Bulldogs try to win Egg Bowl for third consecutive year
Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (94) carries in the Golden Egg trophy after last year's 31-23 win by the Bulldogs over the Ole Miss Rebels. (Photo by Rogelio V. Solis, AP)
The Egg Bowl is only two days away and Mississippi State is going for its third consecutive series win.
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Winning three Egg Bowls in a row isn't an easy task as it has been almost 70 years since the last time MSU pulled off the feat. However, MSU head coach Dan Mullen is looking more short term.
"It'd be great to win three straight, but I don't always look at the streak because it's a one-year deal," said Mullen. "You get to enjoy it for one year. That's how we always focus it and we want to keep that trophy for the next year."
Winning rivalry games always gives the winning team bragging rights and most times a trophy as well, whether it be an in state or out of state rivalry. To Mullen, who has been a part of several rivalries as a coach and a player, there is nothing like the in-state battles.
"If it's your state against another state, well, on a daily basis you're not around their fans," said Mullen. "When you're in state, those are your neighbors, families and friends that are divided between the schools and have loyalties. It's every day bragging rights for an entire year. That's what makes it such a huge game for everybody."
Winning the Egg Bowl, doesn't just give the winning team and fans bragging right for the next year, it also can help the program build with the current recruiting class.
"It's to show the direction our program's headed compared to where other schools are in the state," said Mullen. "We've always made a point in recruiting that when all the kids in Mississippi decide they want to go to one school, that's going to be the No. 1 determining factor in winning a championship. Over the last couple of years, we've had more players from Mississippi than all the other Division I schools in the state combined."
In the Battle for the Golden Egg, Mullen is a perfect 2-0. He is 3-1 against Ole Miss in his career as a coach with his only loss being in his last year at Florida when the Rebels won 31-30. However, Mullen and the Gators did go on to win a national title that year.
Since Mullen took over the helm at MSU it is believed that he hasn't said "Ole Miss" as he refers to them as "the school up north." However, when he was recently asked how to spell "Ole Miss" Mullen responded by saying it looked like a spanish word.
With the Bulldogs winning both Egg Bowls under Mullen, a win this year could make it a little one-sided and many believe one-sided rivalries are really rivalries, but with Mullen at the helm he vows to always make sure it's a rivalry even if he wins it every year. That shouldn't be hard to do if he keeps getting under the skin of Rebel fans.
As Mullen goes for his third Egg Bowl win, his team is also fighting for bowl eligibility, but he is focused solely on Saturday's game.
"This is the biggest game of the year for us and I've made that a point since I got here," said Mullen. "We treat it that way and we will continue to treat it that way with great focus and a understanding of how important this game is for us, our fans and the people of Mississippi."