By now I’m sure your Ole Miss friends have let you know how they beat Mississippi State in football, twice in basketball and four times in baseball. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but there’s no denying it: they owned us this year.
Sure, we played some of our absolute worst against the Rebels this year. But just accept the defeat, let them have their bragging rights, and move on down the road.
Without a doubt this one stings. Not only did Ole Miss have a clean sweep of MSU in the three major sports, but they will be making a bowl game, NCAA Tournament and NCAA Regional all in the same year. Mississippi State has never accomplished that feat within one academic year.
It’s hard not to compare ourselves to Ole Miss. They are in the same state with very similar athletic budget and facilities. They are our rival. So naturally, even if you feel good about where you’re at, you won’t feel as good if they’re doing better.
Despite all the exciting things happening in Starkville, right now OM is doing better. Their last three postseason appearances have featured a College World Series, New Year’s Six Bowl Game and the NCAA Basketball Tournament. I’m not going to lie – that’s impressive. Even more daunting is they are expected to improve in all three sports next year.
Mississippi State was able to play in a New Year’s Six Bowl as well, and despite the loss in the Egg Bowl had a better overall record than Ole Miss. Basketball and baseball can’t say the same, however, but at least there’s no where to go but up for those programs.
In football, the Battle for the Golden Egg will return to Starkville in 2015. The home team has won 14 of the last 16 games in the series, so hopefully that trend will continue. Dan Mullen is 4-2 against the Rebels – it should be another great game between two evenly matched teams.
In basketball, MSU looks to take a huge leap forward. Perhaps to the level where Ole Miss has played the last few years: at or around the bubble and making the field in two of three years. I have stated how I think the Bulldogs should be even better than that, and if so they could have a chance to take both games vs. OM, even if that’s unlikely.
Baseball is the wild card. What direction is MSU headed? Even if they get back on track next year it’s still hard to pull off a 4-0 record against Ole Miss – the nature of this sport is what makes a clean sweep so difficult to achieve. Each of the last three years (2012-14) have featured a 2-2 split. The series will be back in Starkville, however, so hopefully that will work in the Dawgs favor.
One thing I can say – the future of Mississippi State and Ole Miss athletics appears pretty bright. All three sports for both schools look like they are poised for big things to come. The only one in question is MSU baseball, but just two years removed from a National Championship Series and two years away from building the best stadium in college baseball, it’s hard to say that program is downtrodden.
Ole Miss got the best of MSU in 2014-15, but it looks like things will only get more interesting and the games will have even more meaning going forward. Looks like fun, and let’s get some revenge along the way.