Mississippi State Bulldogs football
First season 1895
Head coach Dan Mullen
Home stadium Davis Wade Stadium
Year built 1914
Stadium capacity 55,082
Stadium surface Prescription Athletic Turf
Location Starkville, Mississippi
Conference SEC
Division Western
All-time record 507–544–39
Postseason bowl record 10–6
Conference titles 1 (SEC 1941)
Division titles 1 (SEC West 1998)
Consensus All-Americans 2[1]
Current uniform
Colors Maroon and White            
Fight song Hail State
Mascot Bully
Marching band Famous Maroon Band
Rivals Ole Miss Rebels
Alabama Crimson Tide
Kentucky Wildcats

The Mississippi State Bulldogs football team represents Mississippi State University in the Football Bowl Subdivision of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and the Western Division of the Southeastern Conference. Over its history, Mississippi State has produced an SEC championship team in 1941 and a divisional championship team in 1998, along with 16 postseason bowl appearances. The Bulldogs represented the SEC Western Division in the 1998 SEC Championship Game, falling to #1 Tennessee 14-24. Mississippi State has produced 38 All-Americans, 171 All-SEC selections, and 124 NFL players, including 11 first round draft picks 1[2]. The Bulldogs play their home games at Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field, the second oldest football stadium in NCAA Division I-FBS, which has a seating capacity of 55,082. The largest crowd was recorded on November 12, 2009, as the Bulldogs hosted #3 Alabama, at 58,103. Mississippi State competes in the annual Battle for the Golden Egg against in-state archrival Ole Miss, while also maintaining rivalries with Alabama and Kentucky. Jackie Sherrill, who was the head coach of the Bulldogs from 1991 to 2003, is MSU's all-time winningest coach. Sherrill led MSU to 6 postseason bowl games and an appearance in the SEC Championship Game in 1998. Allyn McKeen, who led the Bulldogs to its first and only SEC championship in 1941, has the highest winning percentage (.764). Some also credit McKeen with a national championship in 1940. The team is currently coached by Dan Mullen, former Florida offensive coordinator, who led the 2006 and 2008 Gators to national championships. During his time at MSU, Mullen has led the Bulldogs to two consecutive bowl victories in 2010 and 2011, and an undefeated record over in-state rival Ole Miss since his hiring.

Notable seasonsEdit

1941 SEC championsEdit

The 1941 Mississippi State Bulldogs finished the year with a 7-1-1 record, and claimed the Southeastern Conference championship. The season included wins over Florida, Alabama, Auburn, and Mississippi. The Bulldogs tied with LSU, and were defeated by Duquesne. While Mississippi State won the conference championship in 1941, they did not win the national championship. Alabama claims the 1941 season as a national championship, even though they finished the season with a 9-2 record, including losses to Mississippi State and Vanderbilt, and were ranked #20 in the final AP poll.

1998 SEC Western Division championsEdit

In 1998, MSU finished the regular season with a 26-14 win over Alabama, a 22-21 win over Arkansas, and a 28-6 win over Ole Miss in Oxford, MS. At the end of the regular season, both MSU and Arkansas finished with 6-2 conference records, but by virtue of MSU's head-to-head win over Arkansas, MSU earned the right to play in the 1998 SEC Championship Game as SEC Western Division Champions. MSU . In that game, MSU was leading Tennessee in the fourth quarter before falling 24-14 before 74,000 fans in the Georgia Dome. They continued on to play in the Southwestern Bell Cotton Bowl Classic in Dallas, Texas, against a heavily favored Texas Longhorns team. The Bulldogs lost the game 38-11.

1940 seasonEdit

The 1940 Mississippi State Bulldogs finished the season 10-0-1 and defeated Georgetown 14-7 in the 1941 Orange Bowl, with key wins over Florida, Alabama, and Ole Miss, while tying with Auburn 7-7. The Bulldogs finished ranked #9 and Minnesota was named national champions by all major polls. Some Bulldog fans retroactively claim the 1940 season as a national championship for Mississippi State, but the university neither claims nor acknowledges the feat.

Program AchievementsEdit

SEC West Champions 1998
SEC Champions 1941
Final Top 25 (AP) 1940, 1941, 1942, 1957, 1974, 1976, 1980, 1992, 1994, 1999, 2000, 2010
Final Top 25 (Coaches) 1963, 1992, 1994, 1999, 2000, 2010
Bowl Victories* 1912, 1940, 1963, 1974, 1981, 1999, 2000, 2007, 2010, 2011
  • Years listed for Bowl victories are seasons for which they occurred.

Recent historyEdit

1999 seasonEdit

The 1999 Bulldog team finished their season with a 10–2 record, earning a final ranking of #12 nationally. During the 1999 season MSU fielded the #1 ranked defense in the country. MSU beat in-state rival Ole Miss to finish the regular season. It was Jackie Sherrill's 6th win in his first 9 games against the Rebels. In the bowl game, the Bulldogs defeated Clemson in the Peach Bowl, 17–7 to finish 10-2 and ranked #12. That #12 ranking is the highest final ranking of any FBS Division team in the State of Mississippi in over 40 years.

2000 seasonEdit

The 2000 Bulldogs finished 8–4 (4–4) in what would be Jackie Sherrill's final winning season at MSU. The team reached the 2000 Independence Bowl where led by quarterback Wayne Madkin and running back Dontae Walker, under snowy conditions, they pulled out an exciting 43–41 overtime victory over Texas A&M.

2007 seasonEdit

The Bulldogs finished 8–5 and won the Liberty Bowl over the Conference USA Champion the University of Central Florida. Other notable wins include away victories at Auburn University and the University of Kentucky and home wins versus the University of Alabama and Ole Miss. With the win over Ole Miss, Mississippi State claimed the Egg Bowl trophy.

2010 seasonEdit

Mississippi State defeated the Georgia Bulldogs and the Florida Gators in the same season for the first time in team history. The Bulldogs also defeated the Ole Miss Rebels 31-23 for the Bulldogs' second consecutive win over the in-state rival. MSU finished the season with a 52-14 win in the Gator Bowl over traditional college football power University of Michigan Wolverines. The Bulldogs finished the 2010 football season ranked 15th by the Associated Press, the highest final ranking for the school in the AP poll since finishing 13th in the nation after the 1999 season.

Nick BellEdit

On Tuesday, November 2, 2010, 20-year-old defensive end Nick Bell, who had undergone surgery that Sunday for a type of skin cancer, died after a rapid deterioration of his health[3]; he had been scheduled to begin chemotherapy that day. His loss was mourned by the university and head coach Dan Mullen, who decided to meet with Bell's family on Monday night- when it became clear he was deteriorating- instead of attending the meeting of the Jackson Touchdown Club; Athletic Director Scott Stricklin went instead.

2011 seasonEdit

MSU won 7 games, including beating the Ole Miss Rebels for the 3rd straight time. It was also the MSU's 4th win in the last 5 against Ole Miss. The Bulldogs went on to beat the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in the Music City Bowl 23-17. The win in the Music City Bowl was the Bulldogs' 5th straight bowl win, which is currently tied for the longest bowl win streak in the NCAA.

Notable CoachesEdit

Allyn McKeenEdit

From 1939 to 1948, Allyn McKeen coached at Mississippi State, where he compiled a 65-19-3 record. In 1940, he was named the Southeastern Conference football individual awards SEC Coach of the Year after leading Mississippi State to its only undefeated season in school history. The following year, his squad captured the first and only Southeastern Conference championship in program history.

Jackie SherrillEdit

After three years away from the game, Sherrill was hired as head coach at Mississippi State University in 1991. He took over a program that hadn't had a winning season since 1986 (and had won a total of 14 games in that stretch) and hadn't had a winning record in Southeastern Conference play since 1981. Sherrill began his Mississippi State career with an upset victory over a familiar foe from his A&M days, the Texas Longhorns (who were the defending Southwest Conference champions).

In thirteen seasons in Starkville, Sherrill coached the Bulldogs to a record of 75–75–2. His 75 wins are the most in school history. He led the team to an SEC West title in 1998, and a berth in the Cotton Bowl Classic. A year later, he notched a 10–2 record and #12 final ranking. That #12 ranking was the highest final ranking achieved by any NCAA Division I-A school in Mississippi in over 30 years. Sherrill, along with Bill Snyder of Kansas State, were among the first to use the rich JUCO systems of their respective states to help their programs progress.

Although Sherrill won only eight games in his last three seasons, he built Mississippi State into a consistent winner despite playing in the same division as powerhouses like Alabama, Auburn and LSU. He also finished with a winning record against in-state rival Ole Miss (7–6). Under Sherrill, the Bulldogs went to six bowl games; before his arrival they'd only been to seven bowls in 96 years of play.

Sherrill also achieved notoriety by having his team observe the castration of a bull as a motivational technique prior to a game versus Texas. Unranked Mississippi State subsequently beat the #13 ranked Longhorns.[4]

Sherrill retired after the 2003 season, which was followed by the NCAA levying probation for four years on the program.[5] Despite a prolonged 3 year investigation by the NCAA, Mississippi State was [6] not found guilty of any major violations, and Sherrill was never personally found guilty of any NCAA rules violations at either Mississippi State or Texas A&M.

Memorable GamesEdit

1980 Alabama Crimson Tide On Nov. 3, 1980. Emory Bellard's Bulldog squad downed the Paul W. Bryant's No. 1-ranked Crimson Tide team 6-3 and brought to an end one of the most dominating runs in the history of the Alabama program. Alabama Quarterback Don Jacobs led the Tide on a furious 44-yard drive in the game's closing minutes. With the ball on the Mississippi State four yard line and just 25 seconds left in the game, Jacobs was nailed in the backfield by Bulldog defender Tyrone Keys and fumbled the ball. State's Billy Jackson recovered and one of the greatest eras of Alabama football came to an ignominious end.

2000 Florida Gators On Sept. 30, 2000. The Florida Gators came into Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Mississippi ranked third in the nation. The unranked Mississippi State Bulldogs ran for 351 yards, 172 yards and a touchdown for Dicenzo Miller, and 156 yards and a touchdown for Dontae Walker. Bulldogs quarterback Wayne Madkin also ran for two touchdowns. The Bulldogs compiled 517 total yards of offense. A frustrated Steve Spurrier rotated three quarterbacks including Rex Grossman. Grossman went 13 for 16 with 231 yards and two touchdowns. All together, the Gators had 494 yards and four touchdowns through the air. Mississippi State won the game 47–35, breaking Florida's 72-game winning streak against unranked teams.


Ole MissEdit

The Battle of the Golden Egg (nicknamed the Egg Bowl) is an annual college football game between in-state rivals Ole Miss and the Mississippi State. While the 2 teams have played each other since 1901, with 2003 being the year in which the 2 teams had played each other 100 times and now having played each other a total of 108 times, the first game officially known as "The Battle of the Golden Egg" was in 1927. Ole Miss leads the series with a 60–42–6 record. Since the Egg Bowl was moved back to the respective campuses in 1991, Mississippi State has won 12 games to Ole Miss' 9. The games prior to 1991 had been played at Veterans Stadium in Jackson, MS where each team would alternate annually as the home team. Currently, Mississippi State has a three game win streak in the series and has also won 4 of the last 5 vs Mississippi.

Mississippi State-Ole Miss: All-Time Record
Games played First meeting Last meeting MSU wins MSU losses Ties
108 1901 (won 17–0) November 26, 2011 (won 31–3) 42 60 6


The Alabama–Mississippi State rivalry, sometimes referred to as the 90 Mile Drive or the Battle for Highway 82, is an annual football game between the University of Alabama Crimson Tide and the Mississippi State University Bulldogs. Both universities are founding members of the Southeastern Conference, as well as the Western Division. The two campuses are located approximately 90 miles apart, and are the closest SEC schools in terms of distance.

Entering its 97th meeting as of the 2012 football season, Alabama-Mississippi State is one of the Southeastern Conference's longest-running series, dating back to 1896.

Mississippi State-Alabama: All-Time Record
Games played First meeting Last meeting MSU wins MSU losses Ties
96 1896 (lost 20-0) November 12, 2011 (lost 24–7) 18 74 3


The annual rivalry game between the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the University of Kentucky Wildcats rotates between Lexington, Kentucky and Starkville, Mississippi. The game became a permanent rivalry when the Southeastern Conference assigned permanent interdivisional rivals. Mississippi State has won 4 of their last 5 vs. Kentucky and 12 of the last 20.

The Kentucky rivalry is more pronounced as a basketball rivalry with Mississippi State, with MSU having won 3 straight, until the 2009-2010 basketball season when Kentucky won both matchups in overtime.

Mississippi State-Kentucky: All-Time Record
Games played First meeting Last meeting MSU wins MSU losses
39 1914 (lost 19–13) October 29, 2011 (won 28–16) 19 20

Texas A&MEdit

The Mississippi State-Texas A&M rivalry, also known as the Maroon and White Bowl, is the annual football game between the Texas A&M Aggies and the Mississippi State University Bulldogs. The series is known mostly for The Snow Bowl, which is the 2000 Independence Bowl, in which Mississippi State won 43-41 in overtime. Both schools are land grant agricultural colleges and both of their colors are maroon and white. Both also had Jackie Sherrill as their head coach. The series will be renewed and be played annually starting in the 2012 season when Texas A&M joins the Southeastern Conference Western Division. These schools have played each other 5 times Since 1912.

Mississippi State-Texas A&M: All-Time Record
Games played First meeting Last meeting MSU wins MSU losses
5 1912 (lost 41–7) December 31, 2000 (won 43–41) 3 2

Bowl historyEdit

Mississippi State has an all-time bowl record of 10-6, highlighted by wins in the 1941 Orange Bowl, the 1963 Liberty Bowl, the 1999 Peach Bowl, and the 2011 Gator Bowl. Most recently, the Bulldogs defeated the Conference USA champion UCF Kinghts 10-3 in the 2007 Liberty Bowl, the Michigan Wolverines 52-14 in the 2011 Gator Bowl, and the Wake Forest 23-17 in the Music City. The Bulldogs have won their last 5 bowls, which is currently tied for the longest bowl winning streak in the NCAA.

W/L Date PF Opponent PA Bowl
W 01-01-1912 12 Havana Athletic Club 0 Bacardi Bowl
L 01-01-1937 12 Duquesne 13 Orange Bowl
W 01-01-1941 14 Georgetown 7 Orange Bowl
W 12-21-1963 16 N.C. State 12 Liberty Bowl
W 12-28-1974 26 North Carolina 24 Sun Bowl
L 12-27-1980 17 Nebraska 31 Sun Bowl
W 12-31-1981 10 Kansas 0 Hall of Fame Bowl
L 12-29-1991 15 Air Force 38 Liberty Bowl
L 01-02-1993 17 North Carolina 21 Peach Bowl
L 01-01-1995 24 N.C. State 28 Peach Bowl
L 01-01-1999 11 Texas 38 Cotton Bowl
W 12-30-1999 17 Clemson 7 Peach Bowl
W 12-31-2000 43 Texas A&M 41 Independence Bowl
W 12-29-2007 10 UCF 3 Liberty Bowl
W 01-01-2011 52 Michigan 14 Gator Bowl
W 12-30-2011 23 Wake Forest 17 Music City Bowl


The CowbellEdit

The most unique and certainly the most resounding symbol of Mississippi State University tradition is the cowbell. Despite decades of attempts by opponents and authorities to banish it from scenes of competition, diehard State fans still celebrate Bulldog victories loudly and proudly with the distinctive sound of ringing cowbells.

The precise origin of the cowbell as a fixture of Mississippi State sports tradition remains unclear to this day. The best records have cowbells gradually introduced to the MSU sports scene in the late 1930s and early 1940s, coinciding with the 'golden age' of Mississippi State football success prior to World War II.

The most popular legend is that during a home football game between State and arch-rival Mississippi, a jersey cow wandered onto the playing field. Mississippi State soundly whipped the Rebels that Saturday, and State College students immediately adopted the cow as a good luck charm. Students are said to have continued bringing a cow to football games for a while, until the practice was eventually discontinued in favor of bringing just the cow's bell.

Whatever the origin, it is certain that by the 1950s cowbells were common at Mississippi State games, and by the 1960s were established as the special symbol of Mississippi State. Ironically, the cowbell's popularity grew most rapidly during the long years when State football teams were rarely successful. Flaunting this anachronism from the 'aggie' days was a proud response by students and alumni to outsider scorn of the university's 'cow college' history.

In the 1960s two MSU professors, Earl W. Terrell and Ralph L. Reeves obliged some students by welding handles on the bells to they could be rung with much more convenience and authority. By 1963 the demand for these long-handled cowbells could not be filled by home workshops alone, so at the suggestion of Reeves the Student Association bought bells in bulk and the Industrial Education Club agreed to weld on handles. In 1964 the MSU Bookstore began marketing these cowbells with a portion of the profits returning to these student organizations.

Today many styles of cowbells are available on campus and around Starkville, with the top-of-the-line a heavy chrome-plated model with a full Bulldog figurine handle. But experts insist the best and loudest results are produced by a classic long-handled, bicycle-grip bell made of thinner and tightly-welded shells.

Cowbells decorate offices and homes of Mississippi State alumni, and are passed down through generations of Bulldog fans.

In 1974, the SEC adopted a rule against artificial noisemakers that made it illegal to ring a cowbell during games. Despite creative efforts by MSU fans to circumvent the ruling and continue the tradition, the ban was in effect until 2010.

That spring, the 12 schools of the SEC agreed to a compromise on artificial noisemakers, acknowledging the role cowbells play in the history of Mississippi State University by amending the conference by-law. In the fall of 2010, on a one-year trial with specified restrictions, cowbells were permitted in Davis Wade Stadium for the first time in 36 years. And due to MSU fans' notable adherence to the rules outlined by the league, cowbells will continue to be allowed with similar restrictions in place. In 2012, the rule was made permanent by the SEC.

Maroon and WhiteEdit

Maroon and White are the distinctive colors of Mississippi State University athletic teams, dating back over a century to the very first football game ever played by the school's student-athletes.

On November 15, 1895, the first Mississippi A&M football team was preparing for a road trip to Jackson, Tenn., to play Southern Baptist University (now called Union University) the following day. Since every college was supposed to have its own uniform colors, the A&M student body requested that the school's team select a suitable combination.

Considering making this choice an honor, the innaugural State team gave the privilege to team captain W.M. Matthews. Accounts report that without hesitation Matthews chose Maroon and White.

First round draft picksEdit

Mississippi State has had 12 players selected in the first round of professional football drafts.

National Football LeagueEdit

Coaching StaffEdit

Head coachesEdit

The program has had 32 head coaches since it began play during the 1895 season, and has played more than 1,050 games over 111 seasons..[7] Since December 2008, Dan Mullen has served as Mississippi States' head coach.[8]

Historic coaching hireEdit

Mississippi State made history on December 1, 2003, when it hired Sylvester Croom as its head football coach. Croom was the first African-American named to such a position in the history of the Southeastern Conference (SEC).

Current coaching staffEdit

Name Position
Dan Mullen Head Coach
Les Koenning Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach
Chris Wilson Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line Coach
Tony Hughes Recruiting Coordinator/Safeties Coach
Geoff Collins Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
John Hevesy Offensive Line Coach
Greg Knox Running Backs Coach
Angelo Mirando Wide Receivers Coach
Scott Sallach Tight Ends Coach
Melvin Smith Secondary Coach

Future non-conference opponents Edit

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
vs Jackson State vs Mississippi Valley State vs Southern Miss at Southern Miss vs South Alabama vs Louisiana Tech
at Troy at UAB vs UAB vs Louisiana Tech at Louisiana Tech
vs South Alabama vs Bowling Green at South Alabama vs Troy vs Tulane
vs Middle Tennessee vs Troy



External linksEdit

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