The annual Egg Bowl game between Mississippi State and Ole Miss is once again a Thanksgiving tradition.
It was announced today that the teams will meet on Thanksgiving night this season – that’s Nov. 28, with kickoff set for 6:30 on ESPN. This year’s game will be played in Starkville.
It will be the first Thanksgiving meeting between the Bulldogs and Rebels since a six-year run from 1998-2003. According to MSU, the teams have met on Thanksgiving 20 times; Ole Miss says it’s been 25 times, with 16 of the games played since the Egg Bowl trophy was introduced in 1927.
“ESPN has been aware for a while of our interest in getting that game back on Thanksgiving if the opportunity every arose,” MSU athletics director Scott Stricklin said. “They approached us about a month ago asking if we would be interested in doing it this year. It’s such a great exposure opportunity, and so many other benefits to playing that game on Thanksgiving night. It worked out this year.”
Stricklin would like to see the Egg Bowl remain a Thanksgiving staple, although there’s no guarantee that it will.
“Every game date and time is scheduled yearly so no game is guaranteed a set day, time and network,” ESPN publicist Mike Humes told the Journal. “This one worked well for us, the conference, and the schools for 2013. As to why we scheduled it? We love rivalries, both schools have had success in recent years, and there is a history of the game being played on Thanksgiving.”
The Egg Bowl has been played on ESPNU on Saturday night in recent years, meaning it went up against a lot of other rivalry games. Thus, the ratings weren’t so great, with an average viewership of 481,160 over the last three years. The last three ESPN Thanksgiving broadcasts have averaged 3.6 millions viewers.
“Playing on Thanksgiving night allows us to separate ourselves a little bit,” Stricklin said.
Mullen is 3-1 in the Egg Bowl, his first loss coming last season in Oxford, 41-24. This season’s meeting will be the 110th between the rivals, with Ole Miss holding a 61-42-6 advantage in the overall series.
For MSU, the 2013 Egg Bowl comes five days after a trip to Arkansas, and it’s one of two Thursday games (Oct. 24 vs. Kentucky, also on ESPN). Ole Miss has back-to-back home games against Troy and Missouri prior to the Egg Bowl.
MSU 2013 schedule
Aug. 31 Oklahoma State (Houston)
Sept. 7 Alcorn State
Sept. 14 at Auburn
Sept. 21 Troy
Sept. 28 OFF
Oct. 5 LSU
Oct. 12 Bowling Green
Oct. 19 OFF
Oct. 24 Kentucky
Nov. 2 at South Carolina
Nov. 9 at Texas A&M
Nov. 16 Alabama
Nov. 23 at Arkansas (Little Rock)
Nov. 28 Ole Miss