Since 1901, Ole Miss and Mississippi State have put the ball or, given the year, inflated pig bladder down to determine who is king of a rivalry that may lack quality but is not short on quantity and hollerin’ about who is superior. The 2018 meeting taking place later tonight will mark the 115th time these two titans of the SEC’s Western Division lower half have stepped into the proverbial squared circle to grapple and stagger around for three and a half hours.
While toxicity readings are down this year, it will likely be a fairly heated affair, as Mississippi State seeks revenge and self-worth affirmation, and Ole Miss, well, they want this season to end so everyone can start ALL-CAPS YELLING about the coaching staff changes that won’t make a difference. However, because neither team is having an outstanding season (the MOST Egg Bowl tradition of all Egg Bowl traditions), it won’t be as intense as previous games.
It also doesn’t help that Ole Miss is bad, and Mississippi State will most certainly grind (#GRIND4URST8) them into a coarse paste. Well, that is unless Bulldog head coach Joe Moorhead strays from Team No Pass*, and Ole Miss’ defense is secretly replaced with something that does not hemorrhage points, explosive plays, yards, third-down conversions, and penalties.
*Mississippi State should be allowed to fine him $500 for every pass attempted.
Assuming the script is followed, things will probably be out of hand in the third quarter. That means you’re gonna need to fill some dead air on your Thanksgiving night. And what better way to do that than dazzle your relatives and friends with Egg Bowl deep track knowledge.
To help you drop said knowledge, I’ve compiled some #facts that are a little more in-depth than Billy Brewer and Jackie Sherrill didn’t like each other. Hopefully, you can use these to get through Thursday night or start another argument with a family member.
Ole Miss went 5-4-1 during this stretch, which included a 17-5 win (WE’VE GOT A FIVER) in Columbus, giving them victories in two-thirds of the Golden Triangle. Sadly, the Egg Bowl has never been played in West Point, denying the Rebels the opportunity to complete the acute angle domination.
More interesting than the game being played a little further down Highway 82 (DID THEY EVEN HAVE ROADS BACK THEN?) was that in 1905, Ole Miss decided to see what would happen if they didn’t have a coach.
It went not great! Let this be a lesson that even though your head coach can get confused over when he should run the dang ball, having him there is a better option than autopilot.
Friends, if you are #madonline and #madirl about Ole Miss football right now, I am here to tell you it could be so much worse. The Egg Bowl was played 13 times over these years, with Ole Miss losing all 13. The five games in Jackson, the three games in Tupelo, the two games in Greenwood, the one game in Clarksdale, the one game in Starkville, and the one game in Oxford, all losses.
They didn’t just lose those games, no sir, they got WRECKED to the tune of being outscored 327-33. In fact, they only scored in three (THREE) (3!) of the 13 games, meaning these weren’t Ed-Orgeron-stupidly-going-for-it-on-fourth-down losses but Houston-Nutt-being-banished-to-television-studio-work losses.
You should know that in 1911, Ole Miss was coached by Dr. Nathan P. Stauffer, who also led the 1909 and 1910 teams. The good doctor compiled a 17-7-2 record, including a 2-0 win over Memphis Medical College in 1910, which was one point away from matching David Cutcliffe’s 3-0 win over Memphis in 1999. My point being, all future coaching searches should be expanded to include the medical school in Jackson.
It’s also worth noting that in 1918, the game was played twice. I do not want your life, 1918 Ole Miss football fans.
In the modern era, it has been difficult for either school to maintain extended dominance over the other, mostly due to neither school being able to keep their shit together for more than a few years at a time. However, in the days of old, this was not the case.
After losing 13 straight to Mississippi State, Ole Miss bounced back by going 9-0-1 in the next 10 Egg Bowls. And because wild swings of winning were the norm back then, Ole Miss followed that success by losing six of the next seven games.
Easily the most successful stretch in the series for Ole Miss, as they went 25-4-4, without getting pulled over for going 90 in a 65 or whatever that idiotic analogy is. The proper analogy is we were doing 90 like everyone else, it’s just that our car was bright yellow, had a spoiler that was Fast and Furious on steroids and straight pipes, and you better believe we had no registration or proof of insurance to show the officer, who definitely certainly absolutely didn’t pull us over because we looked out of place.
Though Ole Miss posted a 10-5 record over these years, Mississippi State would later forfeit their wins in 1976 and 1977, presumably due to some misfiled paperwork because we all know Ole Miss is the only school that cheats in this rivalry. FACTS ONLY.
This period also saw the arrival of Billy Brewer in 1983, and he would record seven wins over the Bulldogs, with only one loss during these years. Make the current coaches wear the styrofoam red pants IMO.
THE KANG ARRIVED. Jackie Wayne Sherrill became Mississippi State’s head coach in 1991, going on to make life much tougher for Dog Brewer until he was fired in 1994 for CHEATIN’ and such for the second time in his tenure. As a reminder, the NCAA infractions committee, in the Year of Our Lord two thousand seventeen, cited the CHEATIN’ under Billy Brewer (both in the 80s and 90s) as a sign that the present-day Ole Miss booster culture was out of control.
Three other Ole Miss coaches would face Mississippi State in this decade, with Joe Lee Dunn going 0-1, Tommy Tuberville chalking up a 2-2 record, and David Cutcliffe amazingly blowing a 20-6 fourth-quarter lead in his one loss prior to his one win in 2000. All total, Ole Miss went 4-6 in those 10 years.
The 2000 game was also home of the infamous Deuce McAllister touchdown pass to Romaro Miller that propelled Ole Miss to - checks notes - a 7-4 record and a Music City Bowl appearance. Pls stop pretending that play has any significant value thanks bye.
In this stretch, the series treated fans to THREE Ed Orgeron/Sylvester Croom battles of wits. I regret not swirling my wine glass filled with that liquid garbage enough in order to truly savor the horror.
Of note were the back-to-back firings in 2007 and 2008 (ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED), with Orgeron getting Croomed and Croom being obliterated by Houston Nutt*.
*AHEM, that’s SEC Coach of the Year Houston Nutt, sir.
The final tally here saw Ole Miss go 5-6, with wins of 31-0 and 45-0 in the final games for Jackie Sherrill and Sylvester Croom, respectively.
If you had told me Ole Miss was 4-2 in the last six Egg Bowls, I would’ve asked you to not slander these young men and their families, and please send all facts to firstname.lastname@example.org. But it’s true!
Had they not farted away the 2013 game, Ole Miss could be 5-1, which would be quite a run during the modern era. But what would’ve made it even more special is that in ELITE #WAOM fashion, the one loss would’ve been by five touchdowns and the last game our massage parlor-visiting, escort-loving head coach ever coached at the school. ALAS.