July 16, 2024


Exercise makes you strong

Battle of the Golden Egg (Egg Bowl) Football Game – Ole Miss Rebels and Mississippi State University

Battle of the Golden Egg (Egg Bowl) Football Game – Ole Miss Rebels and Mississippi State University

One of the more historic and high profile annual match ups during the college football season is the always anticipated scrum between intrastate rivals the Ole Miss Rebels and the Mississippi State University Bulldogs when they play in a contest dubbed the Battle of the Golden Egg, or the Egg Bowl as it is commonly shortened to. Of the multitude of rivalry games with specific titles and trophies attached to them this particular series that determines who holds the Golden Egg Trophy for the following year is the tenth oldest continuously played rivalry in all of college football. The longevity of this annual event is especially impressive when considering that it is more typical for states on the eastern seaboard to hold American longevity records because that area was populated earlier.

Mississippi State and Ole Miss (the University of Mississippi at Oxford) have been playing each other in football since 1901 but the Battle for the Golden Egg moniker did not become popular until 1927. Many casual followers of the rivalry are confused about the significance of the word egg and assume it to be a southern reference indicative of the Mississippi culture. In the instance of the Battle of the Golden Egg the word egg actually refers to a football. Early twentieth century versions of footballs were more round than the oblong shaped apparatuses used today that have more defined pointed ends. The slang term for what became an old fashioned style football was an egg. Calling a rounded football an egg is akin to basketball players calling a basketball a rock simply because of the shared shape.

The nickname Egg Bowl can be confusing for two reasons. In addition to the alternative meaning of the word egg that was discussed in the previous paragraph the word bowl normally refers to a postseason game like the Orange Bowl or the Sugar Bowl. The annual meeting between Ole Miss and Mississippi State is simply another regular season game played between conference opponents who currently each compete in the West division of the Southeastern Conference (SEC), arguably the best conference in college football on a regular basis. The use of the word bowl is simply utilized to relay the significance of this important game that trumps other more pedestrian regular season competitions.

While the two competing institutions of higher learning in the state of Mississippi have been playing each other since 1901 a number of football historians only recognize games from 1927 on for the purposes of explaining which team leads the Battle of the Golden Egg rivalry. The year 1927 has been chosen as the cutoff because that was when the traveling Golden Egg Trophy was introduced. Looking at figures from 1927 and beyond shows that Ole Miss leads the series with a record of 53-23-6 against their in state rival Bulldogs.