Every rivalry in college football claims to be one of the most hated, fueled by decades of upsets or outcomes that shaped conference championships and the national picture.
The Egg Bowl has never been known to carry that kind of weight from a strictly football perspective, but one trip inside the Magnolia State and meeting its residents will quickly tell any visitor that this game matters 365 days a year.
There’s no gray area here. Even if someone is from out of state or went to a completely unrelated school the question will remain - but who are you for in the Egg Bowl? It dictates for some your identity as “blue collar” or “white collar” with one school geared toward agriculture and engineering and the other built around liberal arts, legal studies and medicine. Or, as it’s been more aptly put by some State fans, “We drive tractors, they sue people.”
Sides are drawn pretty quickly when you place socioeconomics on top of a college football rivalry further putting tension between fans in this game’s outcome. Sunday school classes and places of work full of Rebels and Bulldogs knowingly give each other grief throughout the season leading up to the Egg Bowl with both sides awaiting the final scores to prepare for the next week at work.
My own daughter’s school bus is driven by a die-hard Mississippi State fan, and there have been competing chants of “Hail State” and “Hotty Toddy” as kids as young as seven years old are being baptized into the waters of traditional hatred for another school. It runs deep here in Mississippi.
And with that, the Cup wanted to rank some of the greatest moments in Egg Bowl history. Now look, none of us were around pre-1980’s to watch these games in person or on TV, so those are all not really represented here. Our most humble apologies to the Boomer generation who is definitely reading this on the highest magnification on an Android.
Honorable mention: Dak’s poop pants game, Eli’s senior night, The 1992 Stand
5. 2012 Feed Moncrief
Donte Moncrief, a native of Raleigh, Miss., scored 20 touchdowns in his three seasons in Oxford, but three of them came in the 2012 version of the Egg Bowl where he seemed to be playing in another galaxy compared to his defenders. A music video dedicated to the future NFL wideout titled “Feed Moncrief” pumped through the stadium as the Rebels romped to a 41-24 win to get bowl eligible and win its first Egg Bowl since 2008.
4. 2008 Blowout
Speaking of 2008, this game effectively retired Sylvester Croom from the world of football. Croom was a nice enough man, but he was just not an SEC head coach. Houston Nutt never relented in a 45-0 obliteration in the largest Rebel margin of victory since 1971. In one of the most lopsided games in the series, the Bulldogs were held to a mindboggling 24 total yards of offense.
3. 1983 Immaculate Deflection
At some greasy spoon in rural Mississippi, the question has to have been asked, “Is God an Ole Miss or Mississippi State fan?” I’m no theologian, but 1983’s version of the Egg Bowl makes me think at least some higher power had it in for the Bulldogs. Down 24-23, MSU needed only to boot a 27-yard field goal with 24 seconds left to seal a win. But a ridiculously hard gust of wind caused the field goal try to sail, cementing the game for Ole Miss.
2. 2017 and 2019 Dog Leg Lifts
DK Metcalf scored a touchdown in the 2017 Egg Bowl then proceeded to crawl like a dog and lift his back leg to simulate a pee. The Rebels won, the celebration was hysterical, and it was an all around good day to be an Ole Miss fan even though the NCAA at the time was clamping down on the fun. Fast forward two years to Elijah Moore doing the same celebration after nearly tying up the game in the final quarter. It was not as fun that day seeing the extra point go wide in a 21-20 loss, but this pivotal moment ultimately led to the hiring of head coach Lane Kiffin - who seems to be pretty damn good at winning thus far.
1. 1997 Tubs goes for two
I feel like damn Marty McFly telling Doc that Ronald Reagan is President when I think of now-US Senator Tommy Tuberville coaching the sidelines of Ole Miss in 1997. While his legacy in Oxford was tarnished, his insanely gutsy gamble of a call to go for a two-point conversion in a 15-14 win to get back to bowl eligibility for the first time in five years was an enormous moment for the series.
This is just five moments over the course of the last forty plus years of this insane rivalry. Ole Miss fans surely have more, and they can be added to the comments or reply @redcuprebellion on X. Hotty Toddy and cheers!