The summertime in sports provides one of the best opportunities for water cooler talk and playing out hypothetical scenarios in college football. The season is so far away, and deep inside, pretty much every sports fan wants to talk about football in some meaningful way. Yesterday, your friend and mine, cristilmethod, slapped up a post allowing readers to create their "ultimate" Mississippi State offense with a side of limited funds added into the process.
You guys did not disappoint on your reactions on twitter—follow us here—or on the site. Below are a few general thoughts from the dialogue and tweets that led to the thoughts.
1. If you make plays in rivalry games, people will always remember you.
Nothing in sports quite compares to true college football rivalries. Every installment causes anxiety, tension, anger, and unbridled joy in fans of the two squads competing. The games also allow a player, any player on the roster, to etch their name into history with a stirring performance.
In his time at quarterback in Starkville, Chris Relf did just that in the Battle for the Golden Egg. While Relf proved to be a good quarterback in general, he proved to be nearly unstoppable against Ole Miss. The fans have not forgotten.
@mstatesports can I write in Relf for 75 cents?— Jon Skelly Strong (@Jon_Skelly) June 19, 2014
@mstatesports relf should be on the list too. Didn't have great stats but won 3 eggs and 2 bowls. No other msu QB can say that— Nick Price (@nickprice32) June 19, 2014
Other players, such as Matt Wyatt, also hold special places in the hearts of Bulldog fans. Of course, if you engineer some exciting fourth quarter magic, that tends to happen.
@mstatesports can I take @MaroonWyatt as a walk-on for $0??— Eric May (@21_EASY_E) June 19, 2014
@mstatesports all $15 spent on @MaroonWyatt #gameover— Lee Tucker (@LTucker14) June 19, 2014
Without a doubt, it is pretty cool to see how legends and heroes of programs are made.
2. One has to wonder how much talent has been misused at Mississippi State over time.
Mississippi State has had its fair share of talented players come through Starkville. Some of those players have done fantastic things wearing the Maroon and White, and others have been a case of wondering what happened. The latter causes all of the gnashing of teeth among fans who felt they saw a player with tremendous talent never be put in the best situation for success.
As many fans know, some players just do not quite fit what the coach needs.
@mstatesports great list! But don't forget what Omar cld have been in a CDM O....— JMallard (@JMallard) June 20, 2014
Mississippi State football history has many such players. What if the Bulldogs had a pro-style offense with Tyler Russell? Odds are he would not have been available for one dollar. Could more have been done to take advantage of Wayne Madkin's overall athleticism and big arm?
Other times, fans realize when a player never quite lived up to his potential. Perhaps no player of the past fifteen or so years best exemplifies that than Dontae Walker. The über-talented back out of Clinton showed that he could be a near unstoppable force his freshman and sophomore years. Fans drooled over the potential in the backfield of Walker, Dicenzo Miller and Justin Griffith. Alas, different issues ate away at Walker, and he never lived up to his potential. However, his story is a great one when it comes to making mistakes and redemption.
@rstrickland90 @mstatesports Once, I was at a gas station after a game. Thought we saw Dante. He tripped over nothing. "Yeah, that's him"— Jeauxsef (@thejosephcraven) June 19, 2014
3. When it comes to coaching, Bulldog fans love Jackie Sherrill and Dan Mullen.
Out of all of the responses, only four people did not pick either Jackie Sherrill or Dan Mullen to coach the Bulldogs. Two of those four selected W.D. Chadwick, and the other two selected Ralph Sasse. Interestingly enough, no one picked the only coach to lead Mississippi State to an SEC championship, Allyn McKeen.
While the fact McKeen did not make a list makes for an interesting fact, Sherrill, the man who stands next to McKeen in the debate over who was the best football coach ever at Mississippi State, drew some interesting thoughts from the readers.
@mstatesports Sherrill could make better use of Russell's arm. Moulds deep, Ballard for quick dumps, and JJ to just run over people.— Stu Martin (@knoxDawgStu) June 19, 2014
@mstatesports Jackie Sherrill gets all 20 players & claims it only cost him $15— Name Taken Try Again (@RednckTruckrHat) June 19, 2014
Finally, the man who may very well one day go down as the best coach at Mississippi State drew plenty of love as well.
@mstatesports give me Dan Mullen and you pick the rest and he will make it work— Jarmel Lewis (@LewisMsu19) June 19, 2014
4. We might as well laugh at some things because really thinking what if might make us cry.
@mstatesports if we had more than $15 we might be able to afford Cam Newton...— John Stuart (@theJohnStuart) June 19, 2014
@mstatesports I'll take Sparky Woods, Woody McCorvey, Croom, fat Dante Walker, and therapy please— Ryan Strickland (@rstrickland90) June 19, 2014
@mstatesports You left some out. Here is my list. QB: Mike Henig RB: Dontae Walker WR: Co-Eric Riley AP: Blake McAdams Coach: Arthur Morton— Ratt Stevens (@RattStevens) June 19, 2014
Thanks for playing along, and keep the teams coming.