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Hits and Misses: Looking at the Mississippi State Take Over of the SEC Network

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The Maroon and White takeover of the SEC network put together some solid programing, but it had a few misses as well.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The idea of having all of the SEC schools take over the SEC Network for a day this summer has proven to be a solid one. Fans, even those who pull for different schools, can get sucked into watching great games featuring two teams that are not their own, and the Mississippi State take over features games that Bulldog fans and sports fans will enjoy.

One of the things I found best is that MSU's women's sports got a fair amount of air time during the takeover.  Both Mississippi State softball and women's basketball are programs on the rise, and the extra air time for both programs will only help benefit both of them.  Along the lines of basketball, the selection of the 2004 victory over Alabama had to be included, and it was good to see that it was.  That game was pure awesome.

The takeover kicked off the right way with the 1999 Egg Bowl. In a season full of excitement, that Mississippi State victory provide more excitement than any other contest that season.  The Rebels looked to have that game salted away, but at the end of the day, the Bulldogs found a victory.  The other three chosen football games, the 2014 victories over LSU, Texas A&M and Auburn, make for great selections as well. Given that much of the day's programming focuses on the Bulldogs' run to No. 1, all three of these game needed to be shown.  In isolation, I could see the argument for pulling the victory over the Aggies.

Sticking with football, we come to our first miss of the programming.  Unless it was because of contractual issues with it having been a CBS game, which would not make sense, since the 2014 victory over Auburn will air, the victory over Florida in 2000 should have been part of the take over.  Pick up that game, and the four most electric home games in Mississippi State history are included in the programming.  The omission of this game is a glaring one.

It is not like there were not a few things that could have been replaced to make room for the game.  For starters, why in the world is their duplicate programming on during the 24 hours? The Best of Relentless will air twice during the takeover. That's 90 minutes of programing gone. Well, it turns out the show is airing twice to help promote a new show beginning in the fall.

The other major miss of the programming is the airing of too many documentaries.  There are five non-action shows, six if you count duplicates, that air during the 24 hours.  That is just too many as it counts as over a quarter of the TV time.  Not airing ESPN Storied: Thunder and Lightning would have been acceptable. Removing it and the duplicate show would have allowed one more game to have been aired.

In all, the only game being aired that might not should have been was the Mississippi State victory over Vanderbilt in the 2012 SEC tournament.  While it was great to see the Bulldogs capture their first SEC tournament crown in years with that victory, baseball, at least to me, does not provide much entertainment if the outcome is known.  One thing that adds suspense to baseball is the fact that a game does not end until a team records 27 outs and holds the lead.  We have all seen enough games with dramatic comebacks to always have a little bit of a doubt in our minds about if a game is really over until it is over. That drama is gone in this re-airing.