In college football, rivalries exist. In many cases, two teams that exist within the same state, and are often just hours apart from each other, tend to have fanbases whose students and fans come from different backgrounds and parts of society within that state.
Because of that, there are slight cultural differences between the two colleges and the people who are attached to those colleges.
Sometimes folks attached to those different colleges see beyond the differences and get along and contribute to improving their state.
Sometimes the rivalry we’re actually talking about is the Egg Bowl and we get to live with the absolute chaos that comes from the two fanbases involved clashing.
This rivalry has always been a heated one and the many of the meetings between the two teams have been incredibly bizarre. The 2019 edition of the Egg Bowl appeared as if it was going to be utterly meaningless in the grand scheme of things before the game began. As it turns out, a dog pee touchdown celebration cost Ole Miss a chance at beating the Bulldogs.
That had a serious downstream effect. Matt Luke got fired, Lane Kiffin got hired. Joe Moorhead’s job was saved long enough for the Bulldogs to go to a bowl game which State would lose and then Moorhead wound up losing his job. Enter in Mike Leach.
AND A TON OF OTHER THINGS HAPPENED BECAUSE OF THESE THINGS HAPPENING. READ ABOUT THAT HERE.
This is far from the only Egg Bowl that ended weirdly. Just one year prior, the benches cleared for a brawl.
That led to Mississippi State’s Joe Moorhead being VERY mad in his postgame press conference.
This wasn’t happening in a close contest, this game was a blowout. And the play that led to that brawl didn’t even count! This rivalry is chaos!
To quote myself in this piece for FanSided in a couple lines in which I address the chaos of the 2018 Egg Bowl:
“The last time these two teams faced each other, drinks were reportedly thrown at players from fans in the Ole Miss stands, a brawl broke out, Moorhead insulted an Ole Miss deputy athletic director who seemingly got in the midst of a Mississippi State football celebration.”Ethan Lee for FanSided
And this chaos goes back for basically 100 years!
Something that makes the game truly interesting this year is that the head coaches involved in the game are: incredibly quirky in their own right, offensive innovators, and friends.
Leach and Kiffin entered into this ridiculous rivalry due to the most absurd circumstances possible and their friendship will make this particular meeting (and any future meetings between the two at their respective Mississippi schools) something of an anomaly for this rivalry.
Just a few days ago, Leach spoke of Kiffin very fondly:
That’s a stark contrast from the sparks that flew between Moorhead and the folks at Ole Miss back in 2018 as well as the tense relationship that Dan Mullen and Hugh Freeze appeared to have.
This rivalry is absurd and ridiculous and the coaches in charge of the programs involved in this game are often absurd and ridiculous, though their absurdity and ridiculousness is typically not draining.
2020, a year that has been very draining, could use some levity and farcical antics. A few preposterous plays and outrageous actions from those involved could help take the edge off of this year, just as Leach and Kiffin might be able to take the edge off of this rivalry some.
Or maybe because it’s 2020 and it’s the Egg Bowl, everything will be a disaster. I don’t know. My wife put her money on this thing being a dumpster fire. Like in most other things, she’s probably right.