Archive for November, 2007

Sunday can’t get here quick enough

November 30, 2007

Where, O where, will Mississippi State go? It’s a topic I addressed in my column today.

Memphis or Nashville? Based on some email responses, it looks as if most fans don’t care as long as MSU goes bowling in the state of Tennessee.

So, I ask you this. If it’s down to the Liberty or Music City bowls, which one do you prefer and why. And, would you go regardless which one it is?

 The good news is that we’ll definitely know on Sunday where the Bulldogs will play.

Time for blogbag

November 29, 2007

It’s a little later than normal, but if you’ve got questions, I’ll have answers later.

Not tonight, though. I got basketball practice. No. Not MSU. Can’t cover those. I coach a 5th and 6th grade team, and tonight is our first practice. And for the record, it’s open to media. Players, though, are off limits, except for games.

Maybe it’s time to scratch Atlanta

November 29, 2007

It looks like the Chick-fil-a Bowl has dropped MSU from its radar screen, at least based on Leeman Bennett’s blog.

Just talked to Stansbury . . .

November 29, 2007

After an entertaining phone call with Rick Stansbury, he doesn’t seem to be overly concerned with his team’s 3-3 record. Sure, he’d like to have more wins, but he sees reasons why he has three losses.

First of all, two have come against ranked opponents (Southern Illinois and Clemson). Second, with so many games bunched together, there’s been little time for practice. That’s changed this week, and he said he’s taken advantage of the time by doing a lot of teaching with various drills. Also, he hasn’t gotten the type of play he wants off the bench. That, he notes, has to change.

The key, though, is just getting some practice time, which will help with every aspect. And now, he has that.

“We’re till trying to find a comfortable rhythm of playing fast with a big lineup, versus a small lineup we had last year,” Stansbury said.

The Bulldogs are back on the court at noon on Saturday against Murray State at the Hump.

Awards, awards and more awards

November 28, 2007

Rivals.com has named Sylvester Croom the SEC coach of year after he led the Bulldogs to a 7-5 record, including a 4-4 mark in SEC play.

In addition, Rivals also named free safety Derek Pegues first-team All-SEC, while The Sporting News tabbed quarterback Wesley Carroll freshman All-SEC.

Music City Bowl chances

November 28, 2007

In Thursday’s paper, I’ll have a story on the Music City Bowl. I talked in length with CEO and bowl president Scott Ramsey, as well as MSU athletics director Larry Templeton.

Ramsey said he was impressed how fast the game sold out last year, in less than 24 hours, with most of the tickets going to Kentucky. The Wildcats are again in the running this year and Ramsey said he hasn’t forgotten how quickly those tickets sold.

He continues to state MSU is in the mix and likes the enthusiasm he’s seen in recent weeks with the Bulldog fans. He also thinks Sylvester Croom will make for an interesting headline for many reasons. But are those factors enough to garner a bid, even with the fact bowls try not to take the same team in back-to-back years?

I’m not so sure anymore as far as Nashville is concerned. But Templeton said selling tickets won’t be an issue. In fact, he said he’s confident MSU will sell twice its allotment and will carry at least 25,000, regardless of the bowl State plays in.

And he’s doing his part on the phone, too. He said at least twice daily he’s in contact with the Music City, Liberty, Independence and Chick-fil-a bowls.

Last week, I wrote State’s best shot might be the Music City Bowl. While that could still be the case, I think the gap with them and the Liberty has closed dramatically.

We’ll all know on Sunday, that’s for sure.

And the Conerly Trophy goes to . . .

November 27, 2007

Southern Miss running back Damion Fletcher was named Mississippi’s top college football player, beating out Mississippi State’s duo of Titus Brown and Anthony Dixon.

Honestly, I thought Titus was the most deserving.

Also, did you guys see that the inventor of Gatorade, Dr. J. Robert Cade, died today? He was 80. I think I’ll go have a Frost flavor drink in his honor.

Darn. Now I’m sad.

Roll call

November 27, 2007

Doing a little research today. I’d like to know where all you guys are from. So if you have some spare time today, feel free to pass along that info.

Dang! Call it Black Monday

November 26, 2007

Jeff Bower gets the ax at Southern Miss, as does Chan Gailey at Georgia Tech, along with the coach at Duke. Then this afternoon, Houston Nutt is shown the door (according to media covering the Hogs). Of course, it all started with Ed Orgeron on Saturday, followed by Callahan at Nebraska.

So far, that’s three new coaches on MSU’s schedule for next year. And there’s still time for more.

Buy or sell . . . Houston Nutt goes to Ole Miss (then we could say, for fun of course, one Nutt replaces another nut). If not Ole Miss, then Baylor or SMU?

Pegues honored again

November 26, 2007

For the second time this season, Derek Pegues has been named one of the SEC’s player of the week.

The first time was for his defensive efforts against Auburn, where he returned an inerception for a touchdown. On Monday, it was for his special teams play.

Late in the fourth quarter last Friday with Ole Miss leading 14-7, Pegues returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown to tie the game as the Bulldogs posted a 17-14 victory.

It’s the fifth time an MSU player has earned player of the week honors this season, as Gabe O’Neal, Avery Hannibal and Anthony Johnson were also recognized.

Pegues also earned special teams player of the week honors in 2006 following the Jacksonville State game.

SEC a la carte

November 26, 2007

OK. It’s the final rankings. Talk about tough. The hardest of the year.

1. Georgia – I know, I know. The Dawgs didn’t even win the East. Still, they finished the year playing better than anyone.
2. Florida – I know, I know. The Gators finished third in the East. Still, they finished the year playing better than anyone except Georgia.
3. LSU – Not the kind of finish the Tigers needed. No national title chance for the corndogs.
4. Tennessee – I know, I know. The Vols won the East. But really, are they the second best team? Nope. Nice OT win, though.
5. Arkansas – Wow! What a way to end the year and possibly save Houston Nutt’s job. Their win, though, wasn’t what the SEC wanted. Bye-bye, national championship.
6. Mississippi State – Had the Dogs loss to Ole Miss, I probably would have dropped them to 12th. Great final seven minutes kept them at sixh. Now, it’s on to the bowl.
7. Auburn – Six and counting. Will Tubbs be around for a seventh-straight try against the Tide?
8. Kentucky – What a heart-breaking loss to UT. Will the Cats ever win that game again. What’s it now, 23 in a row. Geez.
9. South Carolina – Who would have thought the Gamecocks would have finished the year on such a sorry note. Well, at least Spurrier can get an early start on his golf game.
10. Alabama – I guess Tide fans are glad all that money spent on Saban is going to good use. Oh, wait. What’s that? A four-game losing streak to end the year, not to mention six-straight losses to Auburn. But, Saban is the savior. Sabear rules! Instead of 9/11 and Pear Harbor, maybe he needs to draw comparisons with Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.
11. Vanderbilt – Good gosh. What a choke job. You have to feel for all those Vandy fans. Such heartache.
12. Ole Miss – Punt, Ed, punt. Oops. He didn’t punt, therefore, he got punted. Is that good news for MSU fans, though?

It’s official. It’s over. There’s no turning back

November 25, 2007

Just wrapped up my Heisman voting. And once I hit submit, that was it. No changing of the mind.

1. Darren McFadden
2. Tim Tebow
3. Patrick White

If you guys were voting rather than me, who would have been your picks?

SEC had some exciting, nail-biting finishes

November 25, 2007

No blowouts in the SEC this weekend, that’s for sure. Then again, that’s been the theme for the most part this year. Just check out these nuggets of info:

• All four SEC intra-conference games this weekend were decided by 7 points or less, including three games won on the last play of the game.
• This season, the SEC has had 15 of its intra-conference games decided by 5 points or less, with 22 decided by 10-points or less.
• The average scoring margin in an SEC game this season is 12.75 points.
• In every week of the season where there was more than one SEC game played, there was at least one game decided by 7 points or less.
• There were five overtime games in intra-conference games.
• The SEC has 10 bowl eligible teams with eight teams with seven or more wins.

My thanks to Charles Bloom of the SEC office for providing this info.

The question to ponder: Do you guys like the current overtime format?

And finally, it looks as if the SEC won’t be in the BCS title game. That’s too bad. I’m an SEC guy and always want an SEC team in that picture. Of course, as crazy as this season has been, anything can happen. Will it be West Virginia vs. Missouri or West Virginia vs. Ohio State?

Another milestone on this blog

November 24, 2007

Ed Orgeron may have had a bad day, but this blog didn’t.

Today, my loyal readers, we reached 100,000 page views. You guys are awesome, and I can’t tell you how much I love checking in here hundreds of times every day to check out what you all are talking about.

If you have any suggestions on how to make this better, please feel free to offer up any suggestions.

Now, it’s time to go watch the Iron Bowl. War Eagle!

Bulldogs are bowl bound

November 24, 2007

If you were the one handing out bowl bids, where would you send Mississippi State?

A. Independence Bowl
B. Music City Bowl
C. Liberty Bowl

Also, did any of you see the LSU-Arkansas game? I must say, the SEC had two great finishes on Friday.

And finally, congrats to my good friend Chuck Dunlap of the SEC office. What a day for him, too. Not only did MSU come from behind and win, so did his high school, Louisville. Chuck, you must be living right, my friend.

In case you care to read today’s Daiy Journal, here are some links:
• My game story, O-my, what a comeback. Adam Carlson delivers.
• My column, As the Egg turns: 10 minutes can change a day. Sylvester Croom says thanks to O for his Christmas gift.
• Parrish Alford’s column, Dr. Orgeron brings Bulldogs back to life Who knew O was a vet?
• A detailed notebook. Big day for Derek Pegues.
• A side bar on BenJarvus Green-Ellis . This running back did his part, that’s for sure.

Speechless, I say, just speechless

November 23, 2007

I’m still not sure what exactly happened. But all that matters is that Mississippi State defeated Ole Miss 17-14 despited getting out-played for 50 minutes. I guess you don’t have to play 60 minutes of football after all.

And now the Bulldogs stand at 7-5 and are bowl bound.

Do I even ask the game-changing play?

Now, another question. Was O’s call on fourth down the dumbest ever? Ever?

Uh, hello. Anyone there…

November 23, 2007

Perhaps the MSU offense should have stolen a few alarm clocks, cause the Bulldogs’ offense hasn’t yet arrived. And it’s halftime.

Ole Miss, behind its 219 yards, leads 7-0, and it could be more. Quite a bit more, and maybe that favors MSU, which has 59 yards and two first down. TWO. Maybe there should be an adjustment or two at the break.

The good news, though, is that the Independence Bowl’s Joe Darwin said he’d like to see the Bulldogs in Shreveport win or lose. A likely foe would be Kansas State.

On the injury side, defensive back Anthony Johnson has left the game for good with an ankle inury.

See you at the end of the game.

10 minutes to kickoff . . .

November 23, 2007

and not much news to report. Now it’s cold. Quite cold. But more than anything, it’s dry. And as you all know, that’s not exactly a trend when it comes to this game.

As for my score toay . . .
MSU 38, Ole Miss 17. However, it will be tied at 17-apiece going into the fourth.

Answers to the blogbag

November 23, 2007

As always, good questions.

msurwl (cost of closing in north end zone at Scott Field): Just based on figures from other schools with similar projects, roughly $16-20 million.

farley662 (how would Croom handle ipillow debacle): Not sure. But a very good question. Probably in a similar fashion.

bully4prez (will Ole Miss get up): Not sure, there. Earlier in the week O said he’s having trouble getting his team ready to go to Starkville. If he can’t get them up for this game . . .

skydawg706 (how was MSU’s practice, know names of Ole Miss players in Hotelgate, is Nutt gone, is Miles going to Michigan, and how is my dad doing): Whew! You wore me out on those. Practices were good and productive. Don’t know names as of yet. I’d say Nutt is gone and I do believe Miles is headed North. And finally, my Dad continues to improve. Spent Thanksgiving with him and he’s up and moving around. Thanks for asking.

imabulldog (Hoskins update): He’s been slowed with a few nagging injuries. He should play against Ole Miss.

leearl (Rhodes and free throw shooting): No doubt that has to improve for the Bulldogs to have any success.

dawgbones (O’s situation): I think they give him a fourth year. Don’t cover them, though, I don’t have a true feel.

dc31 (where does team stay in Little Rock): The Peabody.

joekstewart: (my favorite Egg Bowl): 1988, my freshman year. My roommate, Robert Carlton of Union, and I were bound and determined not to miss our first one. Rained cats and dogs in Jackson, with water coming up to our knees. We were there, though. And darn proud!

Happy Egg Bowl, sports fans

November 23, 2007

Ahhhh. It’s Mississippi State and Ole Miss. The day friendships are put aside and rivalry is renewed (in the stands as well as on the field). It doesn’t get much better in this state, that’s for sure.

 Offense, defense or special teams ? Where will this game be decided.