MSU Mythbusting: Ole Miss Can’t Beat Mullen Consistently


Nov 28, 2013; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs players hold up the egg bowl trophy after winning the game against the Mississippi Rebels at Davis Wade Stadium. Mississippi State Bulldogs defeat the Mississippi Rebels with a score of 17-10 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Over the course of the next five days, I want to look at some things regarding the athletic programs at Mississippi State. I then plan to put them to the Mythbusters test. If you’ve never seen the show on Discovery, they always test the myth and then determine if it is confirmed, plausible, or busted. We will do the same for the myths of Mississippi State. We will do 2 for basketball, 2 for football, and one for baseball.

Dan Mullen made it a point when he showed up in Starkville after Croom was fired in 2008 to beat Ole Miss as often as he can. He had coached at schools that had fierce, traditional rivalries, and he knew the Egg Bowl was no exception. Many scoffed at his verbal jabs that he threw towards Oxford in 2009, but when the Egg Bowl was over that year, Mississippi State walked off the field with a 41-27 victory over their arch rivals. So will Ole Miss ever be able to defeat Mullen consistently, or does he just have their number? Let’s take a look at the evidence.

The Record

It’s no secret that Dan Mullen has fared well in the Egg Bowl.  After Mississippi State’s victory in November, Mullen now has a 4-1 record against Ole Miss. That comes to an .800 winning percentage. It’s also just enough of a sample size for the stat to truly be relevant. It’s pretty compelling evidence.

Record as an Underdog

One counter argument is that Mullen was supposed to win all those games. But that isn’t quite true. In the 5 Egg Bowls played with Mullen as the head coach, Mississippi State was the underdog in three of them: 2009, 2012, and 2013. In those games alone, Mississippi State has won 2 and lost one. To say that Mullen was supposed to win those games against Ole Miss is not factual. He was only supposed to win two of them.

The Verdict: Confirmed. In five years, Ole Miss has only beaten the Bulldogs once with Mullen as their head coach, and that shows they can’t do it consistently. Just like I said yesterday that narratives can change, this narrative could change as well. There have only been two games played between Mullen and Freeze, and in that time he is 1-1, and we don’t know what kind of impact the recent uptick in recruiting will do for Ole Miss. The reason I don’t believe that changes the verdict any is because Ole Miss was favored to win the most recent Egg Bowl and had everything pointing in their favor, and they were not able to capitalize. Until they can show more consistent success against the coach Ole Miss fans love to hate, this one is confirmed.