I thought I'd share a few things here on the blog, both past and present, about Mississippi State football from my point of view as a fan.
|Tailgating last fall with the whole family.|
One reason I love Mississippi State football is the game day atmosphere. I went to Louisiana Tech, where there wasn't much in terms of tailgating or rivalries. Here in Starkville, though, game day is a big deal. Did you know our stadium holds over 55,000 people, but only 25,000 people live in Starkville? It's crazy to think how many people travel to our little town every other weekend in the fall just for football. Before the game, we hang out, eat, drink, and play games. It's a great time to relax and spend time with good people. Once we get inside for the game, it's a great show, regardless if we win or lose. Planes fly overhead, the band plays, the team plays of course, and we have one of the largest high definition screens in the country. That sounds stupid as I write it but it really is cool. I live in a small town, and I'm getting old, there's not much to entertain me around here.
There are several interesting traditions that are important to Mississippi State fans. The first is that we call our school STATE for short. It's easier than yelling out all the syllables in Miss-iss-ipp-eee. Plus it's the word that differentiates us from our rival, the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss). Another new tradition is that we never refer to our rival by their name, so we call them "The School Up North" (TSUN for short). Our mascot is the bulldog, our colors are Maroon and White, and we ring cowbells at the games. I won't spend time explaining it all, so if you're curious about these traditions, Click Here.
3. HIGHLIGHTS (If you don't want to watch videos, then just scroll down)
Below, you'll find a selection of my favorite STATE videos from YouTube. They are all from the last two years, from the time I've been an employee at Mississippi State. We didn't win all the games in these videos, but they're great to watch nonetheless.
This run is ridiculous. They couldn't tackle Dixon is because they were trying to strip the ball out instead of bringing him down, but I'm still amazed that he stayed on his feet. Look for my boy Sam Krusee at the 0:22 mark, the blonde guy with the L on his chest.
Why is this awesome? Well, Florida was ranked #1, our coach is their former offensive coordinator, and they were about to score before halftime until this pick-6 changed the momentum of the game. Plus, it was off of Tebow. We still lost the game, but we beat them the next year! My favorite part? The look on the Florida girl's face at 0:26!
Check out this clip from the Gator Bowl, especially the great block by Brandon Heavens that takes out two Michigan defenders. Too bad Perkins didn't get the TD.
This shows two great plays by our quarterback Chris Relf against Arkansas. Fun Fact: Chris Relf and I share the same birthday, May 26. Coincidence, or fate?
There's nothing I love more than a pick-6 (When a player intercepts the ball and returns it for a touchdown). Corey Broomfield has done this many times but I enjoy his swagger in this one against Houston.
No one likes Cam Newton, so it feels good to watch him get intercepted by Nickoe Whitley.
Vick Ballard transfered to Mississippi State from a Junior College last year, and he made quite an impact by breaking the school record for rushing touchdowns in a season. I love this guy.
4. 2011 PREDICTIONS
Last year we went 8-4 in the regular season, plus a big bowl win over Michigan. I expect us to do better this year, so I'm going to go with a 9-3 season. If I had to guess where those 3 losses will come, I'd guess Georgia, Arkansas, and Alabama. If we go 9-3 in the SEC, that's an excellent season. We are currently ranked 20th in the country.
Chris Relf will throw for 2,300 yards, and Vick Ballard will break the 1,000 yard rushing mark.
Our defense will once again be a top 20 team in terms of points allowed.
Chad Bumphis will return a kickoff for a touchdown AGAINST an SEC team.
WE WILL BEAT LSU IN TWO WEEKS.
5. Everything Else
Last year, one of our defensive players, Nick Bell, passed away from cancer at the age of 20. I recently finished this illustration of him as a way to honor his memory and contributions to Mississippi State. Click on the image to see it larger.
To wrap up, I'm thrilled about this year for many reasons. We have season tickets, so we'll easily be able to see all the home games. Tailgating is a lot of fun, and we have to thank the Whatley family for inviting us to tailgate with them last year. Their love for Mississippi State has definitely influenced me and Alisha. The buzz around our program this year is infectious. The SEC is the best football conference in the country, and I'm glad to be a part of it. Let's wrap this up with the fight song:
Hail dear 'ole State!
Fight for that victory today.
Hit that line and tote that ball,
Cross the goal before you fall!
And then we'll yell, yell, yell, yell!
For dear 'ole State we'll yell like H-E-L-L!
Fight for Mis-sis-sip-pi State,
Win that game today!