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  • Scruff_McGruff_ 11:33 PM on March 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Georgia Dome, , , , , , , , SEC Tournament, Southeastern Conference,   

    MSU SEC Tourney Preview 

    Mississippi State did exactly what it needed to do: survive the SEC schedule and earn a first-round bye in this week’s SEC Tournament. That result is not good enough for some as MSU was chosen in the preseason to win the SEC West. That prediction was made based on the potential of this year’s squad. Would Renardo Sidney play like the McDonald’s All-American he was in high school? How would the team perform when Dee Bost returned from suspension? When it was all said and done, MSU finished 9-7 in conference, three games behind division winner Alabama. MSU played to its potential at times but also underperformed at critical moments this year. Losses to SEC West cellar dwellers Auburn and LSU put a sour taste in the mouths of the Bulldog faithful. However, the Bulldogs responded with wins against SEC champion Florida and won at Thompson-Boling Arena against Tennessee in Jack Cristil’s last radio broadcast as the voice of Mississippi State athletics. A lot of people are critical of Rick Stansbury when it comes to coaching, but he seems to shine during the SEC Tournament. As head coach, he has two championship trophies and two more finals appearances since taking over from Richard Williams in 1998. If history happens to repeat itself, MSU won’t win its quarterfinal game against the LSU/Vanderbilt winner. In 2002, MSU won the tourney, lost in the finals in 2003 and was bounced in the quarterfinals (with a first-round bye) in 2004. MSU won the tourney in 2009 and lost in the finals last season. However, the field could not have shaped up any better for the Bulldogs.

    The Bulldogs play its first game Friday against the LSU/Vanderbilt winner. MSU split the season series with the Tigers, but one bounce here and there could have turned the two matchups into sweeps in either team’s favor. MSU lost its only meeting with the Commodores this year, but was very much in the game. They made some crucial mistakes in the final minutes and let a winnable game slip from their fingers. Last year MSU proved that they could lose to Vandy mid-season and beat them when it matters most: in the SEC Tourney. It seems like a possibility again this season.

    On the other half of MSU’s bracket sit three reams that MSU is a combined 4-0 this season. The Bulldogs swept the Razorbacks, defeated Tennessee on the road and upset the ranked Gators in Starkville. If the Bulldogs can play up to their full potential and get Sidney plenty of rest, MSU can cruise into the finals for a third straight year. Will it be that easy? Of course not, MSU has made the incredibly easy look impossible in athletics since 1878. But working in MSU’s favor is two seniors who have been on the wrong side of Stansbury. However, they have learned from the error of their ways and embraced their roles on the team. The result is Kodi Augustus averaging career-highs in points and rebounds and a rejuvenated Ravern Johnson after his suspension and benching. The national media (Andy Katz and Pat Forde in particular) may not like how Rick has handled this season, but he’s done wonders with the hand he was dealt and has his team in position to win two SEC Tourney titles in three years. The ride to this position has not been a smooth one, but the roads have settled. Stansbury and crew seem to make magic every SEC Tournament, and this year’s field is set for MSU to make more magic.

  • Scruff_McGruff_ 11:04 PM on January 13, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , University of Mississippi   

    MSU – Ole Miss: In-Game Look 

    We are at the half right now with Ole Miss hanging on to a two-point lead over Mississippi State. Dee Bost and Renardo Sidney are leading the way right now with 25 of the team’s 32 points. Ravern Johnson, who leads the SEC in scoring, is scoreless right now. For those not at a TV or a radio, you can follow the game online…


  • Scruff_McGruff_ 10:47 AM on November 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Lloyd Carr, Michigan, Rich Rodriguez   

    On the Hot Seat With Rich Rodriguez 

    The Program
    The Michigan Wolverines are arguably the greatest college football program of all time. The numbers they have amassed over the years speak for themselves. They have the highest win percentage in FBS history (.736) and the most wins in FBS history (882). The Wolverines’ department of athletics claims 11 national championships with the most recent one coming in 1997. Michigan’s home stadium is unlike any other. Michigan Stadium is the largest football stadium in the country and the third-largest sports stadium in the world. When you see the winged helmet, the first team to come to mind is the Wolverines. The Wolverines are well represented in the NFL. Charles Woodson is the reigning defensive player of the year. Tom Brady has won three Super Bowls and a MVP award. Chad Henne is the starting quarterback for my Miami Dolphins.


    Will Michigan go get a man who coaches on a blue field?

    The seat he is on is a tad bit too hot for what he's wearing.

    The Coach
    Had Rich Rodriguez been hired 20 or 25 years ago, he would have a comfortable cushion to install his spread offense in Ann Arbor. Unfortunately for him, he was hired to replace Lloyd Carr in late 2007. With college football being the revenue generator it is, a coach has to win and win early. Lloyd Carr led Michigan to a bowl game in each of his 13 seasons at Michigan. Rich Rod is currently 0-for-2. Me personally, I do not blame Rodriguez for Michigan’s struggles. It takes time to convert from a pro-style offense to a spread offense. If he had gone to bowl games, the hot seat would not be as hot as it is right now. However, he went 3-9 his first season in Ann Arbor and only managed two more wins in 2009. He has the players offensively to win, but the defense is suffering in a major way. This season, the Michigan defense has allowed four of seven opponents to score over 30 points, giving up 38 to Iowa and 37 to FCS Massachusetts. Under Rich Rod’s watch, Michigan is on NCAA probation for the first time in the program’s history after spending too much time practicing. The alleged overages did not show on the field at all.

    The Short List
    I believe Rich Rod survives another year, but with a new athletic director in place Rodriguez’s tenure will more than likely be cut short.

    Lloyd Carr – Kansas State blew the dust off a 70-year-old Bill Snyder to lead the Wildcats in 2009. How difficult can it be to get a 65-year-old man to walk the sidelines of the Big House once again?

    Dan Mullen – Why am I offering OUR coach to go elsewhere? As much as I want to think Mullen will never leave Starkville until he wins a SEC West championship, there are greener pastures in the land of college football. Michigan just so happens to be one of the greenest pastures in the land. Mullen runs a variation of the spread offense, so the transition between regimes will not be as tumultuous as it was between Carr and Rodriguez.

    Jim Herrmann – Herrmann currently serves as linebacker coach for the New York Giants after holding the same position for the New York Jets. Before making his way to the pros, he served as Michigan’s defensive coordinator. He won the second annual Frank Broyles award for assistant coach of the year in 1997. Although he is not a Michigan alumnus, he has deep roots in the program, and his defensive background would serve the Wolverine program very well.

    Les Miles – As long as Miles is having an ounce of success as a head coach, his name will always be mentioned as a candidate for any Michigan coaching vacancy. His name surfaced as the front-runner before Rodriguez eventually landed the job. Miles has a national championship on his resume. His unconventional play-calling may rub some conventional football fans the wrong way and his clock management may be a bit suspect, but once he beats Ohio State, all will be forgotten.

    Chris Petersen – As with any position opening within the BCS conferences, this man’s name will be thrown in the hat. What he has been able to accomplish has been nothing short of remarkable.  If Boise State somehow sneaks into the BCS title game and Rodriguez gets canned, consider Petersen to be THE guy. He will have no reason to stay at Boise State.  He will have to prove he can play the big boys regularly and beat them regularly.

    • BigBrother 10:55 AM on November 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Dan Mullen will not be a candidate anywhere this year, so stop writing that. I think Peterson bides his time at Boise until UCLA or USC opens again. He’s a CaliGuy. A short list at Michigan has to include Jim Harbaugh from Stanford. Also look at Al Golden at Temple. If he does not get a fair shake for the Penn State job. Michigan fits.

  • Scruff_McGruff_ 2:32 PM on September 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Cam Newton, , , Manny Diaz, , ,   

    Not Quite Yet Over the Hump 

    Chris Relf wasn't able to lead the comeback Thursday. His time will come.

    Last Thursday Mississippi State showcased the progress it made under second-year head coach Dan Mullen. ESPN showed the world how far we had come. At the end of the game, it was us coming up short again. MSU football has not been able to get over the proverbial hump quite yet. Mullen has made impressive strides in a short amount of time. We are no longer an automatic conference win but are from being the perennial doormat. Despite two early turnovers, we still had a chance to win the game on a last second drive. Besides the dropped passes, there is a lot to be optimistic about.

    In the first half, Cam Newton had his way with the MSU defense, outgaining the Bulldog offense by himself 146-125. Manny Diaz and staff made critical adjustments on the fly and held Newton to only 82 yards (22 of those receiving) in the second half. The MSU defense dictated when Newton would scramble. Even more importantly, after giving up 17 first-half points the defense shut out the potent Tiger offense. When it was time to make a stand late in the game, the defense came through on 3rd down and the ensuing blocked field goal.

    MSU only committed two penalties for 25 yards: a personal foul that was a bit of acting on Auburn’s part and an illegal block. The two penalties are a far cry from the 5.6 penalties per game MSU averaged a season ago. To date, MSU is only averaging 2.5 penalties and 27.5 penalty yards per game. Dan Mullen wants his team to give “relentless effort,” and his team is giving that effort while playing disciplined football.

    In years past, when MSU would go down by a double-digit deficit, we would fold when given the opportunity to make a comeback. We lacked the offensive firepower to score points in a short period of time, and the defense would eventually break from being on the field too long. With Mullen learning the spread offense from Urban Meyer, the Bulldog offense has the ability to march up the field gaining huge chunks of yards at a time. Coupled with Diaz’s high-risk, high-reward defense, MSU can put points on the board in a hurry.

    There are still some minor details we need to work on to become more consistent. We have been here before: where the MSU fan base thinks we are ready to make the leap into the next tier of SEC schools. When we get there, we usually take two steps in the wrong direction. If not this season, next season will definitely be the year MSU causes major hell for the other teams in the conference. That is the beauty of playing in the best conference in the country: every week is a chance to score a major upset and get the momentum that can carry you through the rest of the season.

  • Scruff_McGruff_ 6:31 PM on September 8, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    This Week in MSU Sports – Wednesday Special 

    This week in Mississippi State sports was a bit out of the norm. MSU’s soccer team played on Tuesday, notching a big win over Mississippi Valley State. The team welcomes another SWAC foe, Jackson State, to the MSU soccer field Friday at 7 p.m.

    Game NotesLive Stats


    The gridiron Dogs. coming off a short week of preparation, host the Auburn Tigers Thursday night in the conference lid-lifter for both teams. The last time Auburn and MSU played at Davis Wade Stadium, offense was set back a few generations. Dan Mullen and Gus Malzahn righted that ship the very next season as Auburn won 49-24.




    Saluki Invitational

    Southern Illinois – 9/10, 7 p.m.
    South Florida – 9/11, 10 a.m.
    SE Missouri State – 9/11, 5 p.m.

    Game Notes

  • Scruff_McGruff_ 1:45 PM on September 3, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: football, , ,   

    This Week in MSU Sports 

    Chris Relf is the starting QB against Memphis, but we are sure to see plenty of Tyler Russell Saturday.


    It is that time of year. College football is back. Dan Mullen has the Bulldog Nation in a frenzy. Cowbells are now allowed (legally) into Davis Wade Stadium. Coming off a 5-7 campaign, what does Mullen and company have in store? We find out September 4, when the Bulldogs play host to the Memphis Tigers. MSU holds a 31-11 series lead over Memphis, with the Tigers’ last win coming in 1993.

    For all things MSU football related:

    Weekly Game Notes


    The Bulldog Volleyball team heads to Texas for the UT-Arlington Hilton Invitational

    (9/3) vs. Texas Pan American – 4 p.m.
    (9/4) vs. Louisiana Tech – 2:30 p.m.
    (9/4) vs. Texas-Arlington – 7 p.m.

    Game NotesLive stats


    The MSU soccer team is back on the road. They head to Troy to participate in the Trojan Classic.

    (9/3) vs. Troy
    (9/5) vs. South Alabama

    Game Notes

  • Scruff_McGruff_ 5:02 PM on August 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    This Weekend in Mississippi State Sports 


    The Lady Dogs have already picked up its first win of the 2010 campaign, defeating Arkansas-Little Rock 25-14, 25-20, 25-21.

    Next up: Austin Peay (8/27) 7:30 pm, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (8/28) 12:30 pm, Montana (8/28) 7:30 pm


    The women’s soccer team kicks off its home slate at the Starkville Sportsplex against UAB tonight and Southern Miss. on Sunday.

    Next up: UAB (8/27) 7 pm, Southern Miss. (8/29) 1 pm

    Go here to follow the games with live stats.

  • Scruff_McGruff_ 9:01 PM on August 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    The Last Decade of SEC Football, According to Facebook (via Chad Gibbs) 

    The Southeastern Conference “keeps up with the Jones'” better than any other conference.

    The Last Decade of SEC Football, According to Facebook Next week we begin a new decade of Southeastern Conference football, but before we do, I thought perhaps you'd like to look back at the previous ten years, Facebook style. And while you're here, how about purchasing my new book, God and Football: Faith and Fanaticism in the SEC. It's as funny as the blog, but you have to pay for it, so you'll appreciate it more. (Oh, and if the picture is a little small, try clicking on it to enlarge) … Read More

    via Chad Gibbs

  • Scruff_McGruff_ 4:02 PM on August 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Kentucky Florida, , , , , , ,   

    SEC Predictions 

    Today, I try to look in my crystal ball and predict this season’s Eastern and Western division champions. NOTE!!!! The views of this post reflect only the views of (mr_jbrown) and no other contributing writer to this blog.

    How the media voted at SEC Media Days:

    Eastern Division (First Place Votes)
    1. Florida(153) – 1030
    2. Georgia(15) – 791
    3. South Carolina(8) – 790
    4. Kentucky – 462
    5. Tennessee – 450
    6. Vanderbilt(1) – 194

    Western Division (First Place Votes)
    1. Alabama(157) – 1034
    2. Arkansas(6) – 726
    3. Auburn(10) – 691
    4. LSU(1) – 653
    5. Mississippi State – 320
    6. Ole Miss(3) – 293

    SEC Champion: Alabama (143), Florida (17), Auburn (7), Arkansas (3), Ole Miss (2), Georgia (2), LSU (1), South Carolina (1), Kentucky (1).

    How I see things shaping up.

    1. Florida – 11-1 (7-1)
    2. South Carolina – 9-3 (5-3)
    3. Georgia – 7-5 (4-4)
    4. Kentucky – 6-6 (2-6)
    5. Tennessee – 5-7 (2-6)
    6. Vanderbilt – 1-11 (0-8)

    1. Alabama – 11-1 (7-1)
    2. Arkansas – 10-2 (6-2)
    3. Auburn – 9-3 (5-3)
    4. LSU – 6-6 (4-4)
    5. Mississippi State – 7-5 (4-4)
    6. Ole Miss – 6-6 (2-6)

    SEC Champion: Alabama – The loss of so many defensive starters concern me. If the Tide can stay healthy throughout the season, the defense will have had enough games under their belt to not crumple under the pressure of the Georgia Dome lights.

  • Scruff_McGruff_ 8:50 PM on May 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Brian Bryant, , Jalen Steele, , , , Phil Turner, , Romero Osby   

    2010-2011 Basketball Bulldogs – Behind the Numbers 

    2009-2010 Stats

    • Record: 24-12 (9-7 SEC) T-1st
    • Scoring Offense: 72.8 (7th)
    • Scoring Defense: 64.9 (2nd)
    • Rebound Margin:  39.1 – 37.1 (+2.0) (4th)
    • Turnover Margin: 12.7 – 11.4 (-1.28) (11th)
    • Assist/Turnover Ratio: 1.01 (6th)

    Starters Returning/Lost: 2/3

    Players leaving:

    • Jarvis Varnado – Graduation
    • Barry Stewart – Graduation
    • Dee Bost – NBA Draft early entry
    • Romero Osby – Transfer (Oklahoma)


    • Brian Bryant, PG – Niceville, FL (Northwest Florida CC)
    • Jalen Steele, SG – Knoxville, TN (Fulton HS)

    Returning Statistical Leaders:

    • Points – Ravern Johnson (13.2 PPG)
    • Rebounds – Kodi Augustus (5.4 RPG)
    • Assists – Phil Turner (1.4 APG)
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