Expectations has been a buzzword in the state of Mississippi for the past month. Whether the topic has been Mississippi State, Ole Miss, or MSU vs. Ole Miss, message boards, Twitter, and radio and television broadcasters have been in overdrive to keep up with the anticipation for what could be the state's best college football season in a long time.
OXFORD -- The Ole Miss football team had another strong day of work Sunday at the Ole Miss football practice fields in preparation for the start of the season. Speaking after practice, co-offensive coordinator Dan Werner and defensive coordinator Dave Wommack talked about being ahead of where they have been in years past at this point.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Lane Kiffin's job description these days is much more about the playbook than the podium. The sometimes outspoken former Southern California head coach is working mostly behind the scenes as Nick Saban's offensive coordinator at Alabama, where there's zero question about who's in charge. It lets Kiffin focus on football and finding a starting quarterback, but he did get a little reminder from his new boss before speaking to Alabama reporters Sunday for the first time at the Crimson Tide's media day.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State running back Nick Griffin can't wait to have fun this season. While it would seem Griffin, a senior from Perry Central High School who has battled injuries at MSU, is just referring to returning to the playing field, he has a more specific version of fun in mind.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The Alabama football team opened preseason camp with a quarterback competition, several suspended players, and a focus on rebounding from a pair of season-ending defeats.
OXFORD -- The life and influence of Chucky Mullins will be celebrated during the Ole Miss-Memphis football game weekend on Sept. 27 as part of the M-Club Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on campus.
OXFORD -- Preparations for the Ole Miss football season began in earnest Saturday with a two-hour workout on the practice fields adjacent to the Manning Center.
OXFORD -- Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze has just about mastered the self-effacing, aw-shucks attitude that has helped his program escape lofty expectations. There's too much talent on the Rebels' roster to avoid that now.
STARKVILLE -- If Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen feels any added excitement or pressure due to heightened expectations entering his sixth season at MSU, he didn't show it on Thursday night.
STARKVILLE -- Starkville Academy won its home opener in prep soccer action with an 8-0 win over Bayou Academy at the Starkville Sportsplex.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State's latest recruiting class is shaping up to be coach Rick Ray's best in Starkville, and that class received a boost late Wednesday night when Ray landed his most highly rated prospect yet.
STARKVILLE -- Football is back in session at Mississippi State. That much was evident Wednesday in the halls of the Seal Football Complex a few hours after MSU's players reported for their first meeting of the season. Fall camp will kick off at 4:45 p.m. today when coach Dan Mullen begins his sixth season as MSU's coach. To a man, the Bulldogs chosen to speak with the media after the initial meeting believe Mullen's sixth season in Starkville could be his best.
STARKVILLE -- "The summer is over." Those words came from Mississippi State women's basketball coach Vic Schaefer shortly after he and associate head coach Johnnie Harris received a round of hugs from their players upon their return to Starkville on Tuesday night from a recruiting trip.
Jason Davis had high hopes for Team Elite Mississippi prior to its trip to Louisville, Kentucky, for the Amateur Athletic Union Division I 11th-grade Nationals.
Billy Thomas didn't know Terry Walters had retired from coaching when he called him earlier this summer. Thomas, the school board president at Columbus Christian School in Steens, called Walters to see if he would be interested in bringing his Hatley High School girls basketball team to a basketball camp in Steens. When Thomas discovered Walters no longer was coaching at Hatley High, the wheels started turning.
Wells Davis admits he didn't know anything about the South Alabama baseball program in June.
STARKVILLE -- For Winston Academy softball players, peace and harmony came when it was finally time to play a game. After a couple of difficult weeks of practice, Winston Academy earned a 15-11 victory against Starkville Academy Tuesday afternoon.
STARKVILLE -- Jay Hughes had to be there. He had to be there for his teammates, for his team, and for himself.
PHEBA -- Hebron Christian School fast-pitch softball coach Cass Tapley could only smile. Oak Hill Academy coach Nathan Ellis just shook his head. That's the difference between winning and losing.
WEST POINT -- Macy Walters didn't look like someone who was playing catcher for the first time Monday. Maybe it was muscle memory that helped the Heritage Academy junior recall when she and Kaitlyn Oswalt were in elementary school and they would play catch. Back then, Oswalt didn't throw nearly as hard as she does now as a junior on the Heritage Academy fast-pitch softball team. But the speed or the movement of Oswalt's arsenal didn't appear to faze Walters, as she framed and blocked pitches and moved like a veteran behind the plate in Heritage Academy's 8-5 victory against Oak Hill Academy in its season opener.
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2. Danberry gives Bulldogs big lift COLLEGE SPORTS
3. MSU looks for NIT road win at Baylor COLLEGE SPORTS
4. MSU drops first pair of conference games to Vanderbilt COLLEGE SPORTS
5. Strong pitching does not lift MSU into win column COLLEGE SPORTS