GREENVILLE -- While it took longer than they would have liked, the Columbus High School football team crashed into the win column in the region standings in a big way Friday night.
STARKVILLE -- In college football, there's no rest for the weary. But this week, there is rest for the No. 1 team in the country. One week after defeating No. 2 Auburn to complete the fastest rise from unranked to No. 1 in the history of The Associated Press poll, Mississippi State's football team will enjoy its second and final open date of the season Saturday in advance of six-straight games to close the year.
OXFORD -- Hugh Freeze's rapid renovation of Ole Miss football has been fueled by a persistent recruiting philosophy that is grounded in grass-roots relationships, a down-home personality and even a little bit of luck. The formula has helped the coach transform the Rebels from Southeastern Conference cellar-dwellers to the No. 3 team in the country in just three short years.
SENATOBIA -- When East Mississippi Community College hired Buddy Stephens as its football coach, a Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges North Division championship was a big deal. The Lions have advanced well past that type of championship. These days, state and national titles are the norm. Still, EMCC took time to celebrate Thursday night.
STARKVILLE - All Auburn needed was a yard. Will Redmond wasn't going to let that happen.
STARKVILLE -- Jerica James has appreciated the meaning of the word responsibility ever since she was a freshman.
STARKVILLE - Entering his third season as Mississippi States men's basketball coach, Rick Ray was blunt when asked about his team's prognosis for the 2014-15 season.
STARKVILLE -- Standing in the middle of the visitors' locker room at LSU's Tiger Stadium, Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen was a picture of confidence surrounded by his players seconds before taking the field. It was a pregame speech like most pregame speeches, aimed at rallying his players before a game against a team that hadn't lost to MSU in more than a decade.
STARKVILLE -- On Tuesday, the Southeastern Conference announced that the Mike Slive era, which began when Slive became the league commissioner in 2002, will end next summer. Slive, 74, will retire effective July 31, 2015, as he prepares to begin treatment for a recurrence of prostate cancer. His prognosis is good.
STARKVILLE -- For the second time in three weeks, Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen will get to do something rare with his Saturday afternoon. "I get to sit on my couch and play with my kids," Mullen said, "and that's awesome."
SCOOBA -- The state's best Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges North Division rivalry took an odd turn last season when EMCC defeated Northwest Mississippi C.C. 79-7 on the way to its second National Junior College Athletic Association national championship.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Even Alabama's No. 7 ranking can't conceal some chinks in the Alabama football team's armor that once seemed impenetrable. Special teams muffs, turnovers, and even problems running the ball have been among them. Coach Nick Saban can work on those issues, but he can't change the fact that a 14-13 victory against Arkansas causes more concern than celebration among his fan base.
STARKVILLE -- On the eve of his team starting fall practice, Mississippi State baseball coach John Cohen stood before the assembled media Monday afternoon and was asked for an opening statement. Naturally, as Cohen crafts his seventh edition of the Diamond Dawgs, he started the fall practice period by talking about MSU's No. 1-ranked football team.
STARKVILLE -- After two injury-plagued seasons that depleted his roster, Mississippi State men's basketball coach Rick Ray was dealt a pair of heavy blows as he prepares for his third season in Starkville. On Monday, MSU announced guard Craig Sword, MSU's leading scorer a year ago, will miss four to six weeks due to a back injury that will require surgery, while Johnny Zuppardo, a 6-foot-9 forward who transferred from Jones County Junior College, will miss the 2014-15 season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
OXFORD -- Playing as a top-five team for the first time, the Ole Miss football team passed a major test Saturday night in a 35-20 rout of then-No. 14 Texas A&M at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas. Coach Hugh Freeze and his Rebels will try to build on the momentum of back-to-back victories at 6 p.m. Saturday (ESPN) when they play host to Tennessee at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
STARKVILLE -- Through sly grins and rehearsed answers Saturday night, Mississippi State's football players downplayed talk of No. 3 MSU being named the No. 1 team in the country after a 38-23 victory against No. 2 Auburn at Davis Wade Stadium. By Sunday afternoon, those grins likely had turned into huge smiles.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- After all the frustrations of late, Nick Saban at least had his comic timing down pat. The Alabama coach, following a 14-13 victory against Arkansas and a second-straight game filled with turnovers and key penalties, had his deadpan response ready when asked about the reasons for the mistakes.
The Ole Miss football team's defense is forcing turnovers and scoring points. Safety Cody Prewitt said the unit is relentless and stingy. It's hard to argue with him after the defense helped No. 3 Ole Miss beat No. 14 Texas A&M 35-20 to improve to 6-0 for the first time since 1962.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Even after a week, Blake Sims wasn't quite ready to let go of the frustration from the shocking loss at Mississippi. The rest of the Alabama quarterback's teammates played as if they were still hung up on the loss as well for much of a 14-13 victory at Arkansas on Saturday night.
STARKVILLE -- After the victory lap, after the hug and kiss from his wife, after staring up at the scoreboard to let the final score sink in, Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen had two people he needed to see in the aftermath of his team's 38-23 victory against No. 2 Auburn on Saturday night.
1. Mississippi State's Offensive Keys vs. Kentucky COLLEGE SPORTS
2. Myles fills needed role without Lewis COLLEGE SPORTS
3. New Hope's Taylor excited about chance to play at Gulf Coast C.C. HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
4. Neshoba Central uses HRs to power past New Hope HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS