By now I’m sure you have seen on multiple sites the rumors that Dak Prescott either had or will have surgery and miss spring ball. It is being said that he has struggled with turf toe for some time and has to have the ligament attached to his big toe repaired. I don’t think anyone from MSU has officially confirmed this and I’m certainly not doing that. I’m going to operate under the assumption that it is true (I do believe it to be true). The first thought that enters many MSU fans minds including myself was “Oh goodness, only 1 QB in the spring is not good.” While it is not an ideal situation, I gave it some thought and it really isn’t as bad as it sounds. When you look at all the reasoning I’m about to point out, I hope that you can relax a bit and not jump to the classic MSU fan “the sky is falling” attitude.
-After watching Tyler Russell for a while now it appears to me that when his confidence is up, he is very effective. If Dak misses the spring he won’t have to look over his shoulder. He can just focus on being the guy and getting better.
-Many forget Dak graduated high school early and has already gone through 2 springs. Again, it’s not ideal but missing his 3rd spring isn’t as bad as it sounds.
-Most of the receivers fighting for 1rst team reps this spring are: Robert Johnson, Joe Morrow, Jameon Lewis, Malcolm Johnson, Rico Sanders, and Fred Brown. Most of these guys have been on the 2nd team the last 2 years and have caught a lot of balls from Dak. They already have a good feel for one another and their tendencies.
-Most of the new receivers that will be fighting to crack the rotation excluding Jeremy Chapelle (early enrollee) are Fred Ross, Shelby Christy, BJ Hammond, and De’Runnya Wilson. They will not be here until fall camp. Dak will be 100% by then and able to form chemistry with these new guys.
-This is a toe injury and not something horrible like a throwing shoulder. I would guess that during his rehab he will be in a boot and still be able to throw. If that’s the case it’s not like he will enter the fall camp rusty from lack of throwing.
-This is the smart move by Dak and MSU. I think we can all agree he will have an expanded role in the 2013 season. It’s very wise to get this cleaned up now and miss the spring so we can have our guy Dak 100% for the fall when it really matters.
The hatred and jealousy of the national media regarding SEC dominance reaches new heights daily. Seven straight national titles will do that. This dominance has caused a national backlash where other programs and players are over-hyped to counter the SEC as being the big story every year. We have come to expect that USC will be deemed the team every preseason who can knock off the SEC but this year’s fraudulent campaign to promote Manti Teo is a travesty that should embarrass so-called national sports writers.
We will start off with his on the field performance. Teo was 46th in the country in tackles per game. Four SEC linebackers ranked ahead of him and not one of those guys played for Alabama or Florida and I would take any of their 3 over him. I know what you’re thinking. He may not have had the sheer number of tackles but surely he had a ton of tackles for loss because he was such a smart player. He had a measly 5.5. I have no idea where that ranks nationally because the top 100 stops at 11.5, over double what Teo had. For reference, Kevin Minter of LSU had 15 and Ole Miss freshman Denzel Nkemdiche had 13.
Now lets look at his catfishing scandal. Never has there been a campaign to support a young man as the one waged by the national media for Manti. Even cynical reporters such as Skip Bayless ran to his defense. Guess what America? He lied. He lied repeatedly. Looking back I think he and Notre Dame succumbed to Noble Cause Corruption, which I wrote about recently. He then admitted to Katy Couric that he was informed on December 6th that it was a hoax. He again mentioned his dead girlfriend on December 8that a Heisman finalist function. That is absolutely disgusting that he would still claim the lie but the national media supported that as well.
A few days ago, all of the eyes of the NFL world wanted to see how Manti performed on the field. The only things that mattered at the combine were his measurables. Another epic fail by the anti-SEC hype machine. Of 26 linebackers that ran the 40, Manti’s time of 4.82 was 20th. From the AP:
“Teo participated in five of the seven drills, opting out of the bench press and 60-yard shuttle, and did not finish ranked among the top five at his position in any of them.
His vertical jump was 33 inches, far below Southern Mississippi’s Jamie Collins’ positional best of 41½. Teo jumped 113 inches in the broad jump. He finished the three-cone drill in 7.13 seconds, well off the pace set by Gooden (6.71). Teo completed the 20-yard shuttle in 4.27 seconds, again behind Gooden’s 4.18.”
In short we saw that Manti was a complete fraud. It’s amazing to me that the SEC is so hated for its success nationally that writers outside of the southeast will go to the links that they do to promote someone like this. A big part of his push was the national love affair with Notre Dame but that’s a whole different story. We saw a guy who performed in a very average manner all year long get pushed by the media into a second place Heisman finish. We saw a guy who milked a lie for everything it was worth in a pursuit for national recognition and get defended by the media, even after it all fell apart. Now we are seeing real life happen. The NFL does not care about the anti-SEC media spin and his plummeting draft stock proves it. The funny thing is that it will happen again next year. If I had to guess, I would say that Ohio State is the next chosen “SEC killer” to be promoted and who knows what mediocre player will get hyped next year. The fun part is that we will get to see the jealousy of the national media fall apart again in the 2013-2014 season as it does every single year
Why does the SEC always seem to have the best league? You hear it all the time: speed and athleticism. Resentment is growing at an all-time high nationwide and many in these regions attempt to disqualify this as a myth. As usual, the NFL Combine laser timed 40 prove that the SEC does in fact have the best speed. Above is a list of the official 40 times for the running backs and wide receivers in the combine.
Take a look at these lists and digest it. Both positions high end speed guys are dominated by SEC athletes. When you look at the 40 times of SEC guys at the end of this list, it is almost all the big guys for their positions. Cobi Hamilton at 6’3 209 and still running a laser timed 4.56 is unreal. The only name on the list that is a bit surprising is Ace Sanders at a 4.58. I think anyone who watched him play would argue that his quickness and lateral movement may be unparalleled. The fact that we even scoff at a 4.58 laser timed 40 is a sign of the times but that’s a whole new story.
These times just go to show you what you are up against in the SEC on a weekly basis. These guys are the top playmakers who are able to go the distance on any play. It just goes to show you that even when you play a “down” SEC team such as Tennessee or Arkansas last year, they were still both chock full of elite playmakers and you better bring your A game.
Ole Miss had a heartbreaking 62-63 loss at the hands of South Carolina that possibly put Ole Miss right outside of the NCAA tourney bubble. Before Kennedy even had time to answer post game media questions the message boards were already in full swing beating the “fire AK” drum. There is not a more emotional place after a loss than a team’s message boards. I get that, but this seems to be a growing sentiment among some Ole Miss fans who are ready to bail on Kennedy if the Rebels don’t make an NCAA appearance this year. Are you sure you really want that?
First thing you have to look at is Ole Miss Basketball historically. It’s been a long time since they made the NCAA tournament and if you look at it objectively, Ole Miss basketball history isn’t that great. Add in that basketball just isn’t stressed that much by fans and boosters. Also take into account how little talent is in his immediate recruiting area. Mississippi is already small but how many schools elite athletes do you think pick basketball? Taking all those factors into account, the first thing that needs to be addressed is what level of success do we realistically expect and strive for?
Next look at Kennedy and his record at Ole Miss. He is 144-84 for a .632 winning percentage. I don’t care what anyone says, that is a dang good record. The numbers don’t lie and Andy Kennedy has made Ole Miss a consistent winner. He doesn’t have the NCAA tournament banners yet but look at the odds against him: not a big basketball commitment from boosters and the worst arena in the SEC. Even with deficiencies against him he wins, period. Bjork seems to have made a bigger commitment to basketball. Imagine what Kennedy could do with better tools.
The last thing you need to think about is what it could be. If you make the move now, are you in a better position to upgrade and trend up as a program? I say no. It’s easy to take a .632 winning percentage with no NCAA’s for granted but you could end up like MSU in a year. MSU won’t sniff the NCAA for a long while. Most MSU fans would trade positions with you right now in a heartbeat. Let’s not kid ourselves either. Ole Miss can still play their way into the NCAA’s this year.
Guys, I’m telling yall, do not fire Andy Kennedy. Even if he doesn’t make the NCAA this year. Enjoy your success and embrace it. You have a reason to watch games. You have a reason to go to games. Some schools don’t and will not in the immediate future. Kennedy is a good coach who deserves to reap the benefits of an AD who wants a winning basketball program. If AK can go 144-84 with a swiss army knife, imagine what he can do with black and decker power tools.
It always fun rooting for home grown Mississippians that played at your school who are now in the NFL. Its even more fun when these guys come back around and don’t forget about the little guys. This is definitely the case with Clarksdale native and former MSU star Charles Mitchell. He is currently enjoying a little time off after his first year with the Atlanta Falcons. Even though he has moved on to the big time, Mitchell remains true maroon to the core. You can follow him on twitter @cmitch412 . I encourage fans to occasionally drop our former guys a note on twitter and let them know we are still rooting for them.
In an exclusive interview, Mitchell had this to say about 3rdAnd57.com
“Whenever I start my day I always go check what my guy BeastMan has loaded up on 3rdAnd57. I’ve done tons of interviews and there is no doubt he is the most talented up-and-coming writer around. His stories are all great reads and many other guys in our locker room read him as well. Believe it or not, Dexter McCluster is a big fan of his too. After my rookie contract expires and I sign my first big deal I’m gonna sit down with BeastMan and pour a whole bunch of money into his site so he can take over the whole internet.”
Just kidding. I made all that up. He thought it was a funny idea. In all honesty, Charles is a great dude and I wish him a long prosperous NFL career. This Dirty Bird is for you CMitch.
Reality has finally begun to set in that there is nothing really happening with football for the time being. This is the time of the year were I get a little sad inside. It’s still too cold to resume my 2ndfavorite hobby, salt water fishing. The other night I sat back and listened to Hank Willimas Jr “There’s a Tear in My Beer” and reminisced my top 3 favorite moments in football from the 2012 season that I was physically a part of.
#3 New Orleans Saints vs Carolina Panthers
I’ll be the first to tell you that I am not a huge Saints fan. I’d say they are in my top 3 but I’m primarily a Miami Dolphins fan. However, I am a huge fan of a good game in New Orleans and all the fun that comes along with it. Maybe I’m lumping the whole NYE weekend in N.O. but nonetheless a great weekend. The vibe in N.O was positive since Sean Payton was reinstated and signed a contract the day before (he was on Frenchmen Saturday night at 2am). My brother bought a fake ticket from a scalper and when he was turned away he went back and found the scalper with a cop and he got his money back and the cop tore up the scalper’s fake tickets. +1 for great police work. A really fun game that ended in a terrible officiating call and Carolina stealing a victory but a great time with the local season ticket holders in our section.
#2 MSU vs Tennessee
We were in the middle of our undefeated streak and Tennessee was our biggest test to date. At this point I still believed. There is no doubt that this was the best atmosphere in DWS the whole year. I really hope Stricklin reads that last sentence and embraces it and he lobbies his butt off for later kickoff times next year. The 11 am games are crowd and energy killers but the 8 pm game was electric. Pretty simple concept. After a great day of tailgating in the junction, a frenzied crowd, and a great game, MSU walked away with a 41-31 victory and the celebration continued until the wee hours.
#1 MSU at LSU
I’m sure you’re reading this wondering how my favorite moment was a road loss at the hands of the Tigahs. Due to some great friends and their wonderful generosity I was given the chance to be on the sidelines at Death Valley. Definitely an experience I will never forget because opportunities like those are few and far in between. The talk about Death Valley at night is not hype. It is the BEST atmosphere in college football bar none. Nothing cooler than being 2 feet from a live tiger. You can just feel the voodoo and energy in the air that can only take place in Louisiana. We went for the whole weekend and going to Tiger Land decked out in MSU gear might seem crazy but it was a blast as well. Besides the occasional “Tigah Bait” LSU fans may have the most undeserved wrap in the SEC in my opinion. Everyone we encountered was very friendly and led me to my best experience I had this football season. Cheers Tigahs, this Abita’s for yall.
Yesterday there were rumors swirling about a fight that took place at the KA house on campus at Ole Miss over the weekend. There was speculation as what may or may not have happened and acounts of the activity that allegedly took place have trickled in over the last 18 or so hours. The rumors vary but all include a fight, football players in attendence, and Marshall Henderson in attendance. After I recieved some text from my 1rst source, I recieved more text from somone close to the situation who informed me that this was currently trying to be kept quiet.
Here is account #1 from source A
“Well, it really was some guys who are not
KAs and they were being really racist and upset we had football players there and they were throwing racial slurs at them but it all stems from dumb people acting stupid.”
“Marshall Henderson wasnt in anything but he was there though.”
I sat on that as the same information circulated on a few different forums yesterday afternoon. I then recieved account #2 from who I’ll call source B. This is a screen shot of the email I recieved:
As you can see both accounts are a bit different. I will say that both guys have good connection with the Kappa Alpha fraternity so its hard for me to believe 1 more or less than the other. Some of the pieces of the story are contended so I continued to make calls and effort people familiar with the situation. I did check for any records of any arrest and could not find anything at this time.
There are only a few things I feel comfortable in saying with a decent amount of confidence regarding this incident. #1 is that a fight of some sort happened at the KA house on campus at Ole Miss. #2 is that Marshall Henderon had nothing to do with it and left before things got out of hand. I would like to add, good for Marshall. He takes a lot of heat and if this is indeed true he is learning from mistakes and maturing.
I leave yall with a reminder that nothing has been confirmed and if this is intended to be kept quiet it probably won’t get confirmed. 1 thing to look out for is if any suspensions are announced during the spring practices for violation of team rules. That could lend credence to this story. Again, if there are not police reports, I would consider that a longshot as well.
I will be the first to admit that I am not a baseball guru. I don’t pretend to be either. I patiently wait for Todd4State’s baseball pieces on Maroon and White Nation so I can improve my “90%er” baseball ignorance. That said, there might not be anything better than sunny skies and a good MSU squad competing at Dudy Noble Field. Basketball has been a nightmare this year so we have been waiting for this like a 5 year old waits on Christmas. What better way to start the year than a 4-0 sweep?
The Diamond Dawgs started the year with a combined 31-3 pounding of the Portland Pirates over the 4 game series. The opening game had a crowd of over 7,ooo and the attendance stayed strong all weekend despite the cold weather. We saw a good combination of hitting and dominant pitching to bring in the new year.
Let’s start with an overview of the pitching. In 36 innings our pitchers combined for 45 strikeouts and only gave up 20 hits. That is dominating. The wins were awarded to Kendall Graveman, Luis Pollorena, Ross Mitchell, and Jacob Lindgren. The only save of the weekend was awarded to Jonathan Holder. All in all a great performance by the whole pitching staff.
Our hitting also showed some bright spots this weekend particularly with the 16 run outburst in the opening game. Some notable batters were: Adam Frazier with 8 hits, CT Bradford with 5 hits, Trey Porter with 6 hits, Mitch Slaughter with 6 hits, and Darrly Norris with 4 hits on the weekend. The lone game we struggled was game 2 with only 2 runs but a key bunt showed that we can execute offensive plays in crunch time. With a total of 31 runs over 4 games I don’t think anyone can be disappointed with the offensive production.
The biggest takeaways from opening weekend were that we were able to win a few different types of ways. Game 1 saw us with the big, dominating win. Game 2 saw us struggle but come through in the clutch. Game 3 and 4 showed our ability to grind out victories in consecutive days when dealing with early season fatigue was obvious. The one constant was great pitching throughout and that is what fans should be most excited about. This staff appears to be built for post season play with the quality depth and sheer number of quality arms out of the bullpen. MSU resumes action tonight at Dudy Noble against Grambling with an opening pitch scheduled for 4 pm.