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MSU Mailbag: Bowl games and overtimes, SEC battle royale and more

 

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Not long until we find out for sure where Mississippi State is going for a bowl game, but there's still stuff on y'alls mind, and I love you for it. 

 

- On the subject of bowl games, let's start with on on that subject from Daniel Montgomery (@dalemo830) -- Will this bowl season finally produce the first 8 OT game? Or is that asking too much from the football gods? 

 

You know what, I hope it does, and I hope it's one of those early bowl games. Like those weeknight bowl games when a MAC team faces a Sun Belt team, so it becomes this epic clash that the entire college football universe is locked into, and I hope that to be the case because it will be another bullet in the chamber of my gun pointed at the Play Fewer Bowl Games take. 

 

Let me tell you why I can't be friends with people who think there are too many bowl games: you're taking college football out of the season. We spend a grueling eight months waiting for this -- the longest offseason in major American sports, mind you -- for these blissful 14 weeks and a little fun after that. And you, Mr. Too Many Bowl Games Guy, want to take that extra fun at the end and cut it in half, maybe more? Absolutely not. 

 

If you don't take part in those early bowl games, that's perfectly within your right (even if I think you're wrong), but the numbers prove that people watch these games and we like every second of college football we can get our hands off. You get your dirty paws off of it. 

 

- Since that question was inspired by the madness that was LSU at Texas A&M, let's stay on that subject. @10RobertWilliam with his usual double barrel question. 1) Pre-email, how did beat reporters send their articles to their paper in time if they were on the road for a road game? 2) Where does LSU-A&M rank in terms of absolutely wild games you've seen (assuming you were watching)? 3) Thoughts on the lack of major HC firings around the country *so far*? 

 

1) Obviously my age (26) keeps me from knowing too much about the daily duties, but I can answer that bit about road games pretty well. 

 

A lot of press boxes that were built a while ago and haven't taken on a serious rewiring still have phone lines available at nearly every seat; I think you can see where I'm going with this. Back in those days, sportswriters had to call their office, get an employee on the phone and dictate their story to them. 

 

Story time! I actually witnessed this happen once. I was in my first job, with The Post-Star in Glens Falls, New York, we had a high school writer out at some event far away and he had some disastrous technological failure. It was abundantly clear that he would not be able to file his story via email. This was also a sports department that everyone chipped in on layout duties on a given night; it was pretty common for us to go cover a game, drive back to the office, write the story and then chip in on the last hour and a half of layout stuff, but this was pretty clearly not possible for him given his distance. 

 

So the sports editor, shoutout to Greg Brownell, quickly distributed some layout duties to those of us at his disposal so he could get on the phone with this writer and they could do this the old-fashioned way. It was pretty interesting to hear the editing process happen as someone was writing that story live -- how Greg would pitch a different way to word something that was better, or how he would say a sentence needs a detail just for the writer to have that detail in his next sentence. 

 

Anyway, that's how it happened, and boy let me tell you I am thrilled that's not how it's done now. 

 

2) He put that caveat in there to compensate for time between asking the question and the question being answered, but really, he's still right. Here's the list of schools that have fired their coach: Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Charlotte, Colorado, Kansas, Louisville, Maryland, UMass, North Carolina, Texas State, Texas Tech and Western Kentucky. Not exactly the kind of list that really turns college football upside down. 

 

Only adding to this is some of the strange hires we've seen. Often the link here is Power 5 job takes Group of 5 coach, Group of 5 schools takes Power 5 coordinator and Power 5 program goes searching, thus three levels of coaching search. Take note that on that list of fired coaches above, only six are Power 5 jobs; two of those jobs went off the grid with Les Miles and Mack Brown. 

 

No coaching circle fallout from those moves, so I guess it shapes up to be a calm year on the carousel this year -- which means next year will be insane. Hi there, USC. 

 

- We've got a couple of Egg Bowl questions, so let's hit those. First, a two-parter from @Wesley_Johnson -- 1) You think the guys that were "publicly reprimanded" are gonna get some sort of certificate to frame? 2) Battle Royale, Hell in a Cell style. Sankey-Bjork-Cohen. Sankey has a kettlebell from Crossfit, Cohen has a bat and Bjork has something similar. 

 

1) How incredible would that be? If I were inside MSU's football program, that's exactly what I would do. I would craft some fake certificate that looks like it came from the SEC, issuing a reprimand for their conduct during the Egg Bowl, have them framed and give them to every player as a Christmas present. Naturally that certificate would have to include some jab at Ole Miss or a play on the 35-3 final score, but I'll leave that exact joke to someone more creative that me. 

 

Let the record show, if a school ever hires me to a position within their football program, this is what your tax dollars are going to, ladies and gents: jokes. If you can't sign off on that then you should just find something other than college athletics to invest your time in. 

 

2) John Cohen in an absolute bloodbath. I've long thought this and the story from The Athletic a couple of weeks ago that spoke to college football coaches about the toughest coach in the nation confirmed it, as one coach said: You don't want to fight crazy. And if anyone in that group has proven to have a wild streak to him when the moment requires it -- like in a baseball game, for instance -- John Cohen is absolutely that guy. 

 

I also know for a fact Cohen does his best to stay in shape, getting it in whenever he can. We also know Greg Sankey does the same thanks to his Crossfitting, but let's be real: the baseball bat is a far superior weapon to the kettlebell. Taking a flying kettlebell to the ribs would be incredibly painful, but so will being hit in the head with a baseball bat before you can let that kettlebell go. 

 

Winner: John Cohen. 

 

- Alright, let's open Pandora's box with a question from @BearionLedger -- Who won the battle for the Golden Egg and what was the final score? Oh yeah, what do the initials GTHom stand for? 

 

My notes show Mississippi State University got the best of the University of Mississippi in a contest of interscholastic American football on America's day of giving thanks. The visiting team mustered 35 points while the home squad scored 3. The home squad's season ended that day but the winner's season got to continue, and I have come to understand that this is not a knockout stage kind of situation where both seasons met that fate because of the result of this game. I'll have to do more research on that and report back to you. 

 

I have come up with a few possible explanations for that GTHom acronym. They are: Gary the Hammer, oh my!, a reference to former Mississippi State baseball coach Gary Henderson; Generate the Heck Outta Money, a strange but also on-brand mantra for businesses to follow; Get the Harmony on Me, a very strange way for a chorus leader to assert control of his/her group, but that's none of my business; and Grate the Havarti on Macaroni, a perfect way to add another cheese to your macaroni and cheese. 

 

- And finally, @lounge_dawg wants to know: If State doesn't get a Florida bowl should we riot? 

 

I'm down for spending a few days in Tampa or Orlando in December, but let me tell y'all, Charlotte and Nashville are more attractive destinations for me than Jacksonville. 

 

Give me Tampa, give me Charlotte, give me Nashville, give me Houston or give me death, that's what I say. Sure, there is a certain cache to playing in a Florida bowl game around the turn of the year, but let's be real, this season doesn't need a Florida bowl game to validate the whole venture. The only thing that will validate a team with this talent level going 8-4 is the future success, that in 2020 and 2021. This bowl game is just one more chance to watch Montez Sweat and Mark McLaurin and Johnathan Abram and (probably) Jeffery Simmons in the maroon and white. 

 

Basically, what I'm asking you to do is riot for me. Not against me, I know y'all will do that in a heartbeat. Riot *for* me. Can y'all handle that? 

 

Follow Dispatch sports writer Brett Hudson on Twitter @Brett_Hudson

 

 

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