Auburn Mississippi St Football

Mississippi State fans ring their cowbells in the first half of their NCAA college football game against Auburn in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Oct 11, 2014. No. 3 Mississippi State beat No. 2 Auburn 38-23. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis) 

Rogelio V. Solis

Yes, there will be cowbells.

That one thing is certain when the LSU Tigers meet the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Saturday in Starkville.

But why? And why are these noisemakers allowed? And what are the rules for ringing the blasted things?

State's cowbell tradition dates to the 1930s, according to stories published in the Jackson (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger, after the Bulldogs beat rival Ole Miss, a game that featured a jersey cow that wandered onto the playing field.

Students adopted the cow and cowbell as good-luck charms, the newspaper reported.

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Cowbells were banned at State football games from 1974-2010, though that didn’t completely stop fans from ringing them. That irritated opposing coaches and administrators, leading to the so-called “cowbell compromise” in 2011 among league members.

The ringing of the cowbells is now restricted by the Southeastern Conference. Fans are prohibited from ringing the bells “from the time the offensive center is over the football until the play is whistled dead,” the SEC rule reads.