This game is getting a lot of press coverage this week. The story line is the #1 (barely) Florida Gators going on the road, to a place where they are 0-4 in recent years to face a team whose head coach is their old offensive coordinator. The game otherwise would have not been selected as the primetime ESPN game and would also not be getting coverage from the likes of the New York Times.
Here are a few stories from around the web today not written by someone that normally covers Mississippi State.
The New York Times talks about Dan Mullen and how he got to Starkville after winning a national championship with the Florida Gators.
When Mullen, 37, was hired by Mississippi State last year after spending four seasons as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Florida, he traded the Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow for a walk-on quarterback and went to a university with essentially half the athletic budget ($41 million compared with $89 million) and football budget (less than $8 million compared with $15.8 million).
But as Mississippi State has shown pluck and promise by starting 3-4 in Mullen’s rookie year, he has embraced his new home on the other side of the SEC’s financial tracks.
"Maybe people would wonder why you come here, but when I did the research and looked at the talent within a five-hour radius, the vision of the athletic director and a new president, I felt like we could build a winning program here," Mullen said.
The story goes on to talk about how Mullen got to work right away, building his staff and filling gaps in the roster.
In the Sunshine State, The Gainsville Sun has a good article on the transformation of Starkville in recent years from worst college town in the SEC to a bit of a hidden gem.
A decade ago, locals joked that someone could hit a golf ball down Main Street after 5 p.m. and not hit a car. Home to Mississippi State, the town of about 26,000 residents wasn't what many expected from a university community.
The town had four bars for college students and a strained town-gown relationship.
In a decade or so, the community has developed into one of the more progressive communities in Mississippi, leading community initiatives such as free curbside recycling and being the first city in the state to ban public smoking.