Rivalries always add a little something to a game, but when Mississippi State and Mississippi meet Saturday in Oxford, they'll be playing with something more tangible on the line than school pride.
The winner finishes third in the Southeastern Conference Western Division and gets a much easier draw in next week's league tournament. The Bulldogs and Rebels had been reeling there for a bit, but both came away with strong wins Wednesday and are optimistic about making a move in Tampa, Fla., next week.
At stake for the Rebels (16-13, 7-8 SEC) and Bulldogs (18-12, 8-7) is a first-round matchup with Georgia, the SEC East's worst team. Saturday's loser will play Vanderbilt. And Ole Miss could fall as far as No. 5 with a loss and an Alabama win.