Monday, July 9, 2012

Should the Egg Bowl move to Thanksgiving night?

The Egg Bowl Trophy
The annual Egg Bowl rivalry game between Mississippi State and Ole Miss was played on Thanksgiving between 1998 to 2003. Miss St. head football coach Dan Mullen is wanting to move the game back to that date in the future.

"I'm a huge proponent for that," Mullen recently told the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. "We've been willing to do it since the day we were hired." Luckily for him, Ole Miss seems at least willing to consider the idea.

It's understandable why Mullen would want to move the Egg Bowl up a few days on the schedule to Thanksgiving. Under his watch as Miss St. HC, the Bulldogs have gone from an also-ran to at least a middle-of-the-pack team in the SEC. Moving the game to a day where it doesn't have to fight for attention with higher profile season-ending in-state rivalry games like Auburn-Alabama, Georgia-Georgia Tech, and Florida-FSU would be an advantage for the program.

The SEC is showing interest in a Thanksgiving night game, as it has to deal with the new task of dealing with a fourteen member conference with the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M. An Egg Bowl return to that night doesn't seem to be one of the frontrunners in getting that spot. Whether or not any of those SEC school are willing to move their games up two days would probably be the biggest factor in any decision. The Egg Bowl might win out by default if Ole Miss agreed to it.

The biggest drawback to any SEC game on Thanksgiving is that the NFL has pretty much taken over the holiday by adding a third game to the traditional Detroit and Dallas fare. It's doubtful that many SEC schools would want to compete with that. But if Miss St. wants to do it and Ole Miss agrees, then more power too them.

Give credit to Mullen and Miss St. in the fact that they want to make the move to Thanksgiving to give the school a higher profile. The fact they might have to face the NFL buzzsaw might be a little more than they, Ole Miss, and the SEC could chew.

(via Jackson The Clarion-Ledger. HT: ChuckOliver.net)