In-state rivalries always carry an added amount of pride and intensity from both teams and their fan bases. Given the success of both teams this season, this year's Ole Miss-Mississippi State game is certain to hit a fever pitch.
Given the implications the game has on the college football playoff race, fans across the nation will be tuning in to see what happens. Many of those fans are asking the same question
Why the heck is the Ole Miss-Mississippi State game referred to as the "Egg Bowl?"
It's not uncommon for rival schools to brand their annual matchup with a special name, and in many cases an heirloom trophy. A lot of these are war-inspired and awash in brute masculinity: The Backyard Brawl, the Border War, the Iron Bowl.
The Egg Bowl? That sounds more like the latest cooking gadget from The Pampered Chef.
Blame postgame violence and fighting by students of both schools in 1926 when Ole Miss upset Mississippi State after a long stretch of losing. According to accounts of Ole Miss's 7-6 win, Rebels fans rushed the field after the game to tear down the goalposts. Bulldog fans weren't happy about it, so they went onto the field to defend the goalposts, which resulted in several fights.
Allegedly, wooden chairs were wielded in the fighting, and the combat continued until almost all of the chairs had been destroyed in the fighting.
In 1927, the "Golden Egg" trophy was introduced as both schools' solution to prevent future violence, giving both sides something tangible they could receive in exchange for winning the game.
The trophy, however, was not meant to represent an egg: Its shape is actually representative of the shape of footballs during the 1920s, which were similar to rugby balls and were much more round than contemporary footballs.
To the uninformed eye, though, the trophy is much more egg than football. Thus, the Egg Bowl was born.
Ole Miss, which has lost four of the past five Egg Bowls, hosts this year's game.