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.
Bryant with two players at Texas A&M
The tie between Alabama and SEC newcomer Texas A&M is obvious to anyone who’s studied the history of college football — Paul “Bear” Bryant. The Alabama graduate served as A&M’s head coach from 1954 to 1957 before heading home to Tuscaloosa in 1958. ESPN highlighted Bryant’s beginning at A&M with its movie “The Junction Boys,” which featured his first training camp with the Aggies in Junction, Texas.
While Bryant stands out as the obvious link between the two schools, there are other ones like Gene Stallings and Jackie Sherrill who each had a significant impact in the SEC as well as at A&M. Stallings played for Bryant at A&M in the mid-1950s and won Alabama’s first national championship in 1992 since Bryant’s retirement and passing ten years earlier. Sherrill is an Alabama graduate who also coached under Bryant and won three SWC championships as A&M’s head coach in the mid-1980s.
Stallings coached under Bryant at A&M.
Even Dennis Franchione represents a tie as he coached the Tide from 2001 to 2002 and left for the same position at A&M in 2003.
Paul Bryant Jr. hosted a reception last night at the Paul W. Bryant Museum in Tuscaloosa honoring 30 former Aggies players who played for his father in the mid-1950s.
They’ve only met four times on the field, but ‘Bama’s and A&M’s histories run deep.
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:
LSU and Texas A&M will meet for the 51st time Saturday. LSU has met only Tulane and Rice more than A&M, a series that LSU leads 27-20-3. The Tigers were victorious in their latest meeting, the 2011 Cotton Bowl, 41-24. However, the Aggies have won the past five regular season games versus LSU, a stretch from 1991-1995. A&M also holds a 7-1-1 record against the Tigers in College Station, site of Saturday’s game.
A series that began in 1899 has had many starts and stops over the past century as LSU and A&M have been members of the same conference — the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA) in the early 1900s along with many current SEC members — and played several out-of-conference games against each other during the 20th century.
1995: Freshman LSU RB Kevin Faulk, who still holds many LSU records, is swarmed by the A&M defense at Kyle Field. The Aggies won 33-17.
Texas has denied to establish A&M as a permanent out-of-conference foe after the Aggies left the Big XII. Who better than LSU to fill the void vacated by the Longhorns? A&M has played LSU more than any other out-of-conference opponent in its history.
The only question is, why isn’t it later in the SEC schedule?
For more coverage of the renewed LSU-A&M rivalry, click here and here.
South Carolina’s George Rogers captured the 1980 Heisman Trophy.
The Georgia-South Carolina football series was moved back to October this year for the first time since South Carolina joined the SEC in 1992 to accommodate newcomers Missouri and Texas A&M. Typically, the two programs squared off in early September as conference foes or in late September before the Gamecocks’ entry into the conference.
The game hasn’t been played this late in the season since 1980 when it was played on Nov. 1, and featured Georgia RB Herschel Walker and South Carolina RB George Rogers, the 1980 Heisman Trophy winner. The 1980 game also held the distinction of the highest combined rankings between the two programs as Georgia was #4 and South Carolina #14.
Georgia’s Herschel Walker posted 219 yards against South Carolina in 1980.
This year’s game takes that mantle as the Bulldogs come in at #5 and the Gamecocks #6.
Who will emerge as the series’ Mr. October tomorrow night?
Arkansas leads the overall series with Texas A&M 41-24-3, meeting many times as members of the defunct Southwest Conference (SWC) and starting the series in 1903. The first two games between the Razorbacks and Aggies as SEC members will be played on campus, beginning tomorrow at A&M’s Kyle Field and in Fayetteville in 2013. The series, which has recently been called the Southwest Classic and played in the new Cowboys Stadium, will return to Dallas in 2014 through 2024.
A different version of the “Southwest Champions” playing in the “Cotton Bowl.”
Arkansas has won all three contests since the rivalry was renewed in 2009. However, the first-year Aggies have a big opportunity to wrestle away a win from the 1-3 Razorbacks tomorrow.