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Posts Tagged ‘Southeastern Conference’

Mississippi State to win easy game against Memphis

August 29th, 2011 1 comment

If you are a Mississippi State football fan these days, life is pretty good.

Most college football experts believe the Bulldogs will win as many as 9 or 10 games before any SEC title game or bowl contest.

Oddsmaker Danny Sheridan even has the Bulldogs a 27 1/2 point favorite in their season opener against Memphis on Thursday at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Elvis’ hometown.

Rarely has MSU’s future looked so bright. Does that mean the Bulldogs need to be taken down a notch. Probably not. … I say the Bullies win by at least 35. But what do I know? I am just the editor of a business newspaper.

Find out what the readers of the Mississippi Business Journal think.

Mississippi State, Ole Miss ready for Aggie invasion

August 11th, 2011 Comments off

An image released by the University of Mississippi shows a proposed expansion to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Miss. The university has announced plans to raise $150 million to build a new on-campus basketball arena and upgrade the football stadium. The first phase of the program would build a 10,000-seat basketball arena to replace Tad Smith Coliseum, a cramped facility that was built in 1966 and holds slightly more than 9,000 fans. It would also include renovating the concourse and premium seating in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

On the eve of college football taking center stage across the South, folks here in Mississippi appear on the verge of having a new team (maybe two) to pay attention to on a regular basis.
In a story that flamed up quickly last week, Ole Miss and Mississippi State could add Texas A&M to its Southeastern Conference Western Division permanent schedule as soon as next season.
The Aggies to the SEC, according to reports in multiple newspapers, appears to be picking up steam less than a month before the new, restructured Big 12 plays its first season.
Having said that, don’t expect the SEC to add the Aggies without throwing in one more to make scheduling easier. An SEC with 13 teams isn’t as tidy as one with 14. So, if A&M is brought into the fold, look for a school like Missouri to make the move, too.
I think a 16-team SEC is where the league is headed with Florida State and Clemson likely contenders to come into the league.
Mississippi State and Ole Miss look like they have been gearing up  for any potential moves.
Just last week, Ole Miss officials announced a $150 million fund raising campaign, along with plans to replace the university’s basketball facility and improve Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
The University said $100 million from premium seating charges in both venues and $50 million from philanthropic donations.
In addition to the new basketball facility and football stadium improvements, plans call for creation of a Hall of Fame to showcase Ole Miss Athletics history.
Meanwhile, MSU has been working on a plan, raising funds, for expansion of Davis-Wade Stadium by 5,000 to 7,000 seats at a potential cost of $100 million.

A rendering of what Davis-Wade Stadium at Mississippi State will look like when expansion is complete.on.

A football-specific facility, which would house offices and more, would be part of the deals as would upgrades to MSU’s outdoor practice fields.
Completion could be ready in the next couple of years.
For now, it appears Mississippi’s two SEC schools are finanacially prepared to take on the added challenge of  Texas A&M and whoever else comes calling in a new-look super league.
The question left is how quickly all of this could happen.
Some reports show a deal between A&M and the SEC as imminent with the Aggies coming on board for the 2012 football season. Other reports show the deal making A&M ready for 2013.
Either way, money talks and the SEC is rarely on the short end of the stick. Landing A&M would mean millions in TV money for the league and ultimately billions if it lures the likes of FSU and Clemson down the road.
I’d be willing to bet my lunch money Georgia Tech and Tulane wish they had never left the league way back when.

Quit hatin’ on the bear …

October 22nd, 2010 Comments off

OK, let’s get something straight from the very beginning.

It didn’t matter what leaders at Ole Miss did in regard to selecting an on-field mascot for the athletics teams, a lot of people weren’t going to be happy.

That the black bear is the choice is of no consequence.

Did y’all really want the on-field mascot to be Hotty Toddy or a Land Shark?

Yeah, Ackbar from Star Wars would have been funny and cool, though.

Still and yet, the real issue is the term “on-field”.

Ole Miss’ moniker isn’t changing. It is the Rebels.

The Ole Miss Rebels, not the Black Bears.

It’s no different than the Philadelphia Phillies having the Phillie Phanatic as their on-field mascot. When the Phanatic was introduced in 1978 as the official mascot of the team, there was no freaking out and running naked through the streets … at least about that issue.

The Phanatic — like Wally the Green Monster for the Boston Red Sox — is a fun, loveable creature to hang around and entertain fans at games, much like the original San Diego Chicken.

The bear (notice the lower case ‘b’) is the same.

It’s there for your kids to love and have their picture taken with in The Grove before the game.

It’s there to hang out with the cherleaders and do goofy stuff on the field.

It’s there to jump off a mini-tramp and perform nasty slam dunks at basketball games or play silly tricks on umpires at baseball games.

The bear is named Rebel, which doesn’t make the bear a Rebel. Obviously the Phantatic is not a Phillie and Wally is not a Red Sox.

Get a grip people!

That’s a nice jersey, you wear it to all the games?

June 29th, 2010 Comments off

All right folks, wipe those affiliations off your sleeves and let’s talk a little college football.
It’s pretty amazing what gets people’s blood boiling in this business.
Write a story about how 190,000 people in Mississippi could have their electric bills go up by more than 33 percent because big business wants a new toy to play with, and you get a note or two, mostly from CEO or PR types concerned about their image.
If you criticize the governor, there will be a few more people calling to make their feelings known.
But have someone write a feel-good story about a long-time Mississippi businessman who happens to be a former big-time college football quarterback, and then sit back and watch the fireworks.
We recently ran a story on Jackson’s Glynn Griffing, which detailed the successes of his insurance business over the last 40 years after he starred at quarterback for Ole Miss during the school’s winningest era.
Phone calls, e-mails, letters and I think some smoke signals began pouring in complaining.
About what?
The story included mention that the Rebels won three national championships during Griffing’s tenure at the Oxford school.
Only in the South could a feel-good story about a former athlete turn into what some readers believe to be a covert attempt to mislead the public on issues of national security.
“Why do you hate Mississippi State so much?”
That was one e-mail. There was another I probably wouldn’t repeat unless we were in a bar.
There are lots of football fans out there who like to point out that Ole Miss never won an “official” national championship. Their argument: The Rebels were never crowned by the Associated Press (AP) or United Press International (UPI).
Those were the only recognized organizations for handing out such designations, the haters like to say.
Unfortunately, college football has been without any real structure for naming a champion for as long as there has been big-time college football.
When the story about Griffing was turned in to me, I was aware of the circumstances.
However, my reasoning, as a former sports editor, has always been that college football has created this issue, and teams that won shouldn’t suffer because of the sport’s stubborn ineptitude.
The organizations that voted Ole Miss champs in 1959, ’60 and ’62 are many of the same that have voted seven other SEC schools champs at one time or another. Because the NCAA has never recognized any school as a Division I-A (or FBS) champion, and these other groups (like Billingsley, DeVold, Dunkel, Football Research, FW, National Championship Foundation and Williamson) were considered legitimate by most in the business, there is no reason to not mention Ole Miss among schools to win national championships in football.
That surely doesn’t change a lot of people’s minds, but before you hit “send” on the next e-mail, at least first take off your favorite team’s jersey.

Contact Mississippi Business Journal editor Ross Reily at ross.reily@msbusiness.com or (601) 364-1018.