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Thought Of The Day – 5/14/13

Ooh, law, we’re goin’ back a ways for this one.

Not sure that I’ve ever driven through the Magnolia State without intentionally dialing this one up on the iPod.  Rolled last summer all the way from New Orleans to Tennessee and am planning on spending some time on the Mississippi River this summer.  Might have to add this one to the playlist for that one.  (Admission: I’ve never driven into Detroit without punching this up.  I’m a freak.  Freely admit it.)


“Nothin’ much to see but a starvin’ hound in a Mississippi cotton-pickin’ Delta town.”


Charley Pride — Mississippi Cotton Pickin' Delta Town


If you don’t know much about Charlie Pride, do yourself a favor and do some research.  Great story.

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MSU And FSU Battling Over Brewster

Reports of Tim Brewster’s move from Mississippi State to Florida State seem to have been a bit premature.  Today there’s still some back-and-forth going on as FSU tries to hire the tight ends coach and MSU tries to keep him.

At this point we can be sure of just one thing — the ex-Minnesota head coach will be making a lot more money next season… either in Tallahassee or Starkville.  But while money will likely play a pretty big role in Brewster’s ultimate decision, Bulldog fans are taking to Twitter to try and convince him to stay in the Magnolia State.


msu tweets























There’s just one catch, of course.  Do you really think Brewster is hanging out on Twitter as two programs compete for his services?

Brewster has been at State for six months, coaching the schools receivers last year before being assigned tight ends two weeks ago.

Update: The Florida State Rivals Site ($) says the deal with Brewster was finalized today. He will coach tight ends for Jimbo Fisher.

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2013 Signing Class: Ole Miss’ Target Zone

target-with-dartsOle Miss added 28 players from 8 different states on Wednesday and Thursday.  A breakdown of the Rebels’ “target zone” is below:


Mississippi = 10 recruits

Georgia = 5

Tennessee = 4

Alabama = 3

Texas = 3

Florida = 1

Illinois = 1

Louisiana = 1


In-State Signees = 35.7%

Out-Of-State Signees = 64.2%



Oh, if Hugh Freeze could just draw it up like this every year.  But it’s not every season the #1 prospect in the country has a brother who’s already on your team and a mother who wants ‘em to play together.  That said, look at the spread of this class — three or more signees from Texas, Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia.  As long as the University of Tennessee is down, Freeze and Ole Miss should just try to annex Memphis.  Also take note of those 10 in-state signees.  Houston Nutt seemed willing to cede many in-state targets to Mississippi State, content to cherry pick the best and then raid other states for talent.  Freeze — at least for one year — seems intent upon taking back the Magnolia State.

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Signing Day 2013: The Battle For Mississippi

state map mississippiLooking at Wednesday’s signees — including junior college and prep school athletes — here’s a snapshot of the talent produced by the state of Mississippi in 2013 (as graded by


5-stars = 1

4-stars = 11

3- stars = 36

Total 3+ stars = 48


Here’s where the state’s 10 highest-ranked players are headed:


Ole Miss = 4

Mississippi State = 3

Auburn = 1

Memphis = 1

Southern Miss = 1


Loyalty:  Eight out of the Magnolia State’s 10 best recruits decided to stay close to home for their college careers.  While the SEC’s two Mississippi-based schools may duke it out every year, if they can continue to divvy up the tip-top local talent each year they’ll both benefit.

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Ex-MSU WR Bumphis Has Advice For Recruits: Don’t Go With The Money

Former Mississippi State receiver Chad Bumphis took time out from his NFL draft preps to hit Twitter this morning.  And one particular tweet has hit the Magnolia State like an atom bomb:


bumphis-tweet 1










In the words of Dick Enberg, “Oh, my.”

Now, there are three ways to take that tweet.  First, perhaps Bumphis was just giving general advice on a topic with which he has no first-hand experience.  Second, maybe he was talking about the rumors of foul play at Ole Miss, a program that’s surprisingly in the mix for a top five finish in this year’s recruiting rankings.  Third, he could be talking about his own stop in Starkville (which is how many Rebel fans are spinning it).

But Bumphis followed up his first tweet with this one:











And he also playfully dismissed a tweet from an Ole Miss grad/personal injury attorney from Mobile, Alabama:


bumphis-tweet 3














Bumphis had 922 receiving yards last year to go with 12 touchdowns.  He is expected to be a mid-round selection in this year’s draft.

But he’s already the #1 pick of Bulldog fans who are pointing fingers at Ole Miss’ recruiting turnaround and at a certain Rebel commitment’s recent tweet.

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A Softer, Gentler Mullen Says Good Things About Freeze Pre-Egg Bowl

Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen has spent three years needling and gigging the fans and coaches at Ole Miss, er, I mean “that school up north.”  So it was a bit surprising yesterday when he had only pleasantries to share regarding the job first-year coach Hugh Freeze is doing in Oxford:


“It looks like, to me, that Hugh has their guys playing hard.  They’ve been playing real hard and battling right down to the very end in most of their games this season.  We expect a four-quarter fight…

It looks like they’re on the right path.  They’re playing hard.  When I look at my team, what I want anyway, is when I turn on the film I want to see a team where you have all 11 guys on the field playing really hard.  If you do that you have the opportunity to win.  I’ve seen their guys play hard this year.  As I evaluate programs — I don’t know if I’m an expert — but he has them going in the right direction.”


Now, are those kind words a product of Freeze’s own nice guy reputation?  Possibly.  He’s a hard guy not to like.

But it’s also possible the Mullen spent his first three seasons trying to send a message that his program — not Mississippi’s — was the premier football program in the Magnolia State.  Now, having won three Egg Bowls in a row and on the verge of yet another bowl trip, he might believe it’s time to make sure his team takes the Rebels seriously.

MSU snapped a three-game skid on Saturday against Arkansas and can still finish 9-3 with a win against Ole Miss.

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A.D. Stricklin Still Mum On Stansbury’s Future At MSU

Why do we say that questions swirl?  We don’t say they’re spinning or floating or buzzing.  Questions always seem to swirl. 

Just wondering.

‘Cause questions continue to swirl in Starkville today.  Mississippi State AD Scott Stricklin wouldn’t return messages from the Magnolia State media yesterday as most of the state’s talk show callers dialed up their favorite programs and called for Rick Stansbury’s ouster.

The coach — who as we told you yesterday is the most successful coach in MSU history — has two year’s remaining on a deal that stands to pay him at least $1.3 million per season.

Yet Brad Locke of The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal writes that “fan outcry against Stansbury is the loudest I’ve ever heard it, and fans made a statement Tuesday by not showing up — a season-low 2,507, turned out” for the NIT opener (and closer, as it turned out) with UMass.

For all the talk of power brokers and big money boosters and good ol’ boy networks, in the end, it’s the fans that ultimately decide coaches’ fates.  If enough fans stop buying tickets, stop paying for parking spots, stop buying popcorn and Cokes, and stop making donations, a program’s revenue stream eventually runs dry enough that the administration must take action.  Whether it really wants to or not.

So one of those questions swirling around Starkville today — Is the revenue stream drying up so quickly at State that Stricklin will be motivated to blow up the best basketball coach his school has ever had?

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SEC Headlines – 1/16/12 Part One

1.  The SEC has named its Players of the Week.

2.  As we noted earlier today, Lance Thompson — the man who recruited Trent Richardson to Alabama — is returning to Tuscaloosa as linebackers coach.

3.  Doug Nussmeier continues to be mentioned as the frontrunner for Bama’s offensive coordinator gig.

4.  Bobby Petrino’s got nice things to say — naturally — about Arkansas’ new linebackers coach Taver Johnson.

5.  Petrino has also given his blessing to backup quarterback Brandon Mitchell, who intends to walk-on with the Hog basketball team.

6.  After “an amazing season,” LSU will look for even bigger, even better things next fall.

7.  But folks on the Bayou aren’t quite done dissecting what went wrong in the Tigers’ 21-0 loss to Alabama a week ago.

7.  Mississippi State’s ongoing billboard campaign — including one smack dab in Oxford — is causing a stir in the Magnolia State.

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SEC Headlines “We’re Still On Holiday” Edition – 11/25/11

A few leftovers for you on this morning after Thanksgiving.


1.  For Florida to beat Florida State, it’s all on the line(s).

2.  Billy Donovan’s hoops Gators haven’t forgotten that tonight’s opponent — Jacksonville — beat ‘em in overtime last year.

3.  Between dismissals, suspensions and injuries, it’s been a tumultuous year for the tailback position at Georgia.

4.  UGA’s defense better be ready for a triple-option test from Georgia Tech.

5.  Despite rumors, Joker Phillips says there’s no need to talk about his job status at Kentucky because AD Mitch Barnhart said mid-season that he’ll return next year.

6.  Cat fans will be screeching over this one — the NCAA passed a rule barring high school players in non-scholastic events from playing on a collegiate campus.  The new rule nixed plans for “Rumble in Rupp” scrimmages just 36 hours prior to their start.

7.  South Carolina needs defensive end Jadeveon Clowney – concussed last week against The Citadel — against Clemson’s high-powered offense.

8.  Gamecocks quarterbacks coach GA Mangus isn’t answering questions about why the NCAA wants to meet with him as part of its investigation into an extra benefits case.

9.  Carolina’s hoop squad has already lost to Elon and Tennessee State, so tonight’s game with #1 North Carolina looks to be a pretty tough task.

10.  Juco defensive tackle Mo Couch has made big strides at Tennessee this fall.

11.  Despite being used in a variety of ways, freshman linebacker Curt Maggitt has had a solid year for the Vols.

12.  Vanderbilt’s James Franklin has given his struggling kicker a vote of confidence.

13.  Ex-Vandy assistant King Rice will lead Monmouth into Memorial Gym tonight.

14.  Alabama has been repeating its “Never Again” mantra since last year’s Iron Bowl.

15.  The Crimson Tide ground game will try to run over and around Auburn’s young defense.

16.  Here are five reasons Alabama could win the Iron Bowl.

17.  And here are five reasons Auburn could win tomorrow’s game.

18.  Gene Chizik has opened up about his team’s season and the importance of the Iron Bowl. 

19.  Quarterback Clint Moseley says Gus Malzahn is “getting frustrated” by Auburn’s offensive woes.

20.  SEC and national title hopes are riding on today’s Arkansas-LSU game.

21.  The game will mark the end of an emotional week for UA.

22.  Here are five keys for the Razorbacks.

23.  If Arkansas wins today, it will put a lot of pressure on the BCS’ human voters.

24.  LSU finally gets to play a big game at home this season.

25.  John Chavis’ defense is geared up for Bobby Petrino’s passing attack.

26.  Here are some keys to a Tiger victory.

27.  Senior offensive lineman has a vendetta for Arkansas. 

28.  The legs of quarterback Barry Brunetti might have more to do with Ole Miss’ Egg Bowl chances than his arm.

29.   Houston Nutt is worried that some of his young Rebels have lost their focus.

30.  The Egg Bowl is a defining moment for Magnolia State coaches and players.  It’s certainly helped Dan Mullen’s bank account.

31.  Rick Stansbury could be without two starters tonight against UT-Martin.

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Manning Says UM’s Got A Long List

This week, Archie Manning opened up just a tad about Ole Miss’ search for a new head coach to replace Houston Nutt:

“I know a lot of people in football.  You get names of possible coaches and you take them down.  We’ll turn the names we have over to the search firm and they’ll have more names.

Everybody talks about having a short list.  We’ve got a long list.  We’re going to try and move as quickly as possible to find a good fit for Ole Miss.”

Manning is heading up his alma mater’s five-person search committee.

The three “realistic” names that we continue to hear most often from our sources in the Magnolia State:

1.  Arkansas State head coach Hugh Freeze (a former Ole Miss assistant)

2.  Southern Miss head coach Larry Fedora (who was upset by UAB last night)

3.  Former West Virginia and Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez

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