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  • Scruff_McGruff_ 2:32 PM on September 11, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Cam Newton, College Football, , 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.

    HALFTIME ADJUSTMENTS
    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.

    FLAGS, FLAGS, FLAGS
    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.

    NOT FOLDING JUST YET
    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: , College Football, , ,   

    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

    FOOTBALL

    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.

    GAME NOTES

    MSUAuburnSEC

    VOLLEYBALL

    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_ 4:33 PM on January 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , College Football, ,   

    The Maroon Nation Says… 

    MSU has reportedly found their man at defensive coordinator, Middle Tennessee’s Manny Diaz.

    MSU may have its new defensive line coach as well, Oklahoma’s Chris Wilson.

    Jarvis Varnado registers his second triple-double, and the fourth in school history, in a win over Arkansas.

    Here is a good read on MSU verbal committ Dylan Favre.

    Dudy Noble Field scoreboard is receiving a new look.

     
    • buzzardroostus 12:15 AM on January 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Nice article on Brett Favre and Dylan: http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=dw-favreromo011710&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

      At his locker, Favre called over his nephew Dylan, who just finished a high-school career in Mississippi that saw him throw 63 touchdown passes in a single season. Brett had no interest in talking about beating the Cowboys. The Vikings’ PR people were trying to lure him to a press conference, and Favre kept delaying it.

      Instead he took a seat and started breaking down Dylan’s recent commitment to play for Mississippi State (not Brett’s Southern Miss). He talked about the Bulldogs’ coach, Dan Mullen, and got down deep with some back-home college football talk. They might as well have been sitting on a bale of hay outside Hattiesburg.

      “Miss State’s got it going, huh?” Brett said.

      Then he ate another Cheeto and talked like a teenager, with the teenager. He was still barefoot.

  • Scruff_McGruff_ 11:40 AM on October 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bowl Games, College Football   

    Bulldogs Still Have Shot at Bowl Game 

    By: Dan(te) The Man

    As of right now, the Mississippi State Bulldogs are sitting at 3-5 overall and 1-3 in conference play. Just by looking at the schedule, the naïve sports fan would say that the Bulldogs have no shot at reaching the almighty six-win plateau and being bowl-eligible for the second time in three seasons and 14th time overall. The next four games are:

    October 31 @ Kentucky

    BYE

    November 14 vs #2 Alabama

    November 21  @ Arkansas

    November 28 vs TSUN

    Now, to the non-believer, there is no way State can notch three wins in the last four games. This is where college football works its magic. It is very much possible that the Dawgs can go 4-0 down this stretch and here’s why.

    liberty

    State stopped UCF in last bowl bid (and it bored us to tears)

    Kentucky is MSU’s permanent opponent from the Eastern Division and can be considered a semi-rival considering how close these teams have played each other in recent years. In 2005, the Wildcats scrapped out a 13-7 victory against a putrid Bulldog offense. In 2006, the Cats won again, this time in Starkville. Defense was irrelevant as they won 34-31. In 2007, the Bulldogs dismantled what was left of Andre Woodson’s Heisman hopes, throttling the Cats 31-14 in a game that was really more lopsided than the score suggests. That ’07 team was Kentucky’s best team from 2005-present. In 2008, a missed field goal and a blocked extra point preserved the victory for UK in Starkville, 14-13. Kentucky is currently sitting at 4-3 overall, 1-3 in conference play and notably last in the conference in run defense. Their wins – Louisville, Auburn, Louisiana-Monroe, and Miami (Ohio) – not that impressive. Mississippi State is more than capable of going to Lexington and getting the win.

    Looking at how Alabama has played, some might call this one an automatic loss. “Not so fast, my friend,” quoting Lee Corso. The Crimson Tide may dominate the overall series record, but since 2005, they have been playing .500 football against the Dogs, including being held without an offensive touchdown for 13 consecutive quarters. They won 17-0 in 2005 and 32-7 in 2008, but lost 17-12 in 2007 and got “Croomed” 24-16 in 2006 IN Tuscaloosa. If the trend holds true for the Bulldogs, they will play Alabama tough as they have every other football power they’ve played this season. If Tennessee can be a blocked field goal from victory, Mullen can have his bunch in the game late in the fourth quarter.

    Surprisingly, the most obvious loss is the trip to Little Rock to play Arkansas. I don’t know what it is about War Memorial Stadium, or Arkansas in general. It may be the air in the Ozarks, but the Bulldogs have not fared well in Arkansas. Before last season’s 31-28 come-from-behind, hold-on-late victory, Mississippi State had lost 9 straight to the Razorbacks. Last season, the Pigs were last in the conference in total defense. In seven games this season, the Hogs have given up almost 3000 yards of offense, good for – you guessed it – last. Mississippi State put up 31 points with an offense ranked in the triple digits in NCAA ranks. This year’s offense is nowhere as bad as last year’s offensive offense. Expect the scoreboard to break in this game.

    And now, TSUN. When it comes to the Battle for the Golden Egg, all statistical logic gets thrown out the window. What has happened in the past does not mean anything. Be assured the Bulldogs will be seething for that game and ready to attack. Seeing how fired up they were for the Florida game will pale in comparison to the animosity and hatred that will have brewed for the Rebels. The wild card for that game, 50,000 ringing cowbells, as the game will be in Starkville. When it comes to rivalry games, all bets are off. Favorites and underdogs are afterthoughts, and helmets will fly.

    So do not be surprised come December if Mississippi State has extended Dan Mullen’s inaugural season an extra game.

     
  • maroonnation 2:13 PM on October 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Chapel Hill, College Football, FSU, UNC   

    Definitely Not the SEC 

    By: DeMaroon

    Last night, I had the opportunity to attend the Florida State at UNC-Chapel Hill football game here in Chapel Hill. I joke with my friends around here about the pathetic nature of “A She She” football (if you know me at all, you know that comment in itself from me is unexpected). Most of my criticism centers around bad coaching and ultimately a substandard product. Remember the Yugo? From about mid-afternoon yesterday, I was in classic SEC snob mode.

    I left my office around 3:30 to head up to one of the quads on campus where the senior class was having a tailgate. As I walked through what was mostly an abandoned campus, I noticed a few things. Only really the event staff and parking agents were in place as the campus proper had to depart in preparation for this Thursday night game. Carolina has a reputation for being a “wine and cheese” crowd when it comes to tailgating. That’s fine. It is different from the “beer and barbecue” crowd with I am more familiar. My concern was the lack of RVs and buses. You mean to tell me that the fans only arrived on campus a few hours before the game. Where’s the 2 to 3 day buildup? This definitely is not the SEC.

    When I took my awesomely incredible seats in the stadium (thanks UNC Athletic Department), I was amazed at the number of fans that were patting themselves on the back for the “incredible” atmosphere of the game. I politely nodded, and really wanted to offer a “bless your heart.” Carolina takes the opening drive down the field and scores. The defense takes the field, and I can still hear every conversation around me. Really? Incredible atmosphere? I can hear people 5 seats down. I am going to have to figure out some artificial noisemakers for this group because that was the quietest 60K I have ever heard. This definitely is not the SEC.

    At one point in the game, I began to look around to see what the fans were doing. The abundance of the little mini bottles of cheap whiskey was very noticeable. I began thinking someone needs to teach you all how to sneak your liquor into the games. One of my friends once told me that the whole purpose in bringing women to sporting events is so that you get your drinks into the stadium in her bosom. I thought he was just being his normal sexist self until I went to a few games – in SEC country. At Arkansas, this young lady pulled a gallon zip-lock bag of booze out of her chest and announced this with a hearty, “Yellow and blue make green!” In Starkville, I witnessed this young lady pull a cowbell, a fifth of Jim Beam, and chicken sandwich out of her cleavage. I remember thinking that kid I heard about on the Amber Alert may be in there, too.  So, as I watched grown adult people pull liquor out of their socks and pockets, I was again reminded that this is not the SEC.

    With 11:38 left in the 3rd quarter, your team is leading 24-6. Your team has the game in complete control, then the wheels completely fall off. The other team scores on a pass to a wide receiver so wide open that he could have waited baked some cookies before a defender got to him. They then score on a 98 yard pass. A field goal brings them within one. Your team  kicks a field goal to go up by 4. You then see the other team score again to take a 3-point lead. Your team has blown a 24-6 lead and is now trailing 30-27 with about 5 minutes left in the game. The camera pans through the student section, and your students are celebrating – waiving the number 1 finger, smiling, laughing it up. There were no red shoes on the field. There were no looks of dejection. There were no steely stares. This definitely in not the SEC.

    Oh yes. I see it clearly now. Growing up loving the SEC has spoiled me. It has made me a football snob. I am not in denial so there is no need for a 12-step program.

     
    • Zombie 10:22 PM on October 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I can envision UNC having that atmosphere based on alumni I’ve come across. On TV Clemson and FSU both have atmospheres that would seem more at home in the SEC. The stadium in Blacksburg, VA looks comparable too.

      If there’s one game day atmosphere in the SEC that needs to be called out it’s in the Commonwealth. I know it’s true for basketball (blue bloods/ Rupp) but the one football game I’ve witnessed there left a lot to be desired. This leads me to believe it’s a deep south,cult of football thing… the missing ingredient.

  • maroonnation 7:50 PM on October 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: College Football, , , ,   

    Cowbells=Gator Repellent? 

    By: The Punter

    The friendly, or in this case unfriendly, confines of Davis-Wade Stadium have not been kind to the University of Florida. In fact, the last time the Gators won in Starkville this writer wasn’t even born. I said hello to the world on February 10, 1986. The Gators last win against the Mississippi State Bulldogs in Stark Vegas? September 28, 1985. Florida would win 36-22 on that day. Since then four different Gator teams have made the trip up from Gainesville. All four have returned home in defeat. In 1986 the Bulldogs fought for a hard 16-10 win. In 1992 the Gators were pummelled 30-6 at the hands of Jackie Sherrill’s Dawgs.

      

    Dan Mullen hopes to keep streak alive versus his former team.

    Dan Mullen hopes to keep streak alive versus his former team.

    In 2000 the Gators came to Starkville as the #3 team in the nation. Dicenzo Miller would rush for a touchdown and 172 yards for the unranked Bulldogs enroute to a 45-37 upset of the Gators. The Dawgs got offensive under the lead of quarterback Wayne Madkin that day, going for 351 on the ground and 517 total yards. The win for Mississippi State ended a 72 game winning streak that Florida held over unranked opponents. It currently claims 51% of the vote in our poll of fans favorite win over Florida.

    The 2004 Gators were ranked #19 when they made the haul. First year Mississippi State coach Sylvester Croom and his boys weren’t given much of a chance. Like the three previous trips, this one would end in defeat for the Gators- 38-31. Jerious Norwood would rip off a fine run with under a minute remaining in the game to seal the deal after Jeramie Johnson had intercepted Chris Leak to give the Dawgs the ball back. The win, only the second of the season for MSU, sent the Gators out of the polls.

    Now, here we are. On Saturday the Gators, defending National Champions, will invade Davis-Wade Stadium. Standing room only tickets went on sale and abruptly sold out as Bulldog fans snatched them up. A record number of Maroon and White faithful are expected to fill, almost literally, the nation’s second oldest on campus college football stadium. Some just want to be able to say that they saw Tim Tebow, possibly the greatest college football player of all time, play in person. Many, many others though believe that first year head coach Dan Mullen, who left Florida as the offensive coordinator to take the MSU job, will field a team that can not only compete with the #1 ranked Gators but continue the streak versus Florida at home.

    The Bulldogs will have to have a lot of things go their way on Saturday if they are to stretch the streak to five. The game will be nationally televised in primetime on ESPN, which brings Florida alum Erin Andrews to town. Can the student out battle the teacher? Is the MSU defense Superman’s kryptonite? Both valid questions, but my big question is: are the legendary cowbells of Mississippi State really Gator repellent? We’ll find out Saturday night. One thing is certain. The maroon clad packed house will be rocking to the sound of cowbells from the time the Dawgs take the field until the final blow of the horn. Win or lose.

    – Feel free to comment below, or email me @ punterjoe@hotmail.com

     
    • jdanteb 9:06 PM on October 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      We were destined to bleed maroon and white together since we share the same birthday. If we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot, we can definitely win this game. Florida’s offense look atrocious against a horrible Arkansas D. If not for some bad calls Florida loses that game. It’s definitely winnable.

  • maroonnation 1:59 AM on October 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: College Football, NCAA, Top 25   

    Maroon Nation Top 25 

    The Maroon Nation Top 25 is voted on by a diverse panel of voters. Nine of the voters are involved in the sports field in some way, but the rest are avid college football fans who give their un-biased opinion.

    10/18/09

    1. Florida (9)

    2. Alabama (7)

    3. Texas

    4. Southern Cal

    5. Cincinatti

    6. LSU

    7. Iowa

    8. Boise State

    9. TCU

    10. Miami

    11. Oregon

    12. Penn State

    13. Georgia Tech

    14. Oklahoma State

    15. Virginia Tech

    16. BYU

    17. Houston

    18. Ohio State

    19. Texas Tech

    20. Pittsburgh

    21. Utah

    22. South Carolina

    23. Nebraska

    24. West Virginia

    25. Kansas

    Others recieving votes: Mississippi, Oklahoma, Georgia, Kentucky

     
  • maroonnation 10:02 PM on October 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: BCS, College Football,   

    No NCAA FBS Playoffs for Me, But … 

    By: DeMaroon

    Let me lay down the law first.  I am not a fan of implementing any kind of playoffs for the NCAA FBS (Division I-A).  There are a few reasons, and as time goes on, I may expand my comments on each reason. In summation:

    • The college football season is interesting because every game matters.  Virginia Tech-Alabama mattered on a national scale.  Ohio State-USC mattered on a national scale.
    • From a fans perspective following a college football team through a playoff would require the mortgaging of one of more of one’s children.  If you have ever bought tickets to one bowl game, certainly you know what I am talking about.  Imagine doing that 2 or 3 times.
    • I like the fact that if you lose, you lose control of your fate.  During the whole debate last season around Texas and Texas Tech, the only thing I could think was that, “You lost. You have officially lost your ability to complain about the standings. If you win your games, none of this is an issue, so shut up.”

    If there were to ever be a playoff, college football would have to have a few things change.  With the current structure, I’m not sure a playoff could work.  When I say structure, I’m talking mostly about conference alignments.  The big six conferences each would have to go to 12 teams with a conference championship game.  The winner of the championship game would then get an automatic birth in the playoffs.  If you think the major conferences are going to a playoff without a guaranteed spot, you’re not thinking clearly.  You’d have to develop a BCS-type formula for seeding and determining the other 2 spots.  I’ll get to why 8-teams in just a second.  Maybe one spot is guaranteed for all the non BCS conference members.  Here are some things to ponder:

    The college presidents have basically said no to extending the season, and no school is going to give up the 12-game schedule at this point, so the maximum you could probably do is an 8-team playoff (this is why I laid out the system above).

    Conference realignment. Here’s what I think needs to happen:

    1. The Big East will have to become a real all-sports conference and find 4 new teams to round it out.  Memphis, East Carolina, and UCF make sense for three of those spots. Spot #4 comes from: USM, Marshall, Temple, or Buffalo.
    2. The Big 10 needs a 12th school. Notre Dame has said no. I believe that is the best fit, but since they want to be irrelevant, I’ll let them have that.  Where does the Big 10 get a new member?  How about Missouri.  Sorry, Big 12, but Mizzou makes sense here.
    3. The Big 12 would then have to replace Mizzou. There’s a good number of people who would say grab Arkansas, but it’s hard for me to see a team leaving the financial windfall that is the SEC.  I see two logical choices: Colorado State or TCU.  Now, if Arkansas has a brain fart and bolts, that would mean the SEC would have to raid Clemson from the ACC, and the ACC would raid Rutgers, UCONN, or Syracuse from the Big East, and the Big East could add 2 teams from the list of 4 I provided. Whew …
    4. The PAC 10 would need to add 2 more. This one is easy pick 2 from BYU, Utah, and San Diego State.

    Now, once all of that is fixed, you can decide on location, scheduling, and the finances.  Have fun!

     
    • gemmons13 12:39 AM on January 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      how about a playoff that consisted of keeping conference alignments (for the bowls):

      Insight Bowl
      Fiesta Bowl

      Holiday Bowl
      Rose Bowl

      ————————-

      Orange Bowl
      Citrus (Capital One Bowl)

      Sugar Bowl
      Cotton Bowl

      let me know what you think

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