The Egg Bowl, a silent battle between Ole Miss and Mississippi State, is one of the noisiest and messiest Thanksgiving traditions. These two Southern schools used to compete in the infamous “Battle for the Golden Egg,” a series of increasingly ridiculous games that Ole Miss has won the last two years in a row.
Where did the innocent name “The Egg Bowl” come from? The trophy was the main priority, as is so often the case in college football. An actual fight on the field after the 1926 match frightened administrators from both institutions, inspiring them to create The Golden Egg the following year. The Golden Egg was the prize for the Mississippi state champion football team, and its purpose was to appease any potential for future violence.
It wasn’t until a local tabloid in 1979 dubbed the annual event the Egg Bowl that it gained its now-famous moniker. Mississippi and its eccentric traditions own Thanksgiving college football. Since taking over at Ole Miss, Lane Kiffin has a perfect record versus their rivals in Starkville. While Lane Kiffin has already won an Egg Bowl at Mississippi State, Mike Leach is still searching for his first victory. Here’s the lowdown on the rivalry between the two teams who have played in the Egg Bowl over the years.
Why is it Called the Egg Bowl?
The “Golden Egg,” which Ole Miss and Mississippi State compete for every year, is the inspiration for the game’s moniker, “The Egg Bowl.” The game was officially named by Tom Patterson of “The Clarion-Ledger” in 1979.
However, there are two interpretations possible for the name. When these two teams met in 1979, it was a drab affair. Both squads came into the game with losing records of 3-7 and were competing purely for pride. Yet, Patterson allegedly chose to greatly amplify the coverage anyhow, as reported by Rick Cleveland.
From my vantage point 38 years later, I can say with absolute certainty that never before has so much been written about so little,” Cleveland declared in Mississippi Today in 2017. “Instead of one narrative spanning the entire game, we heard four separate tales focusing on different periods of play. Being the new man, I got stuck with the first three months. None of the teams scored.”
Egg Bowl History
The game in 1926 may have been the most consequential in terms of why the Golden Egg award was created. When Ole Miss ended Mississippi A&M’s 13-game winning streak in Starkville, the Rebels rushed the field and attempted to knock down the visitor’s goalposts, starting a ground war.
Some people were hurt as A&M’s goalpost defense consisted of furniture. So, in an effort to avoid similar incidents in the future, many students from both institutions have bought copies of The Golden Egg. The school that won The Golden Egg was widely regarded as the best in Mississippi when it came to football.
Other Notable Games
1983: The Immaculate Deflection
There is no connection between pass defense and Immaculate Deflection. There is a heavy emphasis on the use of special teams. It’s the most obvious example of God intervening in a football game that anyone can think of. Artie Crosby was in the game to kick a game-winning field goal from 27 yards, and his kick was both long and accurate. Unable to go through, the ball was stuffed at the uprights by a strong wind gust, giving Ole Miss the victory.
In recent years, the level of competition has increased. In 2018, “The Egg Brawl” occurred after Ole Miss’s A.J. Brown scored a touchdown and a Mississippi State player continued to fight him for the ball. A fight broke out, and players from both teams were ejected. After a series of unsportsmanlike conduct flags were thrown, the entire game was effectively called off.
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The next season, Elijah Moore rekindled the controversy by celebrating a score with one of the most comically stupid antics in recent memory: he imitated a dog peeing in the end zone. Because of Moore’s penalty, an extra point attempt failed, and Mississippi State prevailed 21-20. After the game, Ole Miss issued multiple apologies to Moore and fired head coach Matt Luke.
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) November 25, 2022
Egg Bowl Trophy Name
The game’s championship prize, known as “The Golden Egg,” inspired the event’s name. Considering its form, it’s no surprise that the Golden Egg was given its moniker. Embedded in a signboard is a football-shaped object. However, the ball is polished and resembles the ball of 1927, which was less elongated than the ball of today. The object resembles an egg both in concept and in appearance.
Egg Bowl Record Last 10 Years
A minor edge goes to Ole Miss over the past decade, as they have a 4-3 record. However, that history is murky. Over the past decade, both clubs have given up victories they had previously held. Since Ole Miss was punished from 2010 through 2016 for playing ineligible athletes, the university had to forfeit its 2012 and 2014 victories.
Meanwhile, academic fines led to Mississippi State’s 2018 victory being nullified. For the past decade, Ole Miss has an “actual” record of 6-4.
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Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State All-Time Record
As of right now, Ole Miss has a 64-45-6 advantage in the all-time series. The longest winning streak ever recorded is 13 games, set by Mississippi State between 1911 and 1925. (the teams played twice in 1918 and did not play from 1912 to 1914) However, from 1947 until 1963, Ole Miss went undefeated in the series. During that time, Ole Miss won 14 of 17 matchups against its rivals. Three of the contests ended in a draw.
Mississippi State is hoping to rub some salt in the wounds of Ole Miss after the Rebels’ humiliating loss to Arkansas last week. With Ole Miss’s recent 4-3 record in the SEC, a tie in the rankings between 3-4 Mississippi State and 4-3 Ole Miss would only inflame an already bitter rivalry.
One of the noisiest and messiest Thanksgiving traditions is the Egg Bowl, a silent battle between Ole Miss and Mississippi State. It used to be that these two Southern universities would compete in the infamous “Battle for the Golden Egg,” a series of increasingly ridiculous games that Ole Miss has won the past two years in a row.
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