“This is a tremendous opportunity for our state’s largest football game to be played on the largest stage of a crowded football weekend,” director of athletics Scott Stricklin said. “Some of the most memorable games in Egg Bowl history have come on Thanksgiving night, and hopefully more great memories can be made for Bulldog fans on this holiday evening.
Over the past three seasons, Egg Bowl ratings have averaged approximately 481,000 viewers, with each of the games broadcast Saturday evening on ESPNU. During the same three-year period, Thanksgiving Day contests on ESPN during primetime have averaged 3.6 million viewers per game.
The Battle for the Golden Egg has been played on Thanksgiving night 20 times previously, with the most recent occasions coming from 1998 to 2003.
Playing on Thanksgiving Day is nothing new in Bulldog football history, as Mississippi State football teams played on the Thursday holiday 24 times between 1902 and 1932.
“This is always, without question, the biggest game of the season for us,” head coach Dan Mullen said. “Playing on Thanksgiving night allows a national audience to see how important this game is in our state.”
Recent Egg Bowl TV viewers (481,160 avg over last three years)
2010: Mississippi State at Ole Miss, 531,560 (ESPNU)
2011: Ole Miss at Mississippi State, 409,911 (ESPNU)
2012: Mississippi State at Ole Miss, 502,011 (ESPNU)
Recent Thanksgiving TV viewers (3.6M avg over last three years)
2010: Texas A&M at Texas, 4.9M (ESPN)
2011: Texas at Texas A&M, 4.1M (ESPN)
2012: TCU at Texas, 1.9M (ESPN)