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award as the nation's top senior quarterback and the Conerly Trophy as Mississippi's Player of the Year. He was also a finalist for the Heisman trophy, finishing third, was selected as Mississippi's Amateur Athlete of the Year by the Jackson Touchdown Club, was chosen as the 2003 Sports Person of the Year in Mississippi by The Clarion-Ledger, and received the Colonel Earl (Red) Blaik Leadership Award from the All-America Football Foundation. Eli was named Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, the SEC Offensive Player of the Year, the Birmingham Monday Morning Quarterback Club's SEC Most Valuable Back and the Touchdown Club of Atlanta Southeast's Top Offensive Back, while kicker Jonathan Nichols was named SEC Special Teams Player of the Year. Eli was named one of the NCAA's Today's Top VIII student-athletes, the highest honor the NCAA presents to student-athletes, and also received the 2003 Sporting News Radio Socrates Award, which recognizes a collegiate student-athlete who demonstrates excellence in academics, athletics and citizenship; and
WHEREAS, Kicker Jonathan Nichols received the Lou Groza Award as the nation's top kicker. Linebacker Jamil Northcutt was named to the American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team and quarterback Eli Manning was named to the Southeastern Conference Good Works Team. Wide receiver Chris Collins participated in the East-West Shrine Classic; and
WHEREAS, as a team, Ole Miss led the Southeastern Conference in scoring offense (34.0), pass offense (286.0), kickoff returns (23.7), total offense (433.2), punting (39.0), pass efficiency (150.7), third down conversions (45.6), red zone offense (90.0), field goals (.862) and PAT kicking (1.000). Ole Miss broke single-season school records for first downs (295), total points scored (442) and total offensive yards per game (433.2); and
WHEREAS, Quarterback Eli Manning led the Southeastern Conference in passing average per game (276.9) and total offense (274.8), while wide receiver Chris Collins led the SEC in pass receptions per game (5.92) and kicker Jonathan Nichols led the SEC in scoring per game (9.5), scoring by kicking 9.5, field goal percentage (86.2) and PAT kicking percentage (100.0). Quarterback Eli Manning, who set 47 Ole Miss single-game, season and career records became the fifth quarterback in SEC history to throw for 10,000 yards in a career as he finished with 10,119 passing yards, ranking fifth on the SEC's all-time list; and
WHEREAS, it is with great pride that we recognize the stellar accomplishments of this group of student athletes who have brought honor to their university, their community and to the State of Mississippi:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend and congratulate the University of Mississippi "Ole Miss Rebels" Football Team, Coach David Cutcliffe and award-winning Quarterback Eli Manning for their outstanding 2003 season, for winning the SEC Western Division Title and for winning the 2004 Cotton Bowl Classic in Dallas, Texas, and extend the best wishes of the Legislature on their future successes.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Coach Cutcliffe and the 2003 Ole Miss Football Team, be forwarded to Chancellor Robert Khayat and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.