It’s Egg Bowl Monday, which means there was some side eye glances and outright verbal jabs at churches across Mississippi yesterday at the coffee and donut table.
The vitriolic rivalry dates back to 1901 when Mississippi A&M beat Ole Miss 17-0 in Starkville in a game that was delayed to start due to a player’s eligibility. Here we are in 2023 and eligibility over transfers is a little more cut and dry, but the implications of this year’s Egg Bowl seem pretty huge for the winners.
In Oxford, the Rebels (9-2, 5-2 SEC) are riding high as one of the top 12 teams in the country and playing for a chance to be part of the New Year’s Six bowls with a win. Conversely, the Bulldogs (5-6, 1-6 SEC) are trying to get bowl eligible with an interim head coach after Zach Arnett was fired 10 games into his tenure.
There’s even a thought process discussed at paw paw breakfast stops in the Magnolia State that State fired Arnett to avoid a situation where the Bulldogs win against Southern Miss and Ole Miss and would be forced to continue his employment. Sound crazy? Welcome to the rivalry.
Being the higher ranked team just doesn’t matter on Thanksgiving in this game, last year the Bulldogs upset the Rebels 24-22 in Mike Leach’s last win before his untimely passing. RIP Pirate.
Here are some other recent upsets in this storied series:
- 2017 - Ole Miss gets to 6-6 over No. 14 MSU in a 31-28 win
- 2014 - Ole Miss upsets No. 4 MSU 31-17 to spoil a dream season for the Bulldogs
- 2013 - MSU gains bowl eligibility with a 17-10 win over a 7-5 Ole Miss squad
- 2012 - Donte Moncrief nets a hat trick in a 41-24 win over 8-4 MSU to get the Rebels to the BBVA Compass Bowl
- 2009 - Chris Relf (who?) guides MSU past the No. 25 Rebels in a 41-27 shocker over back to back Cotton Bowl Rebels
It’s truly a week many Ole Miss fans despise when it rolls around, because in all honesty, Rebels fans would like to be in the upper echelon of college football. That is not a place where Miss. St. historically resides. This is a game Ole Miss fans would like to blowout the in-state rivals and then enjoy a high-end bowl.
Maybe that will happen, but it’s unlikely. From Eli Manning’s senior year in 2003 until now, there have been two Ole Miss wins by more than 20 points. Manning led the Rebels to a 31-3 win in 2003, and Sylvester Croom’s finale as State head coach in 2008 was a 45-0 romp for the Rebels. It will likely be an uncomfortable three and a half hours on Thursday evening - no matter what your gut is telling you.