STARKVILLE -- Six days before his team takes the field as the nation's No. 1 team for the first time, Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen took time Monday to set the stage for MSU's visit to Kentucky.
STARKVILLE -- It has been a season of firsts for the Mississippi State football team.
In Week 6, MSU used a 48-31 victory against Texas A&M to jump into The Associated Press top five for the first time in school history. A week later, it defeated No. 2 Auburn to complete a stretch of three-consecutive wins against top-10 opponents, another first in the program's 120-year existence. Less than 24 hours after that win, MSU climbed atop The AP Top 25 and the Amway Coaches Poll (USA Today) for the first time.
STARKVILLE - As the 2014 college football season turned the corner and began to head for the home stretch Saturday, it did so with the Mississippi State Bulldogs watching from home due to the team's second open date in three weeks.
PHEBA - Leshon Hill ran right, there was no room. He ran left, there was no room. And forget about running up the middle.
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.
Lanoria Abrams banged a run-scoring double off the center-field wall in the first inning of Game 1 of the New Hope High School slow-pitch softball team's Class 5A/6A best-of-three playoff series against Madison Central on Thursday night.
She didn't miss a home run her second time.
WEST POINT -- After each practice and game, no matter the result, the message is the same for the West Point High football team.
In the huddle following each team activity, usually on the heels of motivational words from coach Chris Chambless, the Green Wave players put their hands in the middle of the huddle, and shout, "State champs" in unison.
STARKVILLE - All Auburn needed was a yard. Will Redmond wasn't going to let that happen.
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."
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.
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.
A day most Mississippi State fans thought they would never see has arrived.
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.
STARKVILLE -- The doors to the Mississippi State football team's locker room opened, and coach Dan Mullen led his team onto the field confidently, as the Bulldogs ran straight for their Saturday afternoon showdown with No. 2 Auburn.
WEST POINT -- The West Point High School football team's most valuable player Friday night in a 56-21 victory against Center Hill didn't play a down.
Auburn-Mississippi State By the Numbers
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