As of right this minute, the ol' countdown clock for Mississippi State v. Memphis is at 3 days, 5 hours and 9 minutes. Thursday can't come soon enough. But in the meantime...links. The lunch time version.
Our fearless leader, The Bruce Dickinson, posted a blurb earlier but please check out Kyle Veazey's article on the cultural shift our fan base is taking. I'm not there yet (decades of losing will do that) but it's amazing what can happen when the athletic department, coaches, and fan base are all on the same page.
The way the 41-year-old Mississippi State athletic director sees it, his alma mater, circa 2011, has a new attitude.
"It's gratifying to see kind of this belief that, if you took away some of the glass ceilings that are out there, and some of the preconceptions about what a place is or isn't, and you say 'What if we think we could do anything, what could happen?'" Stricklin said. "It's pretty neat to see pretty cool things happen."
So, instead of pushing the Tigers - a heavy underdog against the Bulldogs - aside shortly after the season opener, Mullen will wake up early Friday morning, grab his phone and reach out to Porter, an acquaintance during their days recruiting players at Florida and LSU, respectively.
"I think he's doing a great job," Mullen said. "I competed against him for years when we were assistant coaches, so I have a lot of respect for him. He's a very intense guy and I know they're recruiting and trying to get their players in there that believe in what they do."
On the injury front? State fans, media members, and of course Memphis, will have to wait until Thursday night to see who is hurt and who is ready to play. The only player I would anticipate missing snaps would be Ricco Sanders due to an apparent leg injury. His status is unknown at the moment but there is a still a chance he will not see action.
Boyd and Cox hope to become the linchpins for a defensive line with some concerns. Defensive end Pernell McPhee, surprising coaches as a rookie with the Baltimore Ravens, demanded double teams and opened lanes for the tackles and linebackers last season for MSU.
"We need to see a lot of better things," MSU coach Dan Mullen said. "I don't even think (Cox) was an all-SEC player last year. We expect him to be that. His level of play, intensity and everything has to go up to a whole new level."
6. Mississippi State: This set of Bulldogs has been a popular dark horse pick in the West. The offense is loaded and has depth for days at the skill positions. Three starting linebackers have to be replaced, but Mississippi’s State’s secondary is as athletic as any defensive backfield and should regularly frustrate opposing quarterbacks this fall.
Fan day has become a staple for preseason football at Mississippi State and on Saturday thousand's flocked to the Palmeiro Center to meet their favorite players and coaches. MSU athletic director Scott Stricklin sees the day as a great way to bring the athletes closer to the fans.
"Our coaches and players are put on a pedestal by the fans, but they are real people," said Stricklin. "This (fan day) gives this fans a chance to interact with the players and see their personalities, get pictures taken. get autographs and create great memories for them and the players."
Here's a photo gallery of fan day. Aww, look at Bully! So cute.