13 July 2010
We were gonna talk about the Arkansas Razorbacks' upcoming football season, but I decided that we must talk about another matter first. As you might already know, Chris Low's SEC Blog was taken over temporarily yesterday, in order that Mark Schlabach could¬†post his¬†thoughts on the Egg Bowl rivalry. If you missed the read, here's the link. That article was not my problem, but rather some comments made by The Ole Miss Blog concerning the article's contents, and some other items of expression. Read those comments below, and I'll give my arguments:
"First of all, it's apparent to me that Schlabach was assigned an Ole Miss-Mississippi State piece and he didn't feel like doing any real work. This "School up North" bit has been done about 500 times now. How about a piece on Nathan Stanley or the quarterback competition in Starkville? Secondly, as I've written before, the intensity in this rivalry game is pretty one-sided. Yes, Mississippi State wants to beat Ole Miss so bad that it feels compelled to flash the score at its spring game and use the score as a security code and make up cute little names for the Rebels, but in the end, trying to beat Ole Miss is all the Bulldogs ever have to hold onto. Once Mississippi State figures how to beat an SEC team other than Kentucky or perhaps get to a second-tier bowl game, maybe they'll realize there's more to life than the Egg Bowl. That said, I will hand it to the Bullies - they whipped Ole Miss last year. And yes, the loss did affect which January bowl game the Rebels went to. But after watching LSU tangle with Penn State on that embarrassing patch of green mud the
Where do I agree with the OMB? There hasn't been any quality pieces written about UM or MSU, since the Egg Bowl. There are way too many articles that cover the same ol' crap over and over again. The countdown scoreboard in the MSU locker room, the TSUN nickname, and Nutt & Mullen's jabs at each other. Besides those items, there have been no thought-provoking or original writings about either schools' future, or what to expect just yet. The fact that both teams are looking to fill major positions on the field this fall, as Jake mentioned, is worthy of a write up and debate. So I agree there, Low and others need to let the dust settle on the earlier mentioned topics until Nov. 27.
Where I disagree? Man oh man. First off, I'm going to defend my school. Especially from these comments: "the intensity in this rivalry game is pretty one-sided. Yes, Mississippi State wants to beat Ole Miss so bad that it feels compelled to flash the score at its spring game and use the score as a security code and make up cute little names for the Rebels, but in the end, trying to beat Ole Miss is all the Bulldogs ever have to hold onto. Once Mississippi State figures how to beat an SEC team other than Kentucky or perhaps get to a second-tier bowl game, maybe they'll realize there's more to life than the Egg Bowl."¬†¬†(1) It must be a new fad that Ole Miss fans seem to think that only State fans care about the Egg Bowl, which is a complete¬†JOKE. Now, I'm not saying Ole Miss doesn't have other¬†rivals, I mean we both get up for¬†Bama.¬†And I'm no idiot, I know about¬†Ole Miss and LSU's bloody past. It's just funny to me that when Ole Miss wins the Egg Bowl, a thousand¬†hotty toddys are shouted,¬†the bragging rights are in place for 365 days, and that used to be all we heard through an¬†entire year of horrible baseball and basketball from the Rebels. The Rebs have improved greatly in those areas, so major props there (State has fallen off in baseball, for now).¬†Anyway, if State wins the¬†Egg Bowl, every Ole Miss fan drops their head leaving the stadium, and all of a sudden it's as if the game never happened, and the rivalry only mattered to the winner...which is the one left holding the Golden Egg. Pretty sure the game mattered to Ole Miss win they trounced State 45-0 in Oxford. A game that was over after the 1st quarter, but everyone stayed around for the Egg, because they knew the trophy would be carried around the entire stadium, and possibly past their section. Pretty sure it also mattered to a WINLESS¬†(in the¬†SEC)¬†Rebel squad, who had completely spoiled MSU's bowl chances in 2007...up until the final 8 minutes that is (17-14). And Ole Miss fans are quite aware that it mattered this past year. As much as it hurt Ole Miss' quality of bowl, it greatly lifted the spirits of MSU, and provided some momentum for the upcoming season. Are we really¬†gonna ignore a rivalry that divides the State, that in some cases is the deciding choice for a¬†star recruit, and that surpasses a century? I just want to ask all Reb fans, that if the LSU match up is so important, why is it that it took¬†decade, after decade, after decade, to name the rivalry or even come up with a trophy (finally in 2008)? And finally on the LSU subject, if your response is that you hold such a high win margin over MSU, and therefore you are just bored with us...check out your overall record vs LSU...pretty identical, and maybe LSU¬†feels the same about you. I know one thing, I see Mullen evening those scales during his time in Starkville, in a manner that will be unable to be ignored in Oxford.
(2) "Once Mississippi State figures how to beat an SEC team other than Kentucky or perhaps get to a second-tier bowl game, maybe they'll realize there's more to life than the Egg Bowl."¬†Hmmm...so if MSU was focused on beating other SEC teams rather than Ole Miss, then¬†we might have Ole Miss' awesome SEC¬†Win/Loss record over the past 5 years, and make a¬†better bowl. Let's examine¬†recent history, say¬†the last 5 years...Do you know¬†what Ole Miss' Win/Loss¬†record is during that span...buckle up State fans, hide underneath your beds...a whopping 15-33. State is 13-35. And as far as¬†worrying about OTHER conference foes, Ole Miss has only beaten 2 teams that State has not, LSU and UT, and State has beaten Bama (twice), which Ole Miss has not. Otherwise, Ole Miss and State have defeated the EXACT same teams...yes, Kentucky¬†included. Sometimes¬†Rebel fans just forget that they are just¬†like everyone else...which means¬†their¬†poop stinks too. Don't get overly excited about recent success, and don't even get me started on the weakness of OM's out of conference schedule¬†over the last 2 seasons.
The fact is, I'm a Bulldog through and through, but I'm REALISTIC. My loyalties and emotions will not change the way I tell the story, or deliver the facts. The fact that Dan Mullen is implementing the same tools that¬†he and Urban Meyer¬†used at Florida in order to build a championship team, and not to mention dominate rival FSU, is fine with me. MSU plays every season for the same reason¬†OM does, and that's to win the SEC West, and hopefully the SEC. Neither team truly focuses on the other for the entire season, that's insane. Now, keeping that date circled on the calendar, as¬†EVERY other rival school around the country does- is completely normal. It's a STATE battle. But anyway, amongst fans let the clock on the countdown scoreboard tick, let the rival chatter continue, and call em' TSUN until they beat Mullen. Afterall, we have to come up with something to call Ole Miss, because they can't even name themselves...Blues Muscicians, Black Bears, the Cardinals, etc. All joking aside, this a great rivalry, one to be proud of, and one that is not one-sided. And let's not assuage the importance and passion¬†of the rivalry, just because one side¬†lost.
And may Schlabach and Low lose their jobs to us...
We'll talk Arkansas tomorrow...Your opinion on this?
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