Was the 2014 Auburn Game MSU’s Biggest Win of All Time?


Oct 11, 2014; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs quarterback Dak Prescott (15) drives through the Auburn Tigers line during the game at Davis Wade Stadium. Mississippi State Bulldogs defeated the Auburn Tigers 38-23. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

All too often in sports, the immediate reaction after a great game is to ask if it’s the best of all time. Was that the greatest Superbowl of all-time? Was that the best performance in a NBA Finals of all time? 95% of the time the person asking said question is either a prisoner of the moment or just ignorant to the past. So I’m hesitant to ask such a question like: was the Auburn win last fall the greatest in MSU football history? But we’ve had six months to digest that game, and now take a look back.

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Really, there’s only one way to answer this question: was it bigger than beating Alabama in 1980? Let’s examine the facts in both cases…

1980 vs. Alabama

Un-ranked Mississippi State (6-2) beat #1 Alabama (7-0) in Jackson, MS, 6-3.

  • Bama was the two-time defending national champion (winning in 1978 and 1979)
  • The Tide had won 28 straight games and 27 straight SEC games (span of four years)
  • MSU had lost to Alabama 22 consecutive times
  • The win vaulted State to #19 in the polls – they would finish the year 9-3 and ranked #19

2014 vs. Auburn

#3 Mississippi State (5-0) beat #2 Auburn (5-0), 38-23

  • Auburn was the defending SEC champion and national runner-up
  • First game MSU had ever played as a top 5 team
  • First time MSU had ever hosted College Game Day
  • The win vaulted State to #1 (for the first time in program history) – they would finished the year 10-3 and ranked #11

This one is a tough call. I know there aren’t bumper stickers about the Auburn game like “I was there when we beat the Bear”, but I know State fans poke out their chest about being #1 for five weeks – that wouldn’t have happened without beating Auburn.

Each game was big but for different reasons. The Alabama game was big after the win was secured because of the difficulty that anyone anywhere had trying to beat Alabama at that time. The Auburn game was a huge spectacle the entire week leading up to and following the game.

Y’all be the judge….