In 12 of the previous 14 years the Egg Bowl has been won by the home team. Dating back to 1999, the only time the home team has lost in this series is 2003 and 2010.
I distinctly remember the 2003 game. It was cold and wet. Jackie Sherrill had already announced his retirement earlier in the season and the Bulldogs were a hapless team from then on, finishing the season with a 2-10 record. Add to it Ole Miss had Eli Manning as a senior and it resulted in a 31-0 thrashing in Starkville.
I can’t say the 2010 Rebels just plain quit like they did in 2011, but they weren’t too good: 4-8 that year. Coming in they had lost 5 out of 6 games including a 52-14 beat-down from Derek Dooley. The Dawgs had their best team in a decade and were able to finish off OM, 31-23 (it was 31-9 going into the 4th quarter).
Common denominator in these two games: bad home team vs. good road team. MSU was horrible in 2003 vs. arguably Ole Miss’ best team in the last 40 years. The Rebels were spiraling downward in 2010 vs. a Bulldog team that finished #15 that year.
Over the last 14 Egg Bowls the record is dead even: 7-7. The home team is 12-2.
Home field has been a distinct advantage. Even when you thought State was down and out like 2001 or 2005 they were able to win the game. Or when Ole Miss wasn’t expected to win like in 2000 and 2012 they held serve.
Mississippi State hosts the 2013 Egg Bowl. Ole Miss is not an elite team. MSU isn’t a terrible team. We need to take care of business at home.