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Brandon – Oak Grove Waning Seconds Will Leave You Turning Your Head

This weekend the 6A -Champion in Mississippi High School Football will be decided between defending champion, Oak Grove and South Panola.  Both of these clubs are very deserving of their championship appearance and both should make for a heck of a ballgame.

But – as always in football there can be some drama and last week’s south state championship match-up between Brandon and Oak Grove had it’s share.

In the final minutes of the ballgame, Brandon drove inside the Oak Grove 30-yard line with no timeouts left, trailing 36-35 and positioned their kicker, JP Burke for a would be 34-yard game winning kick with eight-seconds left.

The kick sailed left, but should there have been another try at the field goal?  We will let you decide as here is a snap shot of that play.


This is not to throw anyone under the bus on this play, but there was an official just off to the back left side of Burke and quarterback Gardner Minshew, who was the holder on the play.  Unless my eyes are fooling me, Burke got cleaned out on the play – flat run over and there was a “no call” on the play.

Here is another angle of that play.


Again, you be the judge here; should there have been a”half the distance to the goal” call and a re-kick?

This is surely one of those plays that makes you turn your head sideways and probably squint your eyes when you realize there was a “no call” on the play.

Oak Grove took the final snap in victory formation and escaped with a 1-point victory.


The Egg Bowl – A deciding factor in the West for years to come!

The reality of things is that both schools now have very good football programs. Sure, they are programs with different styles. They have coaches and players with different styles and different back grounds, but the common ground is that they are part of our great state of Mississippi.

One program has a staff that, according to recruiting services, recruits better. The other has a staff that is able to better develop talent. Both have coaches that still make mistakes. They have coaches that have been successful, but both are still young and learning to be “seasoned” head coaches.


Both fan bases frequently have moments when they want to scream at our head coaches, “What the heck are you doing?” But, that is all just a big part of this metamorphosis our teams are undergoing. The fact is, we are both going to experience success as long as these two men are leading our programs and we are all going to have to collectively calm ourselves. We must adjust to, and learn to cope with the ups and downs. Just like small children blossom into adulthood, the transition from inferior, to mediocre, to quality, to a great football program is a growing process and with that comes “growing pains.” The Egg Bowl is a game that has once again become a very competitive, very heated rivalry where the home team has a distinct advantage. It is no longer a game where one team is head and shoulders above the other.

Yes, there will be years that we are both replacing two or three year starting quarterbacks and there will be some slight struggle to find the next “fit” at that position, but as we have seen this year, all teams occasionally go through those difficulties. There will be those occasional years where we get only 6 or 7 wins, but we are bottom feeders of the SEC no longer. It is time for the rest of the SEC to take notice.

Both fan bases must be patient with their coaches during these years. Both schools have been known to get a little impatient and irrational during downturns, but these are not your Mississippi State and Ole Miss football teams of the past. The fans are becoming accustomed to getting “more.”


These two programs are being led by intelligent, hardworking men who are passionate about their jobs and who love their respective teams. We must appreciate that, understand what they are trying to accomplish in the “bigger picture”, and continue to support them during their down years just as much as we do during their best years.

The world will take notice soon as the two Southeastern Conference Mississippi teams have built consistent programs…WINNERS! Looking at this in reality, I see neither of these teams being “one-hit wonders”. This has the look of a beginning of something bigger… The look of something completely new. It is something none of us foresaw… Two Mississippi programs that can be considered powerhouses of the SEC rather than bottom feeders.

Folks, enjoy this rivalry while it’s at it’s pinnacle. Love and respect your friends that cheer for the rival school. Have fun with smack talk every chance you get because I can assure you that both sides will get their chances to turn the smack around to the other side. Have fun with the “new” Mississippi State and Ole Miss programs. Don’t turn it into hate. Keep humble and never forget what we have come from to get here.

We may never see two better coaches, or two leaders of this stature at both schools, at the same time, ever again. It might be next year or it may be in five years, but take heart and have patience. We will both witness history before these two coaches are done.

Here is my most sincere congratulations to “The School Up North” for wanting it more on Saturday night than Mississippi State did. You weren’t about to let my Dawgs beat you on your home turf and you did everything you needed to do to win that game. You deserved to win, and you did. Congratulations.

Photo via @OleMissPix

Ole Miss vs MSU: Why The Egg Bowl Matters

Mississippi State will visit Ole Miss for the 111th game between the two schools this Saturday in Oxford, MS.  It will be the 87th battle for the Golden Egg.  This is the 10th longest series played in college football but it doesn’t take a back seat to any other game in the country as far as fan interest and emotion on the field.

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Ole Miss leads overall 61-43-6 since the first game in 1901 and Ole Miss’ record with the Egg Bowl stands at 56-26-5.  MSU has won 4 of the last 5 games and 6 of the last 10.

2014 will be a high water mark for the series as this is only the third time in history that both teams have been ranked entering the game and the first time since 1999.  Too often this game has served as the Mississippi Bowl game because normally neither team is eligible for a bowl no matter the outcome.

The trophy of a football that resembles a large golden egg was offered in 1927 to give the crowds a focus on the victor’s spoils rather than taking hair out of the opposing fans in the stands, which was the case in the early days of the series.

This game has perhaps the biggest national implications in the series history with Mississippi State clinging on to the last playoff spot in the poll last week and a big win over Ole Miss could ensure they have a chance to play for a national championship.

An Ole Miss win will knock 10-1 MSU out of the playoff slot and give Ole Miss the off season momentum in recruiting and a more positive outlook for 2015.

In a season that started out so promising with Ole Miss at 7-0, they have lost 3 of the last 4 games and are playing for a nice bowl game and the future.

Both teams have been media darlings at difference times during the year and it is obvious that Ole Miss and MSU can win big and they are no longer the little sisters of the poor in the SEC.  As Robert Nkemdiche describes it, they are now the “big brothers” in the SEC and both teams will leave this Egg Bowl with big plans and expectations going forward.

In so many ways our schools have changed since the early 1900′s but this rivalry has NOT changed much.  One of the best depictions of the fan’s view was accurately captured in 1901 by the student papers.  MSU’s The College Reflector stated, “The University boys, played the dirtiest game of ball that we have seen.  They would do anything to put our men out so long as the referee was not looking.

The University of Mississippi Magazine said, “To one who has never indulged in any exercise more violent that the milking of a patient cow, football seems a brutal sport.  Our bucolic friend of the Agricultural College should confine himself to mumble-peg and townball.”

There you have it.  The beginning of a rivalry that set the bar pretty high for smack talk and the narratives found in 1901 are still being used and bantered back and forth even today, 111 years later.

To me, there is something comforting about that.  It is comforting to know that some things do not change and their is a familiarity that comes along with the opportunity to cheer for your team as they fight for the Golden Egg.

I hope you as fans of the Red and Blue or the Maroon and White realize that it is a sacred right to cheer on your team and you realize your role in portraying your fan base in a positive light.

The best part about the rivalry is that is will not end Saturday night.  The minute the winning team leaves the field, the clock starts again on the next game and the 2014 result, no matter how decisive or minute, will be in the past.

Many storied rivals have gone their separate ways, some great series in the 50′s and 60′s are no longer played because of one reason or another, but we still have our game and our teams.  Ole Miss and MSU bolster each other and we sharpen our blades on each other which makes each other stronger and sharper for the next season.  Let’s all do our part to ensure this rivalry never ends, never sours but boils with ridiculous, self-righteous, frivolity that can only be found in a college football game.

Draw your line and cheer for your team but don’t forget we need each other and would not be as strong without our rival!



josh robinson msstate

CFB Week 12: Jake’s Picks

We are down to the final three weeks of the regular season and things are serious.  We are in the fourth week of the college football playoff drama and things should only intensify.

It’s a huge week in the state of Mississippi and we will get to that shortly, but first let’s look at some other games that have huge implications as well.

Last Week: 5-0


 Yearly Predictions: 37-20


No. 11 Nebraska at No. 22 Wisconsin

It’s a Big-10 showdown as Nebraska looks to stay on top of the Western Division and Wisconsin can create a log jam at the top.

In the grand scheme of things, if Nebraska wants to make a serious run in the college football playoff rankings, they have to win this game.  They are currently 16th in the rankings, but a win here puts them in position to play for the Big-10 championship which could propel them close to the top four.

Big Red 27 – Wis CANSIN 17


No. 9 Auburn at No. 16 Georgia

It’s the battle of Jekyll and Hyde between the Tiger of Auburn and the Dogs of Georgia.  Georgia has looked like world beaters one week and chumps the next.  Auburn was sitting comfortably in the college football playoff until they were dinged this past weekend against Texas A&M.

Georgia still has a chance to win the East if things go right, but must win Saturday.  Auburn can save face and still finish in the upper half of the West and head to a big bowl game.

Coin Flip:

Butt Fumble 31 – We Richting 30


No. 20 LSU at Arkansas

It’s the battle for the boot as LSU travels to Arkansas and this should be another throw back, knock-em down type of game.

LSU is coming off a heart breaking defeat to Alabama in overtime, while Arkansas had the week off.  The Hogs need two wins to become bowl eligible for the first time in eons.  Many feel Arkansas will ding someone in the west before it’s all said and done this year and Saturday could be the day.  Arkansas has played well in close losses to Alabama and Mississippi State and had Texas A&M on the ropes.

With this being at home, I give the edge to the Hog Mollys.

Wooooo We got one 20 – We need a quarterback deaux 14


No. 2 Florida State at Miami

Florida State has been living off that Auburn karma all season long, while they are undefeated; they have hardly looked the part of a defending national champion.  Close wins against the likes of Clemson, Notre Dame and Louisville has them looking like they are on borrowed time.

Don’t take my word for it though, as the college football playoff committee just docked them a spot from two to three in this week’s poll.

Miami is a very good team this year and would love nothing more than to ruin the Noles season.  Karma is running out in Tallahassee and could be on empty Saturday.

The U 34 – Pass the Crab Legs 31


No. 1 Mississippi State at No. 4 Alabama

I don’t think I have to tell you what this game means or get into the matchup to much as we have done this at nauseam all week here at MWN.   The goal is now simple.  Beat Bama and State can stay number-one in the country and lock up the west at home next week against Vanderbilt.

A loss isn’t the end of the world as the Bulldogs could still make the CFB Playoff by winning out.

But – this is truly State verses the world this weekend as very few pundits are picking the Bulldogs and other fan bases are wanting their teams to get into the CFB Playoff, so they will be pulling for Alabama as well.

It all comes down to quarterback play and turnovers for me in this game and I give the nod to Number-15 in Maroon.

I think State comes out and punches Alabama in the face and holds on late.   This is their moment, they have prepared for this game and time for a long while now.  This team is battle tested and now they can taste success and see the finish line.  Get those Champaign glasses out and get ready.  It’s coming Saturday.

We Them Boys 31 – We use to Be them Boys 21

Arkansas v LSU

Les Miles’ Last Big Win In Tiger Stadium?

As Bo Wallace’s last angry, desperate heave into the endzone fell into the arms of LSU safety Ronald Martin’s arms, LSU Coach Les Miles calmly looked skyward with a last acknowledgement to his mother Martha who passed away friday night just before the biggest game of the year so far in the SEC West.

This wild, instant classic 10-7 win, in front of the largest crowd in LSU history looks to be his commencement.  A nostalgic flashback of the way life was in college football before the spread offenses and no huddle teams and coaches entered the SEC.

Les Miles has notched 102 wins as the LSU head coach and only losing 26 games since 2005.  Early on, he was bolstered from the recruiting prowess of Nick Saban who left LSU in great shape for the next man and Miles kept LSU playing at the high level Saban had built in the program.

LSU was always a top program but they haven’t won a national championship in 45 years before Nick Saban came to town and won it all in 2003.  It’s always hard to be the man to follow “the man,” but Miles kept winning and won his own national title in 2007.

LSU vs. Ole Miss 11/17/12

It hasn’t been easy to satisfy a rabid fanbase like LSU’s but Miles has kept one step ahead of the firing squad.  He followed up his 2007 national title with a eight win season in 2008 but won nine the next year, 11 in 2010 and was back in the national title game in 2011.

The last two years he has had double digit wins but in 2014 he is sitting at 7-2 and 3-2 in the SEC and Alabama still looming on the schedule.  His only two losses, and they were big losses, were to the read option offenses of Mississippi State and Auburn.

The emotion displayed by his players on Saturday in response to his mothers passing allowed him one last reprive on his own programs demise which has been caused because of his recruiting prowess.

Les Miles has recruited too well.  So well in fact that the last two years he lost 18 juniors to the NFL draft, add to that 57 seniors that moved on and this team’s roster has been decimated.

The 2014 roster has 14 seniors total, they are starting a true freshman at running back, wide receiver and a sophomore at QB.  Granted they are all still very talented but this is a team game and the entire team of LSU is a shadow of what they once were.

In the two losses to MSU and Auburn, Miles’ Tigers looked lost and confused.  The defensive line was porus, giving up over 500 yards total offense in each game, and an average of over 300 of those were rushing yards in each game.

The writing is on the wall for Les Miles but never count “The Hat” out.  The coach known for making incredible ridiculous calls that go his way (for the most part) was the calm and calculated one saturday night.

Last friday night, Coach Miles was actually at the hospital with his son Ben who had broken his ankle during his high school game when he got the call that his mother Martha had passed away at the age of 91.

jennings lsu sportingnews

Faced with the mortal realities of life and death, it is easy to put football in its proper perspective, even when facing the no. 3 team in the nation and hosting ESPN’s College Gameday.

Miles was quoted, “I spent time today thinking about the way that I need to tell them that when they see me on the sideline, it has not to do with who’s passed and what’s going on,” Miles said. “It has only to do that I’m looking for every opportunity and advantage for us to win, and they need to see me as an aggressive man.”

A focused young LSU defense held Ole Miss to 313 yards and only 7 points, a team that normally averages nearly 450 yards and they cut the potent Ole Miss passing attack in half, only allowing 176 yards the one early score.

Tight end Logan Stokes added, “We played for him tonight. We absolutely played for him.  For a guy that cares about us like that — I mean, your mother just passed away. I know if my mother passed away, I know how I would be feeling, so I can only imagine how he feels. But for us to go out there and get that win for him tonight, there’s no greater feeling. Yeah, I scored the game-winning touchdown. That’s a great feeling. But the fact that we won for Coach Les Miles is unreal.”

The team won for Les Miles.  They played beyond their abilities and maturity, for one game, for their leader, in what may be the last major win for Les Miles as a dying breed of SEC coaches.