To help you and me get through the drudgery of August, I will present in this space a daily scoop of MSU football-ness, as inspired by a certain ice cream chain. August has 31 days, so I’ll let you work it out from there. Here is today’s flavor.
In the long, storied history of the MSU-Ole Miss rivalry, the Rebels hold the overall advantage with a record of 60-42-6. But in college football, the only thing that matters is the present, and the present reality is that the Bulldogs are dominating this rivalry.
MSU has won three in a row, by scores of 41-27, 31-23 (in Oxford) and 31-3. That’s its longest winning streak in this series since winning four in a row from 1939-42, during the halcyon days of Allyn McKeen. This current run has coincided with the arrival of head coach Dan Mullen, who from Day 1 made the Egg Bowl a priority. The countdown clock, the TSUN references, the specialty uniforms, those goofy Egg Bowl trophy videos they made – it all illustrates just how much this game means to State.
There is plenty of smack talk to go with it, of course. Mullen sets the tone there by refusing to call Ole Miss by name and vowing to never lose to “The School Up North.” His players have run with it, with senior cornerback Johnthan Banks earlier this summer guaranteeing a win when the teams meet in Oxford on Nov. 24.
“I’m not being disrespectful to TSUN, but it’s going to be a great feeling to go out and be 4-0 against the school up north,” Banks said at SEC Media Days. “We’re going to win the Egg Bowl four years in a row.”
There is a group of Ole Miss fans that likes to pretend that MSU is not their school’s biggest rival, but that’s just silly. These are Mississippi’s two major athletic programs, located a couple of hours apart, with kids who know each other well clashing on the field every Thanksgiving week. You see year-round MSU-Ole Miss smack talk; I don’t believe you see year-round LSU-Ole Miss smack talk or MSU-Alabama smack talk.
MSU looks to have the better team this season, and Banks ought to get his wish of a 4-0 mark vs. the Rebels. But nothing is guaranteed in this rivalry (see: 2009), and at some point Ole Miss will win another Egg Bowl. Until then, MSU’s swagger will not subside.