Two sides to every Egg Bowl

You get the impression that Houston Nutt and Dan Mullen took very different approaches in preparing for their first two face-to-face meetings?

First, the Nuttster:

Marcello: In the past you said it took some time for you to fully realize the importance of the rivalry with Mississippi State. Will you approach the game differently this year?

Nutt: When I was at Arkansas, it was nine out of 10 times we had beaten Mississippi State. When we got here, the first year it was a 45-0 (Ole Miss win). Nobody said much about it. The last two years have not gone our way, and so there’s been a lot of talk on the other side. You just sit and you learn each year.

We really tried to make it very important last year. That is one of the biggest games of the year, and when you have that rival – Ole Miss-MSU in the Egg Bowl – it’s something very, very special. Our players know that and I think our coaches know that.

Compare that with Mullen:

Marcello: Last year after the Egg Bowl, you said, “We’re never going to lose to this team again.” You stand by that?

Mullen: That’s the plan.

Marcello: What if Ole Miss beats you this year? How will you react?

Mullen: We better work an awful lot harder next year. I’ll be honest with you, I don’t ever plan on losing to them. Hopefully I never have to come up with that scenario.

Before he came to Ole Miss, Nutt coached many years at a school that didn’t have a natural conference rival.  It sounds like it’s taken some time for him to realize how to prepare for that kind of game.

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “Two sides to every Egg Bowl

  1. retwely

    I’m not sure how much I buy into this “you have to prepare differently for a rival” business. Admittedly, I never played college ball and my experience is purely as a fan, but to me you’re either playing a good team or you’re not.

    Remember all that talk from Paul Johnson after 09 about how “he understands the rivalry now”? Didn’t pay off much in 2010, although admittedly his team was facing a much better squad.

    The one factor that I do think is much bigger than “preparing for a rival game instead of another game” is recent history making players lack confidence/tighten up. For example UGA/GT or, sadly, us against Florida. To me its less about a coach not knowing some secret of rivalry games, and more about a team not fully buying in that they can win because of their recent struggles.

  2. Normaltown Mike

    “Last year after the Egg Bowl, you said…”

    Sounds like a Lane Kiffin front runner. If you want to make a bold prediction, do it before the game.

  3. Go Dawgs!

    Wow. That’s some pretty big talk from Mullen. I guess you can get away with strutting like that when you’re just talking about Ole Miss, but they’ve been good before, and they’ll likely be good again someday.

  4. Dog in Fla

    Dan Mullen = Will Muschamp without the ability to charm the ladies

    “A young, pretty girl sitting near the front of the room had a question for the Florida coach.

    “Coach, I’m getting married soon and he’s a Georgia fan and …”

    “That’s not my fault,” Will Muschamp said, playing to the crowd.

    “My wedding is on the same day as the Florida-Georgia game,” she continued. “I was wondering: Can you guarantee Florida will win?”

    Muschamp, the native of Rome, a long-time Georgia resident and former Bulldogs safety, smiled.

    “I certainly can,” he said (and then he turned in my direction and alerted the crowd that this pronouncement almost certainly would be used in the local newspaper).”

    http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/sports_college_uf/2011/05/shades-of-steve-spurrier-will-muschamp-predicts-win-over-georgia.html

    • Russ

      All I have to say is obviously neither one in that relationship is a football fan, much less a Dawg or Gator fan. Married on the same day as the WLOCP? WTF?

      http://www.fallweddingssuck.com/

      • Dog in Fla

        I had one get married on Georgia v. Auburn last year in North Carolina and didn’t have much say in it since the bride’s folks (Pitt fans) were picking up the tab except for the rehearsal dinner. Having only recently recovered from picking up the tab for my daughter’s wedding, I truly felt their pain. Problem was that the Georgia/Auburn relatives on my son’s side were fewer than the the Penn State/Ohio State’s on the other side. However, the Auburn side of my family was able to wrest control of the remote to the one bar TV with a bribe to the barkeep so at the reception I had to listen to the Auburn side of my family keep telling me that “Auburn shoots and scores!” during the
        entire second half.

        • Cojones

          When any of us think we are having misfortune ( I live where FU fans yell in my ear if I’m predisposed to being social during that game ) we need only to read of your plight in order to feel better. So much to swing at, so little opportunity. If a broohaha starts, I think I would get my back next to one of the Pitt fan’s back and take my chances.

          Identify with the daughter’s wedding expense since I gave away the bride in the garden of a hoidy-toidy hotel in La Jolla that adjoined the Torrey Pines Golf Course. It was a black and white tux affair that had me desparately trying to find a red cummerbund throughout San Diego. Didn’t find it, but would have been worth the faux pas to field the questions. Hell, it would have been lost on that crowd except for my two sons. The groom’s family was from Colorado (his father was a prof at Co St) and other places as far away as Nepal where one lived and worked for the U.N.. Two lived in England. Couldn’t you just see their faces if I shouted “Go Dawgs! Woof! Woof! Woof!” at the top of my dignified lungs right after the “I Dos”.?

          I have nightmares where I slug an FU fan only to wake up and find my fist pushing against my sleeping wife’s jaw. If I ever connect fully……?!

          But yours is a tale of greater nightmare (daymare) and I bow to your suffering. It drives one to drink—often.

  5. I’ll offer this for Nutt…Ole Miss fans love to pretend they don’t care that much about the State game until they lose it…so until that point he probably really had never heard all that much.