The 90 Mile Drive

People love to hate the Alabama Crimson Tide. Why? They win, and they’ve been doing it for decades. I didn’t realize how far reaching the sentiment spanned nationally, until I moved out of the ‘SEC zone’ when I relocated to Florida. Personally, I have nothing against them, but then again, I have a great respect for successful athletic programs because I’m a true sports fan… and a Coach’s Daughter. Do I want Mississippi State to beat them Saturday? Well, YEAH! I’ve been a Dawg since birth.

Lee Ann as a toddler. Bulldog Shirt and cowboy boots.
Old and weathered pic of me as a toddler, donning the Dawg gear!

The contest between the two teams is the longest running series in SEC history, dating back to 1896. It’s often called The 90 Mile Drive (distance between the schools) or the Battle of Highway 82 because that’s the highway that links the two towns of Starkville (a.k.a. StarkVegas) and Tuscaloosa (a.k.a. T-Town). The two universities are the closest schools, geographically, out of all 14 teams in the conference.

The Tide leads the series 77–18–3. However, State is tied with LSU for the most wins against Bama when playing in Bryant–Denny Stadium (Bama Campus) with a total of eight victories –  so the Dawgs do have ‘some’ bragging rights.

I remember the epic game in 1980 when State upset Bama 6-3, which at the time, the Tide was #1, and the defending national champion, on a ‘Roll’ with a 28 game winning streak. It’s dubbed as one of the biggest games in Bulldawg football history.  I have the t-shirt (somewhere in my attic) with the score printed on the front. It was such a stellar victory that legendary Coach Bear Bryant went into the State locker room afterwards to congratulate them on their win. He was a class act.

Saturday’s game between Bama (#2) and MSU (#17) is monumental in a variety of ways, but I can assure you, one thing is guaranteed… THE COWBELLS WILL BE RINGING LOUD AND PROUD!



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