Before we talk about the game we love, football, let us first take a minute to say thanks for something truly important to us all. Yesterday was Veterans Day, an important holiday in America honoring all of those who have served and are serving in the Armed Forces, ensuring our freedom here in this great country. No matter which team you root for, no matter where you are from, I hope you took a minute to stop yesterday and thank a veteran, or to reflect on just how lucky we are that there are those who are willing to make that commitment so that we may all live safely in this great country. To all of you who serve in a branch of the military and read this blog, I want to sincerely say thank you. Often we idolize and give hero status to those who play on a football field, but you guys are the real heroes. Thank you, very much.
Now, let's talk a little football (and basketball!). I know this weekend's result wasn't what we wanted. I know that the 37-17 loss to LSU pushed our losing streak to three games, and that it has caused many on a national scale to cast us off. But all of that is fine and good. The fact remains that this team faced three of the top ten teams in the country in the past three weeks, and was simply outplayed by the better team in all three games. There's no reason for any State fan to hang your heads, nor should we give up on this season and what it can give us. Just stop and think: with two wins in the last two games, this team will be 9-3, a vast improvement from last season, and probably headed to a New Year's Day (or possibly eve) bowl game. I don't know about you, but that sounds like a pretty good season to me. Now let's take a look at last weekend's LSU game, the upcoming Arkansas game, Friday's tough start for the Rick Ray era, and all the rest of today's MSU News and Notes:
- Lost in the shuffle of another difficult defeat Saturday night was Tyler Russell's record setting game. With his touchdown pass to Chad Bumphis in the 3rd quarter, Russell became MSU's all-time record holder for touchdown passes in a single season. We knew that this record being broken by Tyler was inevitable, but it's nice to see it come to fruition for the talented quarterback out of Meridian. As I touched on in that post, Russell may not be done breaking records this season as well. Congrats to Tyler, this is a well deserved accolade.
- AYEYOWADUP, Arkansas. Yes, there is more football to be played this season, as the final two games get kicked off with a visit this weekend from the Arkansas Razorbacks. If you want to think that our season has been disappointing, take a look at the Razorbacks, who are definitely having a worse season than we. Not only have they lost 6 ballgames out of 10, they also are in the midst of a coaching search, and frankly are just looking to finish up the current season. Make no mistake though, this offense isn't to be taken lightly, as Tyler Wilson and company can still rack up yards and points. FYI: If you are looking for good Arkansas material to read this week, I can think of no better place than Arkansas Expats - SBNation's Arkansas Razorbacks blog. Doc Harper and company do a great job covering the 'backs, so go check them out. Also, you should definitely check out their head coaching candidate tracker.
- In case you are an
degenerate gamblerinterested party who keeps up with odds, spreads, and the like, Mississippi State opened up in yesterday's betting as a 7 point favorite over the Razorbacks. That's about on par with what I expected, and I know there are many State fans nervous about this game, yet hopeful that State can win and get back on track Saturday.
- Lost in the mix of another football weekend was the debut of the Rick Ray era at Mississippi State. Despite a strong push late in the game and a good game from Jalen Steele, MSU fell just short in its season opener, falling 56-53 to the Troy Trojans on Friday night. Still, the fact that State made such a push late proves that this team will have some fight this season, even if it doesn't always show in the win column. Steele led all scorers with 16, while Trivante Bloodman and Gavin Ware joined him in the double digit scorers club with 11 and 10, respectively.
- In case you came by the blog Friday night or Saturday and were like THESE BOYS SPOSED TO BE COVERING B-BALL N SUCH, I promise you, we will be. Busy schedules and the end of football season kept us from providing much coverage for the game Friday, but I can assure you, that won't happen the rest of the way. We plan to provide everything we can to you guys - open threads, game recap/reactions, weekly posts, funnies, and everything else you expect from us. But, since we missed on the first game, and I am the manager, I will punish myself by watching the replay of the 2008 LSU game and OH MY GOSH THE INTERCEPTIONS ARE EVERYWHERE.
- In case you didn't hear, there was kind of a big deal loss in Tuscaloosa this weekend, as the SEC newcomers - the Texas A&M Aggies - waltzed in and defeated Alabama 29-24. As you can imagine, this caused quite a shakeup in the BCS, as Alabama fell from its top spot to the #4 position. Kansas State took over the top spot, while Oregon and Notre Dame followed behind at #2 and #3. The SEC owns 6 of the top 12 spots in the BCS this week, as Texas A&M moves into the top 10 at number 8 following their huge win. MSU did fall out of the BCS rankings after our loss, but, you know, whatevz.
- This is the best .GIF summing up Saturday's outcome in Tuscaloosa, and it ain't even close y'all.
- First it was Joker Phillips that was fired, and then last week came reports that Gene Chizik is near his exit at Auburn. Now we have reports from several Tennessee news outlets that Derek Dooley is nearing his exit in Knoxville as well, as the Vols disappointing season took another hit Saturday with a 51-48 4OT loss to a down Missouri team at home.
That's it for today's News and Notes, folks. Have a great Monday, and Hail State.
MONDAY MORNING BONUS VIDEO IS ALL MOODY AND STUFF:
Alice In Chains Down In A Hole Unplugged HD Video Lyrics in Closed Captions (via ggirl4evr)