October 4, 2018 8:03:14 AM
You know what guys, things are a little down in the dumps in Starkville right now. Some of you were so blatant to ask for pick-me-ups here in the Mailbag, so let's do that for everyone's benefit before we get to the other stuff.
- Cameron Crawford (@crawford_cam95) -- Could you please use an Office reference to try and make me feel better about this team?
Of course I can. I was basically born for this moment.
You know how The Office takes two-plus seasons to truly nail the Jim-Dwight dynamic? But when they get there, magic happens? That's where the MSU offense is right now. You know how they continually give us more Creed as they figure how much Creed they can work in without killing the bit by giving us too much Creed? That's where MSU's offense is right now.
It's working some things out, it's finding the perfect balance of ingredients to be at its best. And when it reaches that, it's going to sing.
- @Wesley_Johnson -- How do you win a football game? Will it ever happen? Be succinct. Simple YES is what I want to hear.
Now, to your question about how one wins a football game. This is a simple endeavor: one simply has to score more points than its opposition. You could even win a football game while only scoring three points, as long as you hold your opponent to something fewer than that, say, 2 points. 3 and 2. What a random number combination to assign to a hypothetical game between Auburn and Mississippi State.
- @jk_no_kidding -- Does heartbreak ever end? Is there still hope? Talking about football. Not my love life.....not my love life.....okay maybe I'm talking about my love life.
What is hope if not the desire for better? As long as we can have it better, there can be hope, and as far as I'm concerned, society is not perfect until Chick Fil A decided to sell breakfast all day. So at least until that happens, there is always hope.
And I can confidently say the same thing about your love life, Person I Don't Know: if I of all people can have a hot wife at home, all things are possible. (Besides, look at our identity, Mr. Just Kidding But Also Not Kidding. Who isn't signing up to hang with such a determined, decisive man?)
- I'm gonna play counselor one last time. Jackson TV extraordinaire, your favorite sports broadcaster's favorite sports broadcaster, Rachel Richlinski, welcome to the Mailbag. @RachRichlinski asks -- How do I get @tylerbouldin (her boyfriend) to like me again?
Believe it or not, Tyler and I were actually talking about this recently. He's starting to believe you could be a more generous person, and he wants you to prove your progress to him by giving me gift cards to restaurants and occasionally just some stone cold cash. Between you and I, Rachel, yeah, it's kind of a weird request, but I'm just passing the message along. Just trying to help.
- Alright, this is technically a website that contains sports journalism, so let's do the sports stuff now. And we start that with a changeup: How about a basketball question in the first week of October? @DawgAtAuburn asks -- How do you think Howland will distribute minutes in the frontcourt?
This question was much easier to answer before Wednesday: which is weird to say because Ben Howland had a press conference, thus an opportunity to learn about what's going on, but this isn't about that. This is about Lamar Peters.
Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports is reporting on the court proceedings around the FBI investigation into college basketball and he tweeted Wednesday part of those revelations was a, "proposed $2,500 per month for Lamar Peters." There have been plenty of situations in this entire mess in which long-term eligibility was not impacted -- Collin Sexton plays all season for Alabama, after all -- but it's still something to track over the coming weeks.
Let's pretend that Lamar's eligibility is not in question right now. If that's the case, it depends greatly on the lineup construction, because lineup flexibility could be one of this team's strengths. If MSU wanted to go really small -- on top of all the good things being said about freshmen D.J. Stewart right now -- I could see both Weatherspoon brothers on the floor with Peters and Stewart with Quinndary Weatherspoon playing the 4. If MSU is going super big you could see just the Weatherspoon brothers on the floor with bigs all around.
As the lineup thing settles itself, I think it will be somewhat similar to last year in that Lamar Peters, Quinndary Weatherspoon and Nick Weatherspoon will be getting the majority of the minutes, with Tyson Carter have an obvious role and D.J. Stewart's role being determined by what he does with the playing time he gets.
If something happens with Peters' eligibility, that opens up a cavalcade of possibilities that all start with Nick Weatherspoon taking over the point. That could mean a lot more Tyson Carter and D.J. Stewart at the 2 and Quinndary playing mostly 3 again, or it could mean moving Q to the 2 (as a starter, then backup point guard from there) and some heavy minutes for freshman Robert Woodard at the 3. How interesting is that?
- Alright, back to football. @lounge_dawg (who's Twitter name at the time I typed this question was "Run the [four-letter curse word] ball Joe) asks: Can we expect a 3-2 score Saturday? (Hopefully)
HOPEFULLY NOT, LOUNGE UNDERSCORE DAWG. WHY DO YOU ENJOY MY PAIN.
I do expect low-scoring, even if not that low-scoring. I'm not completely dejected on both offenses quite yet -- I've made my opinion on MSU's offense clear on Twitter, podcasts and otherwise and I still believe Auburn's going to figure out the offensive line eventually -- thus I believe both offenses will click and live up to potential eventually....but it's hard to believe that day comes Saturday. Not quite 3-2, but almost certainly something with fewer than 45 total points. I'll get around to make my final score prediction on the Gameday blog.
- @jcdickinson32 will wrap up the sports question with a trio -- 1) Who's winning the World Series? 2) Do you think State will be fined for violating the cowbell rule during the Florida game? 3) Going more in depth with this one...how do you think Moorhead will change the offense, if at all?
1) Astros beat the Red Sox, Dodgers beat the Rockies, Astros wins the Series in 6.
2) I honestly hadn't thought about it, but you welcome this stuff when you choose to allow the cowbells in the first place. (Which was a good move, in fairness.) This is on you, SEC/NCAA. Deal with your decision.
3) The one thing from this week's media availabilities that sticks out to me is the idea of simplifying things. It's hard to say with any detail exactly what that will look like, but I do believe that's going to happen. It's probably just running simpler RPOs -- as Nick Fitzgerald put it, the ones they were adopting on Day One, Day Two and Day Three -- and maybe that helps the passing game.
- We've got a friend of the Mailbag asking a question that involves two personal friends of the Mailbag. @dalemo830 asked Bob Carskadon if he and Brian Hadad were doing a reunion show and he said no, but blame Brian for it. Do you think it's fair to blame Brian? Or is it reasonable to assume we can automatically blame Bob for stuff like this?
This is a really tough spot for me, you see, because I really enjoy blaming both of these people for things, even if it's quite obvious it's not their fault. It's just so fun to make them deal, you know?
I have decided: blame Brian. And tell him he owes me lunch.
- Hello, loving wife. @Morgan_U -- Why won't you settle for an upgraded 13 in MacBook Pro instead of 15?
This is a perfect representation of my wife: the same person who is thinking about what to do for Christmas presents in June is the same person asking me about my next laptop upgrade when the one I have is working perfectly fine, even if the battery is weird. And she's already trying to save money on it, also quite on brand.
Now allow me to defend myself here: the reason I like the bigger screen is because I'm almost never only doing one thing with my laptop. If I'm writing something, for instance, I'm almost always pulling up a stat or other research for said story, and monitoring Twitter as I do it all. I need screen space to actually see all those things as I do them.
- And finally, from @CalebGarnerMSU -- Occasionally Spotify will drop a Guilty Pleasures customized playlist. What songs/artists would be on your Guilty Pleasure playlist?
The guilty pleasure question is a pretty simple one for me: John Mayer.
Most of my music is in the rap/hip-hop genre and this general kind of music serves as my changeup. Definitely more artists like him, but I think he best describes what I'm generally going for in my guilty pleasure.
(And thus begins the part where the Internet owns me for it. Never admit your vulnerabilities on the Internet, kids. You'll get owned by the youths.)
Follow Dispatch sports writer Brett Hudson on Twitter @Brett_Hudson