Why is it called the Egg Bowl? How Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State rivalry got its name, history & more

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Ole Miss and Mississippi State quietly engage in one of the messiest Thanksgiving traditions of the year: The Egg Bowl. Formally known as the "Battle for the Golden Egg," these two Southern schools have developed a reputation for their seemingly constantly goofy games, of which Ole Miss has won the last two.

So, how did The Egg Bowl get its innocuous name? As is often the case in college football, the trophy came first. The Golden Egg arose in 1927, after an actual battle on the field after the 1926 bout horrified officials of both schools. The Golden Egg was meant to placate future violence, and it was the trophy meant to represent the best football team in Mississippi.

The Egg Bowl moniker came over 50 years later, when a local paper dubbed the game in 1979.

On Thanksgiving, college football belongs to the state of Mississippi and its whacky, weird ways. Lane Kiffin is 2-0 so far in his Ole Miss career against their Starkville rivals. Mike Leach, who got to MSU the same year as Kiffin, is looking for his first Egg Bowl win.

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Here's what to know about the storied history of the Egg Bowl, including the two teams' history against each other.

Why is it called the Egg Bowl?

The Egg Bowl's namesake comes from the trophy Ole Miss and Mississippi State play each other for, "The Golden Egg."

In 1979, Tom Patterson of "The Clarion-Ledger" gave the game its official name.

The name, however, has a double meaning. In the 1979 edition of the game, it was a thoroughly uninspiring matchup. Both teams were 3-7 entering, and they weren't playing for bowl appearances. But according to writer Rick Cleveland, Patterson decided to blow out the coverage all the same.

"From a distance of 38 years I can assure you: Never has so much been written about so little," Cleveland wrote in "Mississippi Today" in 2017. "Instead of one game story, we had stories about each quarter of the game. As the new guy, I was assigned the first quarter. It was, of course, scoreless."

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Egg Bowl history

The year 1926 might be the most influential game in terms of necessitating The Golden Egg's trophy in the first place.

A ground war occurred on the field when Ole Miss snapped then Mississippi A&M's 13-game winning streak in Starkville and responded by rushing the visiting field and trying to take down the goalposts. 

A&M defended the goalposts with furniture and some people were injured.

As a result, and in an attempt to prevent future such incidents, The Golden Egg was purchased by students in both schools. The holder of The Golden Egg was considered the top football school in Mississippi.

Other notable games

1983: The Immaculate Deflection

The Immaculate Deflection has noting to do with a pass breakup. It's all about special teams.

It's perhaps the clearest case of Divine Intervention in a football game. Artie Crosby was in the game to kick a 27-yard game-winner, and he kicked a ball that had the distance and was on-target. But as it was about to go through, a massive gust of wind stuffed the ball at the uprights, and it dropped to the ground for an Ole Miss win.

This is unexplainable:

The rivalry has heated up more in recent years. 2018 marked "The Egg Brawl," which was sparked when A.J. Brown scored a touchdown for Ole Miss and had a Mississippi State player continuing to fight him for the ball.

Things eventually escalated to punches, which led to both benches clearing. Every player on both teams got unsportsmanlike conduct flags, effectively a zero-tolerance policy for the rest of the game.

The following year, Elijah Moore reignited the drama by mimicking a dog peeing in the end zone after scoring a touchdown in one of the most hilariously misguided celebrations in recent memory. Moore's penalty led to a missed extra point, and Mississippi State eventually won 21-20.

Ole Miss issued several apologies on Moore's behalf, and Matt Luke was fired after the loss.

Egg Bowl trophy name

The Egg Bowl is named after "The Golden Egg," the trophy for the game.

The Golden Egg got its name for its shape. It is a football-shaped piece perched on a placard. The ball, however, is smooth and is in the shape of the ball in 1927, which was less elongated than it is now.

In a literal sense, it looks like an egg.

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Egg Bowl record last 10 years

In the past 10 years, Ole Miss holds a slight edge with a 4-3 record. That record, however, is muddied.

Both teams have vacated wins in the past decade. Ole Miss's 2012 and 2014 wins were vacated because of sanctions between 2010 and 2016 for fielding ineligible players.

Mississippi State, meanwhile, had its 2018 win vacated for academic sanctions.

In total, the "real" record is Ole Miss at 6-4 over the past 10 years.

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Ole Miss vs. Mississippi State all-time record

Ole Miss leads the all-time series by a significant amount, sitting at 64-45-6.

Mississippi State still has the longest winning streak at 13 games from 1911 to 1925 (the teams played twice in 1918 and did not play from 1912 to 1914)

Ole Miss, however, has the longest unbeaten streak in the series from 1947 to 1963. Ole Miss won 14 of their 17 meetings in that span, with the other three games being ties.

Mississippi State is hoping to salt Ole Miss' wounds a bit, as the Rebels fell to Arkansas in embarrassing fashion last week. Ole Miss fell to 4-3 in the SEC, so if 3-4 Mississippi State could draw even in the standings it would add some more bad blood to this already hotly-contested rivalry.

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