Wow, what a weekend. Not only did State get back in the winning swing of things, but college football's race for the BCS championship was again turned on its head. Oh, and all of the SEC haters were again silenced, which is always great. There's a lot to talk about after this weekend and heading into this week, so let's get down to it! Here's today's MSU News and Notes:
- What a game Saturday by Mississippi State. After three straight losses to top 10 teams, State was able to get back on track, and in a big way, by beating Arkansas like a drum 45-14 Saturday. There was a little bit there in the first half when I worried that State's losing streak would continue, but both the Bulldog offense and defense settled in, pushing a close game to a blowout early in the second half, and never looking back. There were so many story lines Saturday: MSU breaking the streak, senior day for Cam Lawrence, Johnthan Banks, Bumphis, and others, as well as the tribute to Nick Bell, who would have had his senior day Saturday.
- I did not make it into the game Saturday, but I was told that the tribute video for Nick Bell was great. We will try to find a copy of that for you guys and girls this week. If you know where we can find one, please let me know.
- In addition to turning in another outstanding game (he finished 19-32 for 274 yards and 4 TDs) Saturday, Tyler Russell continued his record breaking ways on Saturday, breaking the MSU all-time record for passing yards in a season. Russell, who now stands at 2,523 yards on the year, finally broke the 1978 record set by Dave Marler, which stood at 2,422 yards for nearly 35 years. And Russell isn't done for the season, as he has two games left to extend the records he has broken this year. Expect him to hold pretty much all of them by the time he walks off of campus next fall. We will talk more about his records and other records broken this weekend in State's big win later this week on the blog.
- In case you missed it Saturday, here's our Quick Hits for Saturday's win. You can also catch great recaps from Brandon Marcello, Bob Carskadon, and Brad Locke.
- Despite re-entering the top 25 polls yesterday, State was unable to climb back into the BCS yesterday, as the Bulldogs apparently fell just outside the new rankings. Oklahoma State and Washington anchored the 24 and 25 spots in the BCS, and Texas Tech, despite a 59(!)-21 loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday, was ranked ahead of the Cowboys as well as State, which is, well, dumb.
- Bowl projections! Basically since week 7 or 8 State's bowl projections haven't changed a bit, and that didn't change this week either. State is still projected to go to the Gator Bowl by CBS, ESPN, and SBNation, with the only variation being who they are projected to play (CBS has Minnesota, ESPN has Northwestern, and SBNation has Northwestern as well).
- After throttling Arkansas Saturday, State re-entered both the AP and Coaches' Polls, climbing to 25 and 24, respectively.
- In case you forgot (you didn't), today starts Egg Bowl Week 2012. The odds for this year's Egg Bowl were released yesterday, as the Bulldogs and Rebels opened as a pick 'em game. Since then, however, Ole Miss has moved to a 1 - point favorite on BetOnline, while State has been favored by 1 by other betting services. That line will probably stay around pick 'em all week, as this game really will be a toss up, and will be bet as such as well.
- I don't know about you, but I HATE Ole Miss. We will get a chance to chat about that.... later today as a matter of fact.
- MSU's men's basketball team will battle the #11 North Carolina Tar Heels in tonight's Maui Invitational game. #PRAY4MSUHOOPS. Also: UNC is a 17 point favorite in the game, according to BetOnline.
- So, you know the famous trees on the campus of Auburn University, Toomer's Corner, right? Well, apparently they "mysteriously" caught on fire Saturday night after Auburn's win over Alabama A&M. The fired department was able to put it out before extensive damage occurred, but you can tell from the pictures in that link that some charring did occur. There has been no confirmation that Gene Chizik set the blaze on his way out of town Saturday after getting fired, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen that way. Also, that fire was basically a metaphor for Chizik's time on the plains. I have so many fire/Chizik jokes, y'all.
- Want to have your own brick included in the new north endzone expansion? Check out the details here.
- For those of you going to next football season's season opener in Houston against Oklahoma State, this is important:
- The Les Miles press conference following the LSU win over Ole Miss Saturday is worth your time. Definitely.
- Arkansas fans want John Gruden, BADLY.
- Another coach has been given his walking papers in college football, as Derek Dooley is relieved of his duties after a horrendous 41-18 loss to Vanderbilt Saturday. This move was inevitable, it wasn't just due to the blowout loss to a rival, but that did appear to speed up the decision. I will forewarn State fans: even in a small amount, expect to hear "Mullen to UT" rumors, even if only a few spring up. His name will probably pop up for all major jobs from now until the time that he actually does leave.
- This will be the last nice thing I say about Ole Miss this week, but I feel I must share this with you. Despite their record and their most recent loss, this is not the bad Ole Miss team we have seen in the last two seasons. Hugh Freeze has done a solid job rejuvenating the program in Oxford, and Saturday will not be easy for MSU to extend the Egg bowl streak to 4. I feel like many State fans think this is an easy win as has been the usual in the last couple of seasons, but I doubt it will be. Rest assured, if State doesn't come with its A game Saturday, things could get ugly. Here's to hoping that they do not. Okay, I'm glad I got that out of the way. COMMENCE OLE MISS HATE.
- Brad Keselowski wins NASCAR, then gives the most NASCAR interview ever post-race.
- In case you have not heard, the latest conference realignment scuttlebutt is Maryland and Rutgers to the Big Ten. I thought this was a huge joke when I first saw it. Apparently not.
That's it for today's News and Notes folks. Hope you have a great Monday, and don't forget to say GTHOM today!
BONUS MONDAY SUCKS VIDEO:
Blur - Song 2 (via emimusic)