This time last season, Mississippi State was 5-6, sitting on the precipice of a bowl-less season and a warm seat for Dan Mullen. But they of course won the Egg Bowl -- an ugly, mistake-filled win but a win nonetheless. State rode that momentum to a dominating bowl victory over Rice, a 10-1 start to this season and the No. 4 national ranking heading into Saturday's game against the Ole Miss.
Ya see, this year's Egg Bowl is about a lot more than just playing spoiler to State, who could quite possibly secure the fourth and final spot in the inaugural College Football Playoff with a win. An Ole Miss victory would clinch the first nine-win regular season in over a decade. It would propel the Rebels to a higher-profile bowl. It would help with recruiting. More than anything, though, it would end a once-promising season on a high note, continuing the upward trend of the program and giving momentum to a 2015 team that has the potential to make a legitimate run at the national title.
Despite the recent disappointments, Ole Miss has plenty to play for on Saturday, and it's not just about raining on a rival's parade.
(Ok, fine, we want to do that too. It would be epic to knock State out of the Playoff.)