Malcolm Emmons-US PRESSWIRE
The Battle of Highway 82
It's not good. The Tide lead the series 75-18-3. The series dates back to 1896 and the two have played every year since 1948.
From 1933-1957 every game but two were played in Tuscaloosa. In 1941, State won in T-Town 14-0 and went on to win the SEC with a 8-1-1 record. Alabama claimed a national title with a 9-2 record.
Wins have been hard to come by for MSU including a 22-game losing streak from 1958-1979. But in 1980 an unranked State team was able to break the streak - their streak vs. Bama and Bama's own 28 game winning streak. They were the back-to-back defending national champions and the unquestioned #1 team. Sound familiar? The Dawgs were able to win 6-3 in Jackson, MS for what was voted the #1 game in MSU history back in the summer. Stars aligning, I don't know....but the last time the Yankees were swept in the playoffs was 1980 - and the Tigers just won the ALCS 4-0.
After 1980 they went on another winning streak, this time 15 straight. That made 37 out of 38 going the way of the Tide until 1996. In a landmark victory for Jackie Sherrill, State won 17-16 over #8 Alabama.
Mississippi State vs. Alabama, 1996 (via BulldogOzzy)
After State broke through this time, however, they were able to hold momentum and won in Tuscaloosa, 32-20, in 1997....then a 3rd straight in 1998.
1999 featured arguably the most high profile game between the two: #8 MSU vs. #11 Alabama on CBS. Unfortunately, State fell victim to a couple of questionable holding calls and the Bulldogs lost 19-7 to the eventual SEC champions. They would get a measure of revenge in 2000 with a 29-7 thumping in Starkville to make 4 out of 5 in the series.
Bama won the next give games, all of them fairly competitive except 2003. In 2006, Mike Shula got "Croomed", and MSU actually beat the mighty Nick Saban in 2007. Since then it has been all Bama and it hasn't been close.
As I mentioned, 1999 was one of the most high-profile games in this series, but it will be trumped for this year's game as both teams are 7-0 and ranked in the top 11 (UA, #1; MSU, #11). In 1940, #11 Mississippi State won 13-0 over #17 Alabama. In 1974, Alabama was #4 and State #17, a 35-0 beatdown. In 1981, State was #7 (6-1) and Bama #8 (6-1) with both teams undefeated in SEC play....13-10 game.
2012 is the biggest game in the series. It has everything - two undefeated teams in Week 9, SEC West implications, SEC championship implications, and national championship implications.