NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- There is an ancient Irish proverb that says, "The darkest hour is just before the dawn."
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Mississippi State football coaches know not to judge Rice by its conference affiliation. While mid-major and even some Southeastern Conference teams have tried to avoid getting into a battle in the trenches with MSU, Conference USA champion Rice (10-3) will try to win a physical battle when the teams face off at 3 p.m. Tuesday (ESPN) in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.
The Mississippi State men's basketball team spent the better part of its Southeastern Conference season waiting for something good to happen.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Some of the nation's best academic schools also are making an impact on big-time college football. Of the top 12 Football Bowl Subdivision programs with the lowest acceptance rates, nine of them have qualified for bowl games this year, while four have had double-digit win seasons.
STARKVILLE -- The numbers reflect the progress. In five key statistical categories -- scoring, scoring defense, shooting percentage, rebounding margin, and assist-to-turnover ratio -- the Mississippi State women's basketball team is significantly better than it was through 13 games last season.
Taylor McHargue is living the dream. The Rice fifth-year senior quarterback defines having it all. An athletic 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, McHargue is recognized by everybody on campus and is believed to have a bright future after he graduates.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State baseball coach John Cohen always used to frustrate his wife, Nelle, when he'd talk about winning a national championship.
Top 10 Mississippi State sports stories for 2013
STARKVILLE -- According to all physical and mental indicators, Nick James is taking full advantage of his redshirt opportunity.
LAS VEGAS -- The UNLV men's basketball team is starting to find its groove. Playing two games on the other side of the Las Vegas Strip from its campus, UNLV played perhaps its two best games of the season.
LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- The Mississippi State men's basketball team held its own against a massive, physical front line from South Florida. Leading the rebounding statistic and sparked by Gavin Ware's fourth double-double of the season, the Bulldogs beat the Bulls 71-66 in an opening-round game of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic Sunday night at the New Orleans Arena.
OXFORD -- Mercer point guard Langston Hall had a clean shot at the basket, but it was beyond the 3-point line at the top of the circle and two Ole Miss defenders were scrambling to make it an even tougher shot. Mercer coach Bob Hoffman wasn't concerned.
STARKVILLE -- LaDarius Perkins isn't just excited about having one more game to this college career. He's thrilled to have one rare healthy game to his senior year.
STARKVILLE - More cowbell resulted in more fines for Mississippi State athletics.
STARKVILLE -- "Dunk City" is false advertisement. The Mississippi State men's basketball team proved Florida Gulf Coast University's marketing campaign for its Sweet 16 team from last season is a falsehood, or at least it was Thursday night at Humphrey Coliseum.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State coach Rick Ray didn't rush Roquez Johnson back after he injured his left knee last week in a game against Southeastern Louisiana in Tupelo. Ray's patience with Johnson's recovery allowed the senior forward to provide 10 points and eight rebounds in 24 minutes Thursday night in a 68-55 victory against Florida Gulf Coast University.
STARKVILLE -- It's always good to have options.
Byerson Cockrell had been waiting for Wednesday his entire life.
STARKVILLE -- Thanks to his wife's chocolate chip cookies, Rick Ray now has two players with nicknames related to food.
STARKVILLE -- Tuesday night was the beginning of perception demolition at Humphrey Coliseum. Prior to a 78-65 victory against Florida A&M, the Mississippi State men's basketball team frustrated coach Rick Ray with its inability to do fundamental things. But reclamation commenced Tuesday, as MSU made free throws, moved the ball on offense, and created turnovers on defense.
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5. West Point routs Canton to advance to the Big House HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS