Marc Weiszer: Georgia bracing for cowbell:
“If I was a fan, I’d be ringing the bell the whole game, too,” [Aaron] Murray said. “It’s fun. It’s what college football is about.”
Andy Staples: Mississippi State fan makes living selling cowbells:
“One day I wanted to tell people that I put my son through college selling cowbells,” he said. “I think I’ll still be able to tell that story.”
Quick history lesson: The widely accepted origin of cowbells at Mississippi State starts in the late 1930s. Supposedly, a jersey cow wandered on the field at State’s home game against Ole Miss. State won big that day and its students immediately considered the cow a good luck charm. Four-leaf clovers would have been more practical, but it’s a good bet the cow ate those for lunch.
The students kept bringing the cow to games until they finally discovered hauling the beefy lucky charm wasn’t cost effective and maybe a bit messy.
Well, probably extremely messy, especially if the cow was on the sideline. I’m guessing there probably wasn’t much enthusiasm to run end sweeps.
Finally one day, an enterprising State student surely figured, “I’m taking the bull by the horns. The cow stays here in the pasture. But I’m bringing his bell to the game.”
Brian Cook: The SEC Has To Have Less Cowbell:
You may be surprised to find out this actually matters. Over the past decade, Mississippi State’s had the best homefield advantage in the SEC, winning eight more games at home than they did on the road. Since MSU’s road record is an appalling 6-34, that means the Bulldogs are more than twice as likely to win in front of the clangorous cowbell cacophony than they are anywhere else. Part of that is an effect of MSU’s general dismal performance, but even the raw numbers are compelling: +8 is better than any other team in the SEC over the past decade, with only two teams (Ole Miss and Arkansas) within three games of the Bulldogs. What evidence exists actually suggests that this matters.