Content provided by All Things Maroon – A MSU and SEC blog.
It’s Hate Your Neighbor/Boss/Friend/or whoever else you know that went to TSUN week at Allthingsmsu.com! To celebrate I’ve teamed up with Theolemissblog.com’s author Jake Adams to compare and contrast Ole Miss and Mississippi State in preparation for the battle for the Golden Egg. Today we’re starting things off with an analysis of the importance of Saturday night’s contest. We’ll continue to talk throughout the week about the MSU and TSUN match up, even breaking down how the Dawgs and Bears stack up by position. You can get opinions from the MAROON view here, but don’t forget to check out the Red & Blue-colored view over on Jake’s Ole Miss Blog. Be sure to make rude and obnoxious comments while you’re there…let’s keep it clean though.
So, with that said, let’s kickoff Egg Bowl Week 2010, with today’s question…
What does the Egg Bowl mean to me?
First and foremost, I feel blessed to be a part of one of the nation’s best rivalries. In many cases around the country, teams have multiple so-called ‘rivalries’, which deludes what true ‘rivalries’ are all about. I know State fans such as myself loath Alabama, but my true dislike is reserved for The School Up North. Mississippi State and Ole Miss are 2 institutions that share 2 different cultures, that in my opinion are geared against one another. I believe that in some way, your institution identifies and helps shape the kind of person you are, and I’m a Bulldog. I come from a blue-collar, hard working, military family. I know every school has it’s stereotypes, some are without a doubt embellished, but there is usually some truth to those beliefs. And it’s in those characteristics of your respective institution that somewhat define you as a person.
As far as the Egg Bowl itself, it’s the heart of the rivalry and the meeting that matters the most. It was a single football game 108 years ago that set the stage for hatred, and it’s been that way ever since. Our basketball and baseball teams provide us a nice appetizer, but there’s nothing like Thanksgiving week for these 2 schools, and families around the state. Now in saying that, I want to be careful not to advertise myself as one of those that would trade beating Ole Miss for a losing season. It’s a game that I never want to lose, but it only makes or breaks State’s season if losing the Egg results in not making it to the postseason. There’s danger and reward for investing too much in one game, especially a ‘rivalry’ game. The Egg Bowl is always an intriguing match up, in that the underdog almost always has some kind of edge. You don’t have to look any further than last year’s 41-27 victory by MSU, who entered the game with only 4 wins to their name, while Ole Miss was on their way to their second straight Cotton Bowl. There are a lot of what I would call ‘fun’ rivalries, but this is not one of them. It’s not as ruthless as Auburn and Alabama can get, but it can get ugly, and there is just as much hatred. The fans hate each other, and usually the players carry out that passion onto the field. You also can’t discount what the Egg means within the arena of recruiting. For that 4 or 5 Star recruit who is on the fence-when it comes to choosing MSU or Ole Miss, the outcome of this game can provide that extra nudge in a certain direction.
I think the most important aspect of each year’s game, is what it means to the momentum of the 2 programs. Take last year for example, I think it was pivotal for the Bulldogs to earn that win, because it more or less evened the rivalry’s tug-of-war. Ole Miss had State in a very vulnerable position, winning 9 games in back-to-back seasons, with 2 Cotton Bowl appearances. In 2008, the first year of that stretch, the Rebels crushed MSU 45-0. MSU finished with just 3 wins, and a day later State was without a coach. The Bulldog program seemed in shambles, and Ole Miss’ blow out of State was just icing on the cake for the Rebels. Ole Miss would taste success once gain in 2009, coming into the Egg Bowl with 7 wins on the season, already having earned their bowl eligibility. Down the road in Starkville, Dan Mullen had re-energized the Bulldog fanbase and program, but had only won 4 games during his first year as MSU’s head coach. In the end, State went on to pound Ole Miss 41-27, and it was clear that if MSU was able to build on that win, that a successful 2010 season was indeed a possibility. Mullen’s words after the Egg Bowl, seemed to solidify that State was headed in the right direction. At the beginning of this season, I pointed to the fact that this could very well be the year that MSU grabbed momentum of the rivalry, and that Mullen could possibly run with it for some time to come. Here we are, State is 7-4, while Ole Miss is 4-7, and it appears that these are 2 teams headed in the opposite directions. Crucial, pivotal year? I’d say so. State just might have Ole Miss in that same vulnerable position that the Rebs had State in, back in 2009. A win on Saturday, could put a microscope on Houston Nutt’s job performance next season, and would have the same annual battle headed to Starkville in 2011. And, we know what home field advantage means to this rivalry.
For MSU, finishing the 2010 regular season with 8 wins, could say a lot about where the Dawgs end up bowling. There’s a fine line between Memphis, Atlanta, and Nashville. And, don’t think for one minute, that TSUN does not want to help determine the destination. Finally, this rivalry means a lot to both schools, so don’t let the people in Oxford act as if it’s not that big of a deal when MSU wins. For some reason, that’s always the case. State wins, Rebel fans exit as soon as possible and act as if it never happened. Ole Miss wins, and brag about it just as much as Bulldog fans would. I guess we’ll see just HOW important this year’s Egg Bowl is to Ole Miss, now that the role of underdog has been reversed.
Anyway, that’s how I feel about the Egg Bowl in general.
You click (here) for a link to Jake’s Ole Miss Blog, which includes his feelings about the battle for the Golden Egg.
How important do you feel the Egg Bowl is?
Is there an added importance on the game this year?
And, HOW much do you HATE Ole Miss?
Special thanks to TSUN WR Melvin Harris, he is suspended for the Egg Bowl. We won’t have to worry about his 6-7frame now. Btw, Harris was the Rebs’ 2nd leading receiver. For some reason KV at the CL, keeps placing him above Markeith Summers. Link
Kyle Veazy also has an in-depth stat break down of Stateand OM. Link
Mullen wants to keep MSU as the ‘lone’ program on the rise. Nice read. Link
The Top 3 teams in the country are facing major challenges this week…maybe not Oregon. Link
Good win for the Dawgs last night. Stansbury’s boys are 3-0 on the young season, after topping Detroit 82-76. Link
That’s it boys! GO-State!