Mississippi State’s Will Clark won the Golden Spikes Award in 1985 as college baseball’s best player. He was a six-time All-Star in Major League Baseball.
When researching LSU-Mississippi State history, you’re just as likely to run across its baseball teams — on both sides — from the early 1980s through the 1990s as its football series even though the Tigers and Bulldogs have played on the gridiron 105 times.
Mississippi State’s football team hasn’t beaten LSU since 1999 and hasn’t won in Baton Rouge since 1991. However, the Bulldogs hadn’t been 7-0 since 1999 either and they accomplished that feat this year.
But they’ll face an angry Tiger squad, in the middle of the Bayou night, after last week’s last-minute loss to Alabama. As ESPN reminded us so many times last week, Les Miles’ led teams have now only lost twice under the lights in Tiger Stadium — and both of those were to the #1 ranked team in the country (Florida ’09, Alabama ’12). State sits 20 spots below that lofty perch at #21, coming off blowout losses to Alabama and Texas A&M, and kickoff is 7 pm EST. Good luck, Bulldogs.
LSU has won 19 of its last 20 games against State.
Adidas has designed an all-white uniform for Mississippi State.
In remembrance of the 2000 Independence Bowl between Mississippi State and Texas A&M that saw a snow storm cover Shreveport, La. and the Bulldogs defeat the Aggies 43-41 in overtime, #15 State is wearing all-white uniforms in Saturday’s game against #16 A&M. The two meet for the first time as division rivals in Starkville, and State will replace its end zone #HailState Twitter hash tag with #SnowBowl12.
Jackie Sherrill led State to the 2000 Independence Bowl win over A&M, a program he coached from 1982 to 1988. Both programs were levied with NCAA sanctions during and after Sherrill’s tenures. His 74 wins at State are the most in the program’s history for a head coach as he finished 74-76-2 from 1991 to 2003 and won the 1998 SEC Western division title.
Sherrill finished 52-28-1 at A&M and won three consecutive Southwest Conference championships from 1985 to 1987.
The 2000 Independence Bowl aka The Snow Bowl:
The last time Mississippi State defeated Tennessee, the year was 1994 and a freshman quarterback named Peyton Manning took over starting duties after Tennessee quarterbacks Todd Helton (of Colorado Rockies fame) and Jerry Colquitt were hurt. Mississippi State beat the freshman quarterback that day on a 4th down touchdown, but Manning never looked back.
State’s game winning drive:
Ole Miss travels to New Orleans Saturday to take on Tulane, a founding member of the SEC in 1932-1933. After sharing the SEC title with Alabama in 1934, #13 Tulane defeated #3 Temple 20-14 in the inaugural Sugar Bowl played on Jan. 1, 1935. The Green Wave finished 10-1 with its only loss to Colgate. It defeated current SEC members Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Ole Miss, Kentucky and LSU as well as former members Georgia Tech and Sewanee in 1934.
Tulane won three SEC championships — 1934, 1939 and 1949 — before leaving the conference in 1966. That’s still more than founding members Kentucky (2) and Mississippi State (1) have today.
Ole Miss leads the series with Tulane 42-28, and has played the Green Wave more than any other program outside the SEC. The Rebels defeated Tulane 27-13 in 2010.
In perhaps the ugliest game in the modern SEC era, 9th-ranked Auburn — yes, 9th-ranked — defeated Mississippi State 3-2 in Starkville (appropriately named that night) in 2008. The Tigers’ Wes Byrum connected on a 2nd quarter field goal for a 3-0 lead. That’s all Auburn needed after Mississippi State only mustered a safety in the 4th quarter.
Tommy Tuberville was breaking in new offensive coordinator Tony Franklin in what turned out to be a disastrous year for the Tigers and led to Tuberville’s dismissal. Mississippi State was also looking for a new head coach after 2008 as Sylvester Croom was dismissed.
Here are the low-lights set to “Baby I’m Burning” by Dolly Parton via those lovable fools at Everyday Should Be Saturday:
Mullen is 0-5 vs. Auburn as Florida’s offensive coordinator and Mississippi State’s head coach (Credit: Butch Dill, Getty Images)
While it may have cooled over the last year, Dan Mullen’s name has been a hot one in the college football world after a very successful stint as Florida’s offensive coordinator (2005-2008) that included two national championships (2006, 2008) and early success as Mississippi State’s head coach (2009-present) leading the Bulldogs to a 52-14 Gator Bowl win over Michigan after the 2010 season.
However, Mullen has yet to record a victory over Auburn in five tries as an offensive coordinator and head coach. The Tigers hung the only loss on Florida’s 2006 national championship team, beating the 2nd-ranked Gators 27-17 in Auburn. Tommy Tuberville’s squad with now-Florida head coach Will Muschamp serving as defensive coordinator followed it up in 2007, defeating 4th-ranked Florida in Gainesville’s Swamp 20-17 on a game-ending Wes Byrum kick.
Mullen is 0-3 as Mississippi State’s head coach against Gene Chizik’s Auburn, losing 49-24 in 2009, 17-14 in 2010 and 41-34 in 2011. The last two games have featured a late Auburn defensive stop to secure victory. The Bulldogs were one of several teams in 2010 to “almost, but not quite” beat the national champion Tigers and Cam Newton, who’s recruitment allegations involved both programs. Last year, Mississippi State entered the game as the ranked team at #16, but failed to take advantage as Chris Relf was stopped at the goal line in the waning seconds.
Auburn and Mississippi State open their conference slates against each other in Starkville this Saturday at 12 pm EDT.