Thanksgiving means football, specifically Mississippi's Egg Bowl. Due t the Thursday game we are presenting our coverage of the Egg Bowl early in this extra edition. The rest of this week's C&C will follow.
Coach's Week 13 Game of the Week
Egg Bowl - Ole Miss @ Mississippi State
When I think about the culture of the state of Mississippi, only one word truly comes to mind. PRIDE. Pride in their work, whether that be on the farms of the Delta, in the offices of Jackson, on the ships in the gulf or in the restaurants and watering holes where they gather to unwind after their done. Pride in their art, be it the Jazz music made famous by BB King, RL Burnside and Robert Johnson, their entertainers such as Elvis, James Earl Jones, Morgan Freeman, Tennessee Williams and even Brittney Spears or their true hometown heroes, the BBQ pit masters that can be found in every mom and pop road side shack across the state. Mississippi is a melting pot of people who have fought and worked hard for what they have, and most of the time it isn’t much, but it’s theirs and it is unique to their life experience. The one place where they all come together to celebrate what makes them all one people is a college football gameday in Starkville or Oxford. I’ve had the privilege of walking the Grove on a game day morning. It’s a true cultural experience that every southerner should experience at least once. Black, white, rich, poor, family and strangers all come together in one place to celebrate who they are together under the guise of a football game. The game is important, but, if truth be told, not as important as the time spent with family, blood and water alike, in that area just outside Vaught Hemingway Stadium. How do you lead a team that represents such a diverse, wide ranging people group? You better be unique and you better be unapologetically yourself at all times. Possibly never before in the history of the 2 programs have they both been led at the same time by two men who more successfully fit that mold in Mike Leech and Lane Kiffin. Both are known for notoriously explosive offenses that are fun to watch and have easily put butts in seats at multiple stops across their career but that’s not what makes them perfect for this state and this game. They fit the culture. They blend right in. in theory, they shouldn’t. Lane is the son of a lifetime big time coach who has lived all over the country and was always fairly wealthy and easily slid into a successful coaching career on the coat tails of his legendary father before truly establishing himself. Leach is a California boy turned Lawyer who has a mysterious love of Pirates and ancient war tactics. None of those things embody the spirit of the people of Mississippi but somehow their personalities make them perfect to be the Ring Leaders of their Saturday 3 ring Circus. No 2 coaches in the country could be a better fit.
On the field, we get to see 2 of the flashiest offenses in the Nation go toe to toe. Ole Miss has been a pass rush machine this year leading the country in Sacks which poses extra problems when the weekly gameplan involves dropping back to pass 60 times a week. Outside of that stat, neither of these crews are especially stingy on defense but both offenses average north of 450 yards per game. Mississippi State QB Will Rogers comes into the game 2nd in the nation in passing yards having already surpassed the 4,000 yard mark with more than 30 TD’s. Lane Kiffin has turned his own QB Matt Corral into somewhat of a cult sensation and he has produced very impressive numbers of his own while hypnotizing the entire Ole Miss fan base into proclaiming him as a Heisman contender.
This game in quintessentially Southern. It embodies everything that makes Southern culture great and you shouldn’t miss it Thursday night after you’re done celebrating the day with your own family. Don’t worry about the fans being tailgating all day. They’ll be with theirs.
Egg Bowl Picks
Curator - Ole Miss
Coach - Ole Miss
The Curator and other knowledgeable voices...mostly Southerners... on the subject