Mississippi State's game with the Kentucky Wildcats this fall will take place on a Thursday night and be televised nationally by ESPN, the school announced in a release today. The move was actually tipped waaay back in October by former MSU quarterback and current Head to Head radio co-host and MSU football color man Matt Wyatt.
The MSU schedule is finally set, and looks like this, for those who don't remember from way back last fall:
|Oklahoma State||Houston, Texas (Reliant Stadium)||August 31, 2013|
|Alcorn State||Starkville, Mississippi||September 7, 2013|
|Auburn||Auburn, Alabama||September 14, 2013|
|Troy||Starkville, Mississippi||September 21, 2013|
|BYE WEEK||September 28, 2013|
|LSU||Starkville, Mississippi||October 5, 2013|
|Bowling Green||Starkville, Mississippi||October 12, 2013|
|BYE WEEK||October 19, 2013|
|Kentucky (Thurs)||Starkville, Mississippi||October 24, 2013|
|South Carolina||Columbia, South Carolina||November 2, 2013|
|Texas A&M||College Station, Texas
||November 9, 2013|
|Alabama||Starkville, Mississippi||November 16, 2013|
|Arkansas||Little Rock, Arkansas
||November 23, 2013|
||Starkville, Mississippi||November 30, 2013|
I know that the school didn't have much of a say in the matter -- the scheduling most likely was handed down by the SEC and/or ESPN to fit the TV lineup -- but I hate the Thursday night game. As a now living-out-of-town fan, it stinks, because you are essentially taking off two days -- one for the game on Thursday, and one on Friday, because you don't really want to have to make the drive back to work one day on Friday, and after a late night tailgating and drinking six packs of b....soda.
There isn't much use in my complaining or anyone else's, however, because the game is when it is (DennisGreen'd, sorta). But, like I saw many allude to on Twitter today following the announcement, you never want to give up a home SEC Saturday ballgame for a Thursday night one. Even if it is one of the 1,000,000 noon home kickoffs that we were graced with last year. Nevertheless, the game is on Thursday, and hopefully there will be a good turnout.
I am intrigued by this game for sure. Kentucky hasn't had a good team for quite some time, but they've made some noise already since hiring Mark Stoops last year. They had a ultra-successfull recruiting cycle, including taking 4-star DE Za'Darius Smith from right under MSU's nose. I think Stoops could really have some success there, but it will be hard to gauge how long the process will take truly until they hit the field this fall. I know he's got a talented young quarterback to built around in Patrick Towles. Should be an interesting game for sure.
I was thinking about this today -- wasn't the last time we played Kentucky on a Thursday night at home this memorable game in 1999 featuring the Matt Wyatt two minute drill?
Mississippi State vs Kentucky, 1999 2-minute drill comeback to go to 8-0 (via thesportsdrive)
It may not be the last time, but it was the last time I could remember. NOTE: my memory is really terrible, so tell me if I'm wrong.
The good out of the Thursday matchup is that gives MSU two extra days to rest and prepare for the nightmare fuel that is Jadaveon Clowney and South Carolina. That two game stretch following the Kentucky game on Thursday is very tough, and could be pivotal to MSU's season. Depending on how South Carolina's season is going at that point, that may be one of the toughest three-game stretches for anyone in 2013 -- having to make those two road trips back to back, only to come home finally and be rewarded with a game against the defending national champs (who will be reloaded yet again).
SEC football -- you got to love it.