Starkville, Mississippi. The home of cowbells, Jerry Rice, and, of course, college football. Starkvegas, as it is affectionately nicknamed, is home to around 25,000 people, but now it will have a new resident. The relevance of football in the state now calls Davis Wade its home. As news broke Thursday night of the resignation of Hugh Freeze, the college football world exploded. The end of Freeze’s tenure, also became the end of something much more. It was likely the end of Golden Era in Mississippi football.
While there was much celebration in Starkville, and on Twitter, there is actually the downfall of losing competition. The state will lose revenue, in more ways than one, and more importantly it could hurt development of football in the state. Of course, there is reason to believe it could do just the opposite.
With the other program unlikely to be competitive for, at the least, this season, it makes this season much more crucial for the future of the program. In order to keep relevance in the state, the Dawgs have to continue to be successful in order to continue the rise of football in the state and to keep the top players in Mississippi. Allowing top players to go out of state, hurts development in a state that is beginning to be a hotbed for recruiting.
...but with the #1 corner in Mississippi, Jaylon Reed, committing to Mississippi State a few days ago, the future is already starting to look good in Maroon and White. After all, Reed is joining a class that is top 5 in the SEC, and ranked 23rd nationally. The Class of ‘18 is likely to pick up even more momentum with an entire season still to play
Typically, the top players are split between the two, much like Reed, who considered that other program, but announced his commitment just hours after the Freeze Scandal broke. This often keeps the teams mostly level in terms of in-state recruiting. But while the other program continues its spiral downward, the Bulldogs will most likely nab more top players consistently. The other school is dealing with players transferring, sanctions lingering, and no head coach... so it is reasonable to say there is a gap already beginning to grow between the programs. With the added boost of getting more talent, that gap will only continue to grow.
Momentum is on the upswing, and if recruiting can join the swing, the future will consist of Mississippi State being the only legitimate contender in Mississippi. A strong push this season can leave Ole Miss as a bottom dweller in the West, at the least, for a good number of years. All that is left now is to wrap Mississippi in Maroon and White.