While many people across the US may be planning for Thanksgiving at the end of November, the folk of Arizona are also gearing up for the Egg Bowl.
This annual match between Ole Miss and Mississippi State is one of the highlights of the sporting calendar in the state and marks more than 100 years of local rivalry. It can certainly make family gatherings a little more frantic than usual, as fans of both sides come together to watch the match.
When Did the Golden Egg Bowl Begin?
Ole Miss and Mississippi State first played each other way back in 1901 but it wasn’t until 1927 that local students created the Golden Egg. The year before, fights had broken out on the pitch after the match when Ole Miss finally ended a 13 game winning streak for Mississippi State.
To encourage more sportsmanship in the future, students from both sides got together fashioned a trophy from a football. The Golden Egg was born. Ole Miss were the first winners in 1927, defeating Mississippi State 20-12. Over the years, the status of the match has grown and it’s now one of the most-watched events in Arizona and the wider US.
In the late 1970s, the full title of the Golden Egg Bowl was used for the first time to describe the fixture, introduced by the Clarion-Ledger newspaper. While both teams had underperformed in 1977, the intense rivalry between the college teams was such that the tag caught on with the media and has stuck to the present day.
The match is watched by millions today and the intense rivalry can often boil over. In 2017, there was a dustup before the game started and, in 2018, a fight broke out in the third quarter.
Where is the Golden Egg Bowl Played?
Since 1901, several locations have hosted matches between the two teams, including Jackson, Clarksdale and Columbus. Mostly, however, the game’s alternate between the campuses of the two colleges and are shown live on Thanksgiving.
The Longest Winning Streak
Before the creation of the Golden Egg, Mississippi State had the longest winning streak on record. This changed in 1946 with a 20-0 win by Ole Miss. It would be another 18 years before Mississippi State managed to turn the tables with a 20-17 upset in 1964.
While draws are no longer allowed in college football because of overtime, the Golden Egg has been shared 6 times between the two teams. When there was a draw, the teams shared the trophy and kept it at their respective colleges for 6 months of the year.
1983: The Windy Golden Egg Bowl
One of the most notable matches in this enduring series has been called the ‘immaculate deflection’ or the ‘wind bowl’. With the scores 24 to 23 in favor of Ole Miss, a long kick was needed to give Mississippi State a narrow win in the closing seconds.
The kick was left to Artie Cosby who seemed to be on target until the very last moment when a miraculous gust of wind caught the ball and stalled it in mid-air just before the uprights. The ball fell short, giving victory to Ole Miss by a single point.
Amazing Egg Bowl Matches
With such intense rivalry, it’s no surprise that the match between these two teams often delivers a tight game. There are rarely one-sided matches when it comes to this annual event – one of the few was in 1971 when Ole Miss won 48-0. There was another in 2003 when they took Mississippi State for 31 points without reply.
Often it can be a close-run thing when the teams take to the field. In 1999, Mississippi State was trailing 20-6 before rallying in the 4th quarter. With just 20 seconds left, they were tied and could have kneed the ball out of play, heading into extra time. Instead, they decided to play into Ole Miss territory. With just 8 seconds left, Scott Westerfield kicked a 44-yard field goal to win the match.
Of course, many folk like to place a bet on this local match each Thanksgiving when the two teams meet. A feature on the Bonusfinder’s website allows users to find the best deals before the holiday matchup and it’s well worth checking them out before play gets underway.