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Scrambled Egg Bowl

As an Alabama man, I think its cute y’all play for a trophy with an egg on top.

Maybe the winning team can drag it out of the closet and take it to the after-church picnic next Easter.

I know, the egg is actually a football, and the Thanksgiving night football game between Ole Miss and Mississippi State in the annual Egg Bowl is important to Mississippians, like the Superbowl of the Magnolias.

But I’m from the Heart of Dixie, and we’ve got the Iron Bowl between Alabama and this other school whose name I can’t recall where the winner usually goes on to the Southeastern Conference Championship, so it’s hard for me to get that excited when Ole Miss and State play to impress selection officials from the Belk Bowl, or wherever.

Oh, and if you’re an Ole Miss fan reading this, let me explain before I go any further — the SEC Championship is this whole other conference game the rest of us get a chance to play in every year. It’s in Atlanta. No, seriously. Atlanta, Georgia.

So, while I’m not super-excited about the Thanksgiving night matchup between the Ole Miss Rebel Black Bear Sharknadoes and the MSU We Enjoy Eight-Win Seasons, I’ll be watching.

Not necessarily for the football — Ole Miss is a dead man walking as far as head coach Matt Luke and the 2017 season are concerned, and MSU has already played its best games this year. But the contest could provide insight into some other pressing questions that affect the rest of the SEC and major college football, such as:

1. Where are those sweet Ole Miss quarterbacks going to transfer after the NCAA drops the bomb and allows them to do so, penalty-free? The Rebels have awesome quarterbacks. Shea Patterson is already probably the best gunslinger in the conference, and then he gets hurt and I’m thinking, “It’s all over now,” but this transfer guy Jordan Ta’amu comes in and he’s awesome, too. Here we have Ole Miss hogging up two excellent quarterbacks while LSU and Florida can’t get anything going under center, and haven’t been able to in a decade. What’s up with that? Could we use those guys at Alabama? Probably not, but I do have a close friend so frustrated with Jalen Hurts he said he hopes Hurts flunks out of school.

2. How bored is Dan Mullen? It’s scary and burdensome when big, bad blue-blood college football programs try to steal away your successful coach at the conclusion of every season. It’s downright awkward when that coach floats his resume out there on his own. And that’s Dan Mullen, whose name is linked to every head coach opening, every year. He even sat down and interviewed for the Miami job back in 2015. But, every year, he flies on back to Starkville and keeps chugging along as the conference’s longest-tenured coach. He’s like an old tomcat — he goes off fat and happy and stays gone a week or so, then comes dragging back wore-out and skinny with his face all scratched up. Hopefully, Dan isn’t leaving kittens in the airport in Gainesville, Florida.

3. Is there going to be a fight? Man, it’s been too long since I’ve seen a good college football fight. Pushing, shoving, yellow hankies flying, coaches turning red. There’s nothing like a good sports fight on ESPN when you’re putting a hurt on the Oreos late at night, and the 2017 Egg Bowl would be a great game for one to break out. You’ve got Ole Miss finishing up a ruined season and likely headed into a run of multiple ruined seasons because of NCAA penalties, and the guy who allegedly did the snitching — Brookhaven’s own Leo Lewis — is lined up at linebacker for the Bulldogs, who the gamblers favor by 16 points. Offers were made, rules were broken, testimonies given, lawsuits filed, blogs written, Christian raising forgotten and now the center of the whole twisted affair for one hour of game time will be squarely at the line of scrimmage. They ought to at least play mad if nothing else.

For the sake of honesty, I will tell you one more reason I’m going to watch the Egg Bowl — so I can have one more game of interest-free football before the Iron Bowl.

Alabama is favored over those other fellas by 4.5 points, but our entire linebacking corps was put on small boats and burned to death in a Viking ceremony earlier this season and now there’s a tiny white guy in the middle getting pounded by lead blockers and, oh my goodness, Auburn is great at running the ball and we can’t stop them without linebackers and we’re probably going to lose and our so-far perfect season won’t amount to nothing.

And then y’all will be sending me e-mails making fun of Alabama and telling me, “That’s what you get,” for making fun of the Egg Bowl.

What a nightmare.

Sports editor Adam Northam can be reached at adam.northam@dailyleader.com or 601-265-5305.