The 2021 Egg Bowl has varying meanings for Ole Miss players

The 2021 Egg Bowl has varying meanings for Ole Miss players

Jake Thompson5 days
Article written by:Jake ThompsonJake Thompson

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Chance Campbell

The Egg Bowl carries a lot of weight and meaning for fans who want bragging rights for the next year, but for the players involved, the meaning varies.

For the 41 Mississippians on the Ole Miss roster, winning the Egg Bowl means they bested their in-state rival and brought the Golden Egg back to Oxford.

Of course, the importance of the game is at different levels for each one of the Mississippi born and raised Rebels.

In Snoop Conner’s case, the Hattiesburg native did not grow up watching college football and therefore did not have a particular rooting interest either way in the Egg Bowl growing up.

The chance to secure a historic 10th regular season win to lock up a New Year’s Six bowl berth is just as important for the junior running back.

“We want to win the Egg Bowl and bring the Egg back here and we want to get to a New Year’s Six bowl,” Conner said. “We want to do both.”

The latest College Football Playoff rankings were released on Tuesday and Ole Miss moved up three spots to No. 9.

A win in Starkville on Thursday will all but assure the Rebels of a trip to either Atlanta or New Orleans for either the Peach or Sugar Bowl, respectively.

The Egg Bowl was also not a part of the childhood of sophomore Ole Miss wide receiver Jonathan Mingo, but not because he never watched college football.

Mingo, from Brandon, grew up mostly a Jackson State fan up to high school. Seeing other Mississippians shine on the national stage altered his thinking.

“I started to watch when I started getting older,” Mingo said. “I saw A.J. (Brown) and DK (Metcalf), so I started to tune in more.”

Then there are the new faces who have never experienced an Egg Bowl and all the lead-up to it.

Chance Campbell is one of them.

The Maryland transfer will be experiencing the rivalry game with Mississippi State for the first time, and Campbell, like the Rebels in general, has a quick turnaround from moving on from Vanderbilt to preparing for the Bulldogs five days later.

Campbell considers it a positive. He doesn’t have the time to spare to get sucked into the off-the-field emotions of the rivalry.

“I think one of the things I’m lucky about is that I’m new to this and it’s such a short turnaround,” Campbell said. “Most of the conversations have been all about football, which is something that I really enjoy.

“It’s important to understand and respect the rivalry that goes on. But when it’s all about football you don’t really get lost in all that as much and that’s nice for me.”

The angst and vitriol that has preceded most Egg Bowl showdowns has not been a part of this year’s, or even last year’s, games.

From head coaches Lane Kiffin and Mike Leach on down, the tone has been lowered a couple notches.