There is no possible way there could be another university that so closely resembles Mississippi State as Texas A&M does. There’s just no way. The list of similarities and common themes is just too great:
- Colors are maroon and white (so future A&M bloggers who want to call themselves maroon and white nation we beat you to it!)
- Mississippi State was once an A&M as well – Mississippi A&M from 1878-1932
- MSU was also formerly the Aggies but that changed to the ‘Maroons’ in 1932 when Mississippi A&M became Mississippi State College
- Texas A&M was founded in 1876, Mississippi A&M in 1878 – both after the Morrill Act of 1862 was passed which allowed for land-grant colleges whose focus would be agriculture
- Both schools have dogs as mascots. MSU has Bully (English Bulldog), A&M has Reveille (Rough Collie).
- Both schools have a Veterinary school, and they are starting a new tradition that involves a dog bowl going to the winner of this game
Now how about sports:
- Emory Bellard was the head coach at Texas A&M from 1972-78, then at MSU from 1979-85. Bellard invented the wishbone formation which was widely used in the 70s and 80s. He had a string of good seasons in College Station including back-to-back 10-win seasons (’75,’76) and a share of the Southwest Conference title in ’75, but ultimately resigned six games into the ’78 season after consecutive blowout losses to Southwest Conference foes. He took the job at Mississippi State in place of Bob Tyler in 1979. He was able to put together very successful seasons in 1980 and ’81 and is responsible for arguably State’s biggest victory – 1980 vs. #1 Alabama. After four consecutive losing seasons he was let go in 1985.
- Jackie Wayne Sherrill coached at both schools as well; A&M: 1982-88, MSU: 1991-2003. After going 50-9-1 at Pittsburgh, Texas A&M was able to lure him away by making him college football’s highest paid coach at the time (6 years, $1.7 mil). Sherill had plenty of success at A&M winning back-to-back-to-back Southwest Conference championships from 1985-87. He also started the tradition of the “12th man Kickoff Team” which is still in place today. Sherrill resigned after the 1988 season amid NCAA infractions of impermissible benefits although he was never directly found guilty of any. In 1991, he took the job at Mississippi State and in 13 seasons became the winningest coach in Bulldog history (75). He won the SEC West in 1998 and took MSU to six bowl games – doubling its historical total. Under his leadership, all home games were brought back to Starkville rather than playing a few in Jackson, MS each year.
- Long time baseball head coach for Texas A&M, Mark Johnson (1984-2007) was an assistant under Ron Polk at Mississippi State from 1976-1982. MSU made two trips to Omaha (’79, ’81) while Johnson was there. He left to become an assistant at A&M and then the head man two years later. He won 5 conference championships, made 13 Regionals and to Omaha twice (’93, ’99). Mississippi State went to College Station in 1998 and beat Johnson’s Aggies in the Regional hosted there to advance to Omaha under Pat McMahon.
- Kermit Davis, Jr. played and coached basketball at Mississippi State in the early 1980s and was the head coach at Texas A&M for the 1991 season.
- Les Koenning served as Texas A&M’s offensive coordinator 2003-07, he has been State’s O.C. since 2009.
- MSU women’s basketball head coach, Vic Schaefer, was the associate head coach at A&M from 2004-12. He is also a graduate of Texas A&M.
On the football field
This will be the 7th meeting between the two schools. It will be the 5th game in the state of Texas, but only the 2nd game in College Station (1913). These two have played in Houston (1912), Dallas (1915) and Tyler (1937), TX. They’ve also met in Shreveport, Louisiana for the Independence Bowl in 2000.
The series is currently tied at 3 games a piece. MSU won in College Station (exactly 100 years ago) and A&M won in Starkville (last year). It’s 2-2 at a “neutral” site.