Mississippi State Bulldogs
|Mississippi State Bulldogs
|University||Mississippi State University|
|NCAA||Division I / FBS|
|Athletic director||Scott Stricklin|
|Football stadium||Davis Wade Stadium|
|Basketball arena||Humphrey Coliseum|
|Baseball stadium||Dudy Noble Field|
|Fight song||Hail State|
|Colors||Maroon and White
Mississippi State Bulldogs is the name given to the athletic teams of Mississippi State University, in Starkville, Mississippi. The university is a member of the Southeastern Conference and competes in NCAA Division I.
Mississippi State sponsors teams in seven men's and nine women's NCAA sanctioned sports:
Men's Intercollegiate Sports
Women's Intercollegiate Sports
Throughout its history, Mississippi State has been a competitive force in men's basketball. The Bulldogs have accumulated 10 conference regular season championships, four conference tournament championships, seven divisional championships, and 10 NCAA Tournament appearances, including three trips to the Sweet Sixteen and a Final Four appearance in 1996. Mississippi State has also made seven appearances in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).
In 1963, the team made history by defying an order from then-Governor of Mississippi Ross Barnett not to play in the NCAA tournament, because the team they faced, Loyola University of Chicago, had African-Americans on its squad (four of them were starters). (The Jackson Daily News also tried to intimidate the Bulldogs against playing the Ramblers by prominently featuring pictures of the four black players on the front page of the paper.) Coach Babe McCarthy sneaked the team out of Starkville to travel to East Lansing, Michigan, to face Loyola University Chicago, only to lose to the Ramblers, who went on to win the title that year. This was one of the first times that an all-white Deep South school faced a team with black members, and it is considered to be a watershed moment in the Civil Rights era.
The 1995–96 team reached a pinnacle in MSU's basketball history, winning a second-straight SEC Western Division title, claiming a first-ever SEC Tournament Championship over top-ranked and eventual national champion Kentucky, and gaining a berth in the NCAA's national championship Final Four. That team earned its national championship ticket with impressive regional wins over No. 1 seed Connecticut and No. 2 seed Cincinnati. State's 26 wins that season were the most in school history at the time.
Mississippi State's Humphrey Coliseum ("the Hump") is the largest on-campus basketball arena in the state of Mississippi. Opened in 1975, Humphrey Coliseum remains one of the premier basketball venues in the Southeastern Conference, with a seating capacity of 10,500. On February 16, 2010, a crowd of 10,788 fans watched the Bulldogs play host to #2 Kentucky, breaking the coliseum's attendance record. In 2011, The Mize Pavilion, a new basketball practice facility and atrium entrance, opened in front of the coliseum. The Bulldogs have sold out of season tickets for the fourth year in a row.
The Bulldogs have shown marked improvement over the last decade. Nine Bulldogs have made the All-SEC team 16 times, and even more impressive, the women have earned 28 SEC honor roll memberships since 1990.
Mississippi State University, then Mississippi A&M, began playing football in 1895 under the nickname "Maroons". The sport continues to be a favorite among the Bulldog faithful. Home games are played at Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field, the second oldest football stadium in NCAA Division I-FBS, which has a seating capacity of 61,337. The largest crowd in attendance was 62,945 when No. 3 MSU beat No. 2 Auburn on Oct. 11, 2014. After this game, the Bulldogs took over as AP number 1 in the AP rankings. 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. 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 Bulldogs finished off a 9-0-1 season with a tenth victory over Georgetown 14-7 in the Orange Bowl, and finished at no. 9 in the AP poll, although some gave national title recognition to MSU. The university does not claim nor acknowledge this feat. In 2003, MSU became the first school to hire an African-American head football coach in the SEC. In 2007, Croom led the Bulldogs to regular season wins over Auburn, Alabama, and Ole Miss before defeating C-USA Champion UCF 10-3 in the Liberty Bowl. Croom was also named the 2007 SEC Coach of the Year. The 2014 Bulldogs spent five weeks as the #1 team in the nation. They were #1 in the first ever College Football Playoff poll. During this season, the Bulldogs had three consecutive top 10 wins at LSU, vs. Texas A&M, and vs. Auburn to become the fastest team to ever go from unranked to #1. Overall, Mississippi State has produced 38 All-Americans, 171 All-SEC selections, and 124 NFL players, including 11 first-round draft picks. 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. 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 one loss in 2012 to in-state rival Ole Miss since his hiring.
One of the greatest Bulldog success stories since 1990 has been a tennis program firmly established among the nation's elite. The program has finished in the final top 25 rankings 12 times in that stretch (1990–2001) and in the top 10 seven times in that span.
Under the guidance of former Bulldog and current head coach Sylvain Guichard the past three seasons, State's netmen have continued that steadfastness in the national title hunt, making their 12th, 13th, and 14th straight appearances in the NCAA Championship, one of only seven schools nationally to have done so. State has made the round of 16 or better in the tournament in 10 of those 14 seasons, one of only nine schools nationally to do so.
State has also claimed one SEC title (1993), two regular season league championships and an SEC tournament crown (1996) during the past decade and a half. The Bulldogs made school-best NCAA semifinal appearances in 1994 and 1998 and have been national quarterfinalists five times. The netmen have won nearly 70% of their matches since 1991, scored the third-most SEC wins by any SEC member since 1990, and have been ranked as high as third in the country.
Individually, Bulldogs have been fixtures in the national rankings. Four State players have been ranked No. 1 in the nation in singles—Daniel Courcol in 1992–93, Laurent Orsini in 1993–94, Thomas Dupré in 1996–97, and Marco Baron in 2000–01. Dupre was the National Player of the Year following the 1997 season, and he and Baron were SEC Players of the Year in '97 and '01, respectively. Laurent Miquelard and Joc Simmons captured the 1994 NCAA doubles championship.
Mississippi State University through the University Rec Sports office also fields several club sports which compete against several other SEC universities. MSU Club Sports include rugby, cricket, men's ice hockey, lacrosse, disc golf (Club Team acquired first national championship in school history), fencing, tactical airsoft, paintball, men's soccer, women's soccer, volleyball, ultimate, ballroom dance, table tennis, aikido, and yoga.
Notable Club Sports accomplishments have come from the Men's Soccer club, Men's Cricket club and Men's Disc Golf club. The soccer club received a bid to the 2006 National Intramural Recreational Sports Association's national tournament. MSU cricket club beat Vanderbilt University to win the mega event of 3rd annual Bulldawg Championship Trophy 2008, held at Mississippi State University. The disc golf club won the 2009 National Championship at the Collegiate Disc Golf Championship in Augusta, Ga., winning by seven strokes over runner-up Arkansas.
Certain club sports, such as men's ice hockey, have a significant fan base. In 2008 the ice hockey club garnered more than 1,200 fans at their first ever home games in Tupelo, MS at the BancorpSouth Arena, and followed in 2009 with nearly 5,000 in attendance for a series with Ole Miss.
Founded in 1977, the Mississippi State rugby team plays in the Southeastern Collegiate Rugby Conference against traditional SEC rivals such as Ole Miss. The Bulldogs are led by head coach Randy Pannell.
Since 1895, Mississippi State has been affiliated with three different athletic conferences, including the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association, the Southern Conference, and the Southeastern Conference. Overall, the Bulldogs have won 28 conference regular season championships and 12 tournament championships.
Regular season championships
- Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association: (7):
- Baseball (3) - 1909, 1911, 1918
- Men's basketball (4) - 1912, 1913, 1914, 1916
- Southern Conference: (3):
- Baseball (3) - 1921, 1922, 1924
- Southeastern Conference: (19):
- Southern Conference: (1):
- Men's basketball (1) - 1923
- Southeastern Conference: (11):
In football, Mississippi State and Mississippi meet each year in the Egg Bowl. The game was first played in 1901, with the Rebels currently leading the all-time series 62-43-6. MSU is 4-2 against Ole Miss under current head coach Dan Mullen while Ole Miss is 2-1 against MSU under current head coach Hugh Freeze. Ole Miss also spoiled the Bulldog's chances of making the inaugural College Football Playoff in 2014 and also ruined then quarterback Dak Prescott's Heisman hopes.
In basketball, MSU leads the series over Mississippi 138–105.
In baseball, Mississippi State leads the series 241–196–5.
The school colors are maroon and white.
The Bulldog became Mississippi State's official mascot in 1961, although references as long ago as 1905 refer to Mississippi State as the Bulldogs. The first teams representing Mississippi State were called the Aggies, and when the school officially became Mississippi State College in 1932 they were nicknamed the Maroons. Both the costumed and living mascot are nicknamed "Bully."
Cowbells are a significant part of any Mississippi State University experience. The tradition began after a jersey cow wandered onto the football field in the early 1900s, disrupting a game. Subsequently, State won the football game, and the cow became a symbol of good luck. Eventually, the cow was replaced with just the cow's bell. Handles were welded onto the bells to ease ringing, and cowbells are now manufactured and sold specifically as athletic noisemakers. Clanging cowbells rung by many of the State fans is a part of the tradition of MSU football games, despite the Southeastern Conference's banning of "artificial noise-makers, which was lifted at the beginning of the 2010 season. Ringing of cowbells is now permitted at designated times such as halftime, time-outs, and after touchdowns."
Hall of Fame
MSU has honored many athletes with induction to its Mississippi State University Sports Hall of Fame.
- Ben Howland – Men's basketball coach
- Dan Mullen – Football coach
- John Cohen – Baseball Coach
- Vic Schaefer -Women's basketball coach
- Jack Cristil – Legendary radio broadcaster
- List of college athletic programs in Mississippi
- List of college sports teams in the United States with different mascot names for men's and women's teams
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- Bulldog Ice Hockey
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- "Maroon and White (School Colors)". Mississippi State University. n.d. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
- "Mississippi State Traditions: The Bulldog". Mississippi State University. n.d. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
- "Mississippi State Traditions: The Cowbell". Mississippi State University. n.d. Retrieved March 3, 2014.
- "Mississippi State Traditions: Hail State". Mississippi State University. n.d. Retrieved March 3, 2014.