All posts by Jake Wimberly

Mississippi State alum, co-founder of makeitrainsports, co-host to makeitrainsports radio on Rebel sports radio and Bulldog sports radio all on the Vsporto Network. Lover of SEC Sports, fitness and married to my best friend. Enjoy ketchup in large amounts.
sneed

Ole Miss Is the Last Group That Should Ever Criticize Hype or Heisman Campaign

All off- season long the hype has been building around Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott.  After his comeback performance against rival Mississippi and his bowl game efforts, along with many memorable moments in 2013 as a “part time quarterback”, many around the country have taken notice of the 6-3 235lb quarterback and his skill set. Some have even tagged him a possible Heisman Trophy contender.

Prescott continued to build momentum off the field at SEC Media Days this week as more and more people are buying in to “Dak”.

Do I personally think Dak Prescott will win the Heisman Trophy?  Probably not but, do I think he can have one heck of a season and help Mississippi State climb the ladder in the SEC West?  Absolutely.

But – when a player’s name is out there like Prescott’s it’s good for the kid, the school, the brand and more.

We see this every year, where fan bases grab hold of a player or two and they become superstars.  Prescott just happens to be one of those guys in 2014 and to his credit he has earned it.

But, with big time praise comes big time criticism and typically the first place you get it is from your rival.

Ole Miss fans have moaned and belly ached since January calling Prescott a fraud, no good and screaming to anyone that will listen that he is NOT worthy of praise.

All of this will work itself out here in just a few months but, the last group that should ever criticize hype or Heisman campaign is Ole Miss.

If you looked up hype in the dictionary it would probably be painted in red and blue.  Since 1971 Ole Miss has been for the most part an average, to below average SEC football program and since the East-West merger Ole Miss is the only school in the West to not play for an SEC Championship, (Yes Texas A&M hasn’t either but, this is their third year in the league).

Yet behind all that, every year is THE year for Ole Miss and if you don’t believe them, just ask them.

Last year was going to be “the rising of the Rebels” as Seph Anderson and others proclaimed 2013 was the year of the Rebel.

prediction

Of course we all know how last year panned out.  But we’ve seen this countless times before.

In the late nineties, Ole Miss launched a campaign  for running back Deuce McCallister for the Heisman Trophy and while McCallister ended up a New Orleans Saints great, he only produced one season of over 1,000 yards rushing while at Mississippi.

 

deuce

 

In 2009 Ole Miss officially launched the Jevan Sneed for Heisman campaign and even launched a University run web site that can be seen here. 

Stickers were bought, hype was made and even Sports Illustrated jumped on the band wagon.

sports

 

Sneed finished the 2009 season with 20 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.

And how can we ever forget about Brent Schaeffer.  Schaeffer joined the Mississippi football team after spending time at Tennessee and when Schaeffer enrolled in Oxford, you would have thought the second coming had arrived.

scha

 

Schaeffer finished his two year Rebel carrier with a modest 2,000-passing yards and 14 touchdowns while throwing 14 interceptions.

Finally there was Jeremiah Masoli, the transfer from Oregon that was going to rectify the program while winning the Heisman Trophy.

Masoli finished his Rebel carrier by throwing for 2,039-yards and 14-touchdowns and 13-interceptions.

masolli

 

If there was ever a school or fan base that should never criticize another about hype – it’s Ole Miss.

Back to Prescott,  his hype and attention has been all fan and media driven.  Most all of Ole Miss hype is backed by the university.

Mississippi State has yet to officially release a website, sticker or statement backing a Prescott for Heisman campaign.

Yet still, the Prescott love is driving Ole Miss fans and media crazy.

So much so that even the Ole Miss Clarion Ledger beat writer Hugh Kellenburger got involved yesterday with a piece discrediting Prescott.  That can be read here.  You know you’ve really gotten under a fan bases skin when a supposedly unbiased news paper writes a piece, trying to discredit a rival school.

So the argument will continue for a few more weeks then the season will begin and we will see – is Prescott worth the praise or not?

One thing is for sure in all of this,  all of the Prescott love is driving Ole Miss fans crazy and I can promise you they are praying Prescott fails.

After-all, how ironic would it be for the school that lives on hype, might have to watch their rival actually have someone that lives up to it.  This is the perfect case of pot meet kettle.

prescott 3

 

mullen media

Recapping SEC Media Days – Mississippi State

Mississippi State took to the podium yesterday at the 2014 SEC Media Days and while the setting was the same, the feel was different.

Dan Mullen, Bendardrick McKinney, Jay Hughes and Dak Prescott talked about expectations, handling those expectations and what they want out of the 2014 season.

Quarterback Dak Prescott summed it up best when asked by a CBS reporter what he expects from the 2014 Bulldogs and Prescott did not hesitate.

CBS: “What are your expectations for the season?”

Dak: “Win every game.”

With 18-returning starters and a ton of momentum coming off the end of the 2013 season, this team is dead serious about their expectations and they aren’t the only ones believing that 2014 could be a big year for the Bulldogs.

ESPN Released their projections of how they feel the SEC West will shake out and they are also high on the Bulldogs.

sec finish

The grandest sports network of all has the Bulldogs third, behind only Auburn and Alabama.  The Bulldogs took both teams to the wire last year.

It’s also to note that sports writer Tom Luginbill released his top quarterbacks in the SEC and he is high on Dak Prescott heading into 2014.

Continue here. 

brett

Bielema snipes at Pinkel over ‘fiction’ comments

HOOVER, Ala. — If you’re ever cornered in an alley with a hoard of machete-wielding bandits bearing down on you, better hope you have Arkansas coach Bret Bielema on speed dial.

Bielema sniped at yet another coach Wednesday who dared to slander his view on up-tempo college football offenses as it relates to player safety.

Since before the rules committee shoved the 10-second pace of play rule into the carbon freezing chamber, Bielema, its most vocal supporter, has faced a slew of haymakers, both direct and indirect.

Either Bielema is the kind of fellow who refuses to admit he’s wrong, like Ron Burgundy in Anchorman, or he genuinely believes uptempo offenses are deadly. No matter how much pushback he’s gotten, he hasn’t budged.

“Have I softened my view of fast-paced offenses? The only thing I’m going to say to that, if you ask me in that tense, you’re asking me have I softened my view on player safety,” Bielema said. “The answer would be no. If I recruit somebody, bring them into my family, I’m going to do everything in my power to make … player safety a premium in our program.”

Last year, Bielema got into a chippy philosophical disagreement with Auburn coach Gus Malzahn that spilled over to the season. Wednesday’s media day featured Bielema vs. Gary Pinkel.

Earlier in the day, Pinkel called the notion of fast-paced offenses presenting additional safety concerns for players “fiction.” In so many words, he said it’s ludicrous to suggest that the in-vogue offense is dangerous to players.

A reporter made sure to inform Bielema of the comments.

“Not to carry from last year, but I’m probably more of a reality-based movie guy more than fiction, I guess,” Bielema said. “I think I deal more in what I know, what I see, what I believe.”

First, anyone wondering about Bielema’s assimilation into the culture of the Southeastern Conference can rest easy. The lip-service caveat is as Southern as it gets. (For those of you who live in the area, how often have you heard the tagline “bless his heart” attached to the end of a sentence, as if it somehow mitigates whatever ad hominem preceded it?)

Continue here.

saban

Paul Finebaum’s new book alleges Texas offered $100 million to Nick Saban

According to Paul Finebaum’s new book, “My Conference Can Beat Your Conference: Why the SEC Still Rules College Football”, boosters at the University of Texas tried luring Alabama coach Nick Saban away from Tuscaloosa last fall and were willing to offer a signing bonus worth up to $15 million and a $100 million-plus salary package.

First reported by AL.com who received an advance copy of the publication set to launch Aug. 5, Saban silenced rumors of a departure when he agreed to a new contract at nearly $7 million a year in December 2013.

Continue here.

Courtesy of wjtv.com

Brad Peterson Situation is a Reminder – Protect Your House, It Can Be Gone in an Instant

Recently news broke that fifth year head football coach and athletic director Brad Peterson of Brandon high school in Brandon, MS will be stepping down after this coming football season as athletic director – effective February 2015.

Per the Jackson Clarion Ledger, his future as football coach of the Bulldogs is uncertain after the 2014 season.

Peterson told the Clarion Ledger his decision stems from a “personal issue”, saying, “I just feel that I can no longer take the department to the next level and this gives the administration adequate time to find my replacement,” Peterson said.

This announcement has sent shock waves across the state of Mississippi and shocked this writer as well.

We will not dive into the speculation and conjuncture of Peterson’s resignation here but, this is a warning and reminder to every program – protect your house.

Success is fragile, it’s hard to accomplish and honestly, it’s hard to maintain.

What Peterson has been able to do in Brandon in his short four years is remarkable.  Peterson is 38-16 with an appearance in the 6A State Championship and he has a team this year that looks poised to make another run at state.

But, it goes way beyond on the field with Peterson.  Brandon has always had that Friday night Lights feel to it.  A town waiting for a winner, filled with passion and a group of people wanting to all pull in the same direction.

More times than not, a town or city is not on the same page, especially when it comes to kids and athletics.

One parent gets more vocal than the other, one team gets more vocal about their sport than another and everyone screams “look at me and my interest” – ultimately causing many programs to go stagnant and never grow to their potential.

peterson 2

But not Brandon – Everyone in the East Rankin town pulls in the same direction, for the most part.

“One town, one team, one dream” is the slogan in Brandon and Peterson has been able to take that motto and move the Bulldogs forward – way forward.

From success on the football field, baseball diamond, basketball court and more – Peterson’s direction has been unparalleled for a town that always had the potential.

Peterson has taken a school that was a sleeping giant and turned them into a power house.

Not only that, Peterson is the face of Brandon, the city.  If you don’t believe me, just ask someone over there.

Football success in the state of Mississippi turns over yearly as rarely do teams stay on top.  There are only a handful of South Panola’s, Wayne Counties and Meridians.

Peterson has been able to build a solid foundation through the feeder programs and bring a consistent winner off of Highway 80, in the most rugged region in the state and do not take that for granted.

As a program, any program – when you have success you have to embrace it and embrace the people who are making it happen and you have to protect it.

It takes a long time to build a program but, it can be gone in an instant.

Per Peterson he will be coaching this fall and said, per the Clarion Ledger, “Come Aug. 21 at the start of the high school football season, I will be on the sidelines coaching the Brandon Bulldogs against Madison Central unless something crazy happens and I’m not able to do that,” Peterson said.

After that, the rest is uncertain but, you know it will be on everyone’s minds what will happen after this football season.

I can only urge the good people of Brandon to continue to pull in the direction you’ve been pulling and get behind Peterson and hope this issue is resolved.

There will always be that “next” guy that “next” coach but, let’s be honest – there are very few Brad Peterson’s.  If you don’t believe me, look around the state and you can probably count them on two hands.

Whatever needs to be done, if it can be done, Brandon needs to hang on to Peterson.  He is that vital to the town of Brandon.  If you don’t believe me, just go ask someone there.

Brad Peterson’s don’t come around every year – I can promise you that.  When you do get one, you need to hang on to them, embrace it and protect your house.  It can be gone in an instant.