Mississippi State will visit Ole Miss for the 111th game between the two schools this Saturday in Oxford, MS. It will be the 87th battle for the Golden Egg. This is the 10th longest series played in college football but it doesn’t take a back seat to any other game in the country as far as fan interest and emotion on the field.
Ole Miss leads overall 61-43-6 since the first game in 1901 and Ole Miss’ record with the Egg Bowl stands at 56-26-5. MSU has won 4 of the last 5 games and 6 of the last 10.
2014 will be a high water mark for the series as this is only the third time in history that both teams have been ranked entering the game and the first time since 1999. Too often this game has served as the Mississippi Bowl game because normally neither team is eligible for a bowl no matter the outcome.
The trophy of a football that resembles a large golden egg was offered in 1927 to give the crowds a focus on the victor’s spoils rather than taking hair out of the opposing fans in the stands, which was the case in the early days of the series.
This game has perhaps the biggest national implications in the series history with Mississippi State clinging on to the last playoff spot in the poll last week and a big win over Ole Miss could ensure they have a chance to play for a national championship.
An Ole Miss win will knock 10-1 MSU out of the playoff slot and give Ole Miss the off season momentum in recruiting and a more positive outlook for 2015.
In a season that started out so promising with Ole Miss at 7-0, they have lost 3 of the last 4 games and are playing for a nice bowl game and the future.
Both teams have been media darlings at difference times during the year and it is obvious that Ole Miss and MSU can win big and they are no longer the little sisters of the poor in the SEC. As Robert Nkemdiche describes it, they are now the “big brothers” in the SEC and both teams will leave this Egg Bowl with big plans and expectations going forward.
In so many ways our schools have changed since the early 1900′s but this rivalry has NOT changed much. One of the best depictions of the fan’s view was accurately captured in 1901 by the student papers. MSU’s The College Reflector stated, “The University boys, played the dirtiest game of ball that we have seen. They would do anything to put our men out so long as the referee was not looking.
The University of Mississippi Magazine said, “To one who has never indulged in any exercise more violent that the milking of a patient cow, football seems a brutal sport. Our bucolic friend of the Agricultural College should confine himself to mumble-peg and townball.”
There you have it. The beginning of a rivalry that set the bar pretty high for smack talk and the narratives found in 1901 are still being used and bantered back and forth even today, 111 years later.
To me, there is something comforting about that. It is comforting to know that some things do not change and their is a familiarity that comes along with the opportunity to cheer for your team as they fight for the Golden Egg.
I hope you as fans of the Red and Blue or the Maroon and White realize that it is a sacred right to cheer on your team and you realize your role in portraying your fan base in a positive light.
The best part about the rivalry is that is will not end Saturday night. The minute the winning team leaves the field, the clock starts again on the next game and the 2014 result, no matter how decisive or minute, will be in the past.
Many storied rivals have gone their separate ways, some great series in the 50′s and 60′s are no longer played because of one reason or another, but we still have our game and our teams. Ole Miss and MSU bolster each other and we sharpen our blades on each other which makes each other stronger and sharper for the next season. Let’s all do our part to ensure this rivalry never ends, never sours but boils with ridiculous, self-righteous, frivolity that can only be found in a college football game.
Draw your line and cheer for your team but don’t forget we need each other and would not be as strong without our rival!