Looking back: What's changed since the last time Mississippi State and Southern Miss met on the gridiron?
The Mississippi State Bulldogs will take on in-state rival Southern Miss for the first time in 24 years when the two teams meet in Starkville on Saturday. The last time they played – Sept. 22, 1990 – Mississippi State escaped with a 13-10 victory at home.
A lot has changed since that showdown 24 years ago. Only one player on the MSU roster, Rashun Dixon, was even alive when the game was played. Dixon was one month old, and is now the elder statesmen of the Bulldogs at 24 years old (he arrived in Starkville after a minor league baseball career).
What else has changed? Let’s take a look:
- Mississippi State won 134 games since beating Southern Miss in 1990 and played in 11 bowl games during that time, winning six of those games.
- Southern Miss won 159 games since losing to MSU, beginning that stretch as an independent before joining Conference USA in 1996. The Golden Eagles played in 14 bowl games during that time, winning eight of those games.
- The entire BCS era began and ended since the two teams last played, with the SEC winning nine national championships between 1998-2013.
- The SEC expanded twice, growing from 10 teams to 12 in 1992 and then from 12 to 14 teams in 2012.
- Instant replay was installed as a vital element to college football games.
- Steve Spurrier and Nick Saban both left college football for the NFL, then returned to different programs in the SEC just a few years later.
- Michael Jordan hadn’t won his first NBA Finals as the star of the Chicago Bulls; the “Bad Boy” Detroit Pistons had just won their second straight title.
- Magic Johnson had not yet been diagnosed with HIV.
- Roger Maris was still baseball’s single-season home run record-holder, and Hank Aaron was still baseball’s all-time home run king.
- The New York Yankees had five fewer championships than they do today, and Derek Jeter was just 16 years old.
- The Jacksonville Jaguars, Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Baltimore Ravens, Charlotte Hornets (formerly the Bobcats), Tampa Bay Rays, Miami Marlins and Arizona Diamondbacks did not yet exist.
- Tiger Woods was still more than five years away from winning his first major tournament.
- The No. 1 movie at the box office was Postcards from the Edge.
- The No. 1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart was Release Me by Wilson Phillips.
- The popular television programs Beverly Hills 90210 and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air were just beginning their first seasons on the air.
- George H. W. Bush was still the President of the United States of America in September of 1990; Bill Clinton was still serving as the governor of the state of Arkansas.
- There was NO INTERNET (oh, the horror).
- Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen was 18 years old, and Southern Miss head coach Todd Monken was 24.
A lot has changed since Mississippi State and Southern Miss played in 1990, but it’s time we leave the past behind us and get back to looking ahead to Saturday’s matchup.