What Is the Egg Bowl? Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State Rivalry Explained

The Ole Miss Rebels and Mississippi State Bulldogs renew their heated rivalry on Thanksgiving Day, but what is the Egg Bowl?

Forget everything you think you know about football rivalries. The Egg Bowl is something entirely different. On college football rivalry week, the word hate will be used as frequently as turkey is eaten this Thanksgiving. But, to know what real college football hatred is, you have to know what the Egg Bowl is.

Looking for the Mississippi State vs. Ole Miss score from the Egg Bowl on Thanksgiving? The Bulldogs defeated the Rebels 24-22. Keep reading for the explanation of why these two teams face off each year in the Egg Bowl.

What Is the Egg Bowl?

The Egg Bowl is a college football rivalry between the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Ole Miss Rebels. However, to simply term it a rivalry game does a disservice to the pure vitriol that flows through the veins of the two programs. The Egg Bowl is passion, it is pride, but it is also pure and unadulterated hatred for the other institution just 112 miles up or down the US 45 highway.

“I don’t think you fully understand unless you’re from here or are a part of the game,” Mississippi State QB Will Rogers told the media ahead of the 2022 edition of the Egg Bowl.

“This is the game that everybody thinks about every year. It doesn’t matter where we play it or who is ranked higher or what the records are. It’s the biggest game of the year, every year.”

“I feel like it’s one of the biggest rivalries in college football,” Ole Miss wide receiver Johnathan Mingo explained. “Being from Mississippi, the goal is ‘don’t lose’ because you want to have bragging rights for 365. It’s something you can take with you for the rest of your life.”

The two current head coaches of the bitter rivals have been criticized for not embracing the sheer intensity of the game. While not entering into a war of words ahead of the 2022 edition, Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin at least recognized how much the Egg Bowl means to those on either side of the rivalry.

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“Seems like there’s not a lot of love in the relationship, is a nice way of putting it. It means a lot, to a lot of people.”

However, former Mississippi State wide receiver Osirus Mitchell perhaps best summed up the hatred and intensity during a pre-draft interview with me in 2021.

“It’s literally a war. The fans are crazy, the players are definitely crazy. They’ll try and hurt you during the play, after the play. It’s just like a fight basically. I’m not even from Mississippi but I take that rivalry game personally. I think by far it’s the best rivalry in college football as far as the intensity goes.” – Osirus Mitchell

Why Is it Called the Egg Bowl?

The hatred, the intensity, and the fight that defines the Egg Bowl actually led to the naming of the annual rivalry game between the two universities. Before the 1927 edition, it was simply known as the rivalry game between Mississippi State and Ole Miss.

However, when the intensity of the rivalry led to a brawl between fans that included smashed chairs, it was decided something needed to be done to calm the passion somehow.

The resolution was the creation of a trophy to be given to the winner of the game. A brass football on a wooden plinth earned the name “The Golden Egg” due to its oval nature. Until the 1978 edition, the rivalry game was named “The Battle for the Golden Egg.”

When both teams were ineligible for a bowl game in 1978, the clash was termed “The Egg Bowl” by The Clarion-Ledger newspaper. The name has stuck ever since.

Ole Miss and Mississippi State Rivalry Dates Back to 1901

While The Golden Egg and The Egg Bowl have had a place in the rivalry since 1927 and 1978, the Ole Miss and Mississippi State rivalry dates all the way back to 1901.

The very first Egg Bowl took place between the then-Mississippi A&M Aggies and Ole Miss Red and Blue in Starkville. The Aggies won 17-0 to kick-start an early advantage in the rivalry.

Mississippi State enjoyed a lot of success early in Egg Bowl rivalry lore. They embarked on a winning streak between 1911 and 1925 that included a 65-0 victory in 1915. However, Ole Miss snapped that streak with a win in 1926 and became the first team to win The Golden Egg.

After a string of success through the 50s and 60s, Ole Miss currently holds a 64-46-6 record over the Bulldogs ahead of the 119th meeting of the two bitter rivals.

Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State Latest History

Most college football rivalries invoke a war of words. However, few contain the sheer hatred fuelled violence that the Egg Bowl can provide. Some of the most recent clashes have harkened back to the original chaos and calamity of the 1926 clash.

While the hatred between the two programs fuels these outbursts, the players themselves have been known to kick up the fire with their on-field antics. In 2017, Ole Miss wide receiver DK Metcalf’s “urinating dog” celebration following a third-quarter touchdown set fire to the powder keg of emotions in the Egg Bowl.

Just two years later, the heroic reception from Ole Miss fans to Metcalf’s antics was replaced by criticism when Rebels receiver Elijah Moore replicated the same celebration and was penalized on the field. A missed extra point resulted in an Ole Miss defeat. Moore was branded “disappointing and unacceptable.”

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The 2018 edition of the Egg Bowl provides a case study in the intensity and hatred of the rivalry. Dubbed “The Egg Brawl,” four players were ejected, and every single player received unsportsmanlike conduct penalties after punches were thrown following an Ole Miss touchdown.

Ole Miss heads into the 2022 edition of the Egg Bowl riding a two-game winning streak in the rivalry game. With the two coaches attempting to de-intensify the hatred, the last two editions have lacked the explosive on-field shenanigans to which we’ve become accustomed.

However, with Leach suggesting — perhaps somewhat tongue-in-cheek — that if Ole Miss was to vacate the SEC the Bulldogs would replace the Rebels with a different rival before the end of the week, the teacher of insurgent warfare may just have ignited an on-field battle on Thanksgiving.

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