Why is the Egg Bowl Moving to Black Friday? Ole Miss AD Keith Carter Reveals

Ole Miss athletic director Keith Carter recently spoke about why the annual rivalry game against Mississippi State is moving off of Thanksgiving Day.
Ole Miss celebrates its Egg Bowl win over Mississippi State at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Miss., Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023. Ole Miss won 17-7.
Ole Miss celebrates its Egg Bowl win over Mississippi State at Davis Wade Stadium in Starkville, Miss., Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023. Ole Miss won 17-7. / Barbara Gauntt/Clarion Ledger / USA
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The annual Egg Bowl between the Ole Miss Rebels and Mississippi State Bulldogs is shifting from Thanksgiving Day to Black Friday in the 2024 season, and athletic director Keith Carter revealed some details on that decision this week.

According to The Clarion Ledger, Carter discussed this new scheduling detail at an alumni event at the Country Club of Jackson on Tuesday, and a large part of the final decision boiled down to the desires of the television networks.

"In that negotiation, ABC came to us and said we want this date, and we wanna play at this time," Carter said via The Clarion Ledger. "And we actually did have a little negotiating power on another game that we got scheduled at the time we wanted on the road."

Carter did not state which road game he was referencing, but there are a few options. Road games against the Arkansas Razorbacks and Florida Gators were given an early kickoff time which could impact home crowds for the Rebels' opponents.

This move by TV networks is not a foreign concept, and Carter admitted as much on Tuesday. Oftentimes, schools are at the mercy of the networks when these decisions are made.

"It's interesting," Carter said. "At times, when they want something to happen, they'll work with you a little bit. But the times that they just wanna impose their (kickoff times) they do. Again, we get paid a lot of money to play at whatever time they say and that's kind of how it works."

All of Ole Miss' remaining kickoff times or "windows" were released on Tuesday, and the Rebels are not guaranteed a home game at night in conference play. The only option for one this fall appears to be with the Georgia Bulldogs, currently labeled a "flex" slot which could end up as an afternoon or night start time.

You can read some analysis on Ole Miss' schedule draw here.


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John Macon Gillespie

JOHN MACON GILLESPIE

John Macon Gillespie is the publisher of The Grove Report and has experience on the Ole Miss beat spanning five years.