LAFAYETTE, La. The Mississippi State softball team found itself at the crossroads Saturday afternoon of another difficult NCAA tournament regional assignment. Playing in the Lafayette Regional, MSU lost to Baylor 8-4 on Friday night to open the four-team, double-elimination event. In the softball world, losing the first game of a regional makes advancing to the super regional next to impossible.
Let's go to the mailbag and answer some recent questions.
Change is a constant in college basketball. Coaches getting fired, reassigned, or leaving one school for a "better" opportunity is only one side of the equation. On the other, you have players transferring to different schools because of a lack of playing time, a difference in opinion with a new coach, or a desire to play in a system they feel allows them to showcase their skills.
If you didn't know any better, you would have expected Vic Schaefer to strike a familiar pose, like when he isn't pleased with a call.
Five months ago, expectations was the operative word associated with the Mississippi State women's basketball. With another nationally ranked recruiting class coming in, many expected MSU to build on a 22-14 season that saw it reach the quarterfinals of the Women's National Invitation Tournament.
There was no sign of disappointment or anger in Vic Schaefer's voice Tuesday. When you're the coach of the No. 11 team in the country that has earned the No. 3 seed in the "biggest, baddest conference" in the nation, it's difficult not to have a rosy outlook as you move deeper into March.
In the town of Aberdeen, basketball is a way of life. These days, the living is good. The Aberdeen High School boys basketball team is back in the running for the Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 3A state championship. The Bulldogs (24-6) already have qualified for the Jackson proceedings and are three wins away from a title.
Mississippi State figures to hear its name called March 16 when the 64-team field for the NCAA Division I women's basketball tournament is announced on ESPN.
South Detroit is a long way from Starkville. But the cell phones that lit up Humphrey Coliseum on Sunday afternoon showed that all it takes is one classic song to bridge more than 800 miles.
Every city or town has them. The season or sport don't matter. Whether it is an umpire, a coach, an administrator, a scorekeeper, a manager, every city or town -- big and small -- has individuals who give of themselves to make a difference in the lives of young people.
Rivalries are filled with perfunctory hand shakes and obligatory remarks that praise the opponent at the beginning of post-game news conferences. The hand shakes between coaches usually are the shortest and the comments typically have the most bubbling in between the lines when coaches are trying to establish dominance early in their tenures.
The Mississippi State women's basketball team faces its biggest stretch of the season in the next seven days. At 19-2 and 4-2 in the Southeastern Conference, MSU slipped three spots to No. 18 in this week's The Associated Press Top 25. The USA Today Top 25, which is voted on by the coaches, comes out today. MSU was ranked No. 18 in that poll last week and likely will slip a few spots following a 71-69 double-overtime loss to LSU on Thursday.
The Mississippi State women's basketball team's history-making season took another step forward Monday when it moved up three spots to No. 14 in The Associated Press' Top 25 poll.
And then there were five. Only the most optimistic fan would have had the Mississippi State women's basketball team 14-0 and ranked No. 19 in The Associated Press and the USA Today Top 25 polls.
Sammy Smith can't escape at this time of the year.
One has to wonder if Parker Dykes will watch Mississippi Bowl VII at 2 p.m. Sunday. That's when No. 1 East Mississippi Community College (11-0) will play No. 2 Iowa Western College (11-0) at Biloxi High School for the National Junior College Athletic Association national championship.
If there had been a trademark of the 2014 Mississippi State football team entering Saturday's Battle for the Golden Egg, it would have been the team's resiliency.
Back in the long steamy nights of August, a promising football season started for both Starkville High School and Noxubee County High School.
Jeff Terrill is having a good time. After some minor health issues last season, Terrill is back in the full swing of things. He will lead Starkville Academy in the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Class AAA, Division II state championship game Saturday against Oak Forest (La.) Academy.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. There is but one question that will be on the minds of Mississippi State fans today. MSU, No. 1 in the polls and No. 1 in the College Football Playoff ratings, fell to Alabama 25-20 on Saturday. What MSU fans want to know is how far that fall will be.
2. Bulldogs look to overcome rash of injuries COLLEGE SPORTS
3. MSU's Richardson wants to be more consistent COLLEGE SPORTS
4. Sword ready for Newman's help in leading the Bulldogs COLLEGE SPORTS
5. MSU hopes to make most of three-game home stand COLLEGE SPORTS