For Mississippi State University football fans, it must be tempting to look at all that transpired Saturday in a 51-7 victory against Alcorn State University and pronounce MSU is fully recovered from last week's disappointing opener.
Things are never the same when you go home after being away for a number of years. Somehow, things seem smaller, less vivid than the images preserved in memory.
HOOVER, Ala. -- Mike Getman gets it. As the de facto ambassador for Division I men's soccer in this part of the country, the University of Alabama at Birmingham coach couldn't help but smile. His work was done. He and a crowd of 9,242 had just watched Indiana University defeat Georgetown University 1-0 to win the Men's College Cup at Regions Park.
JACKSON -- Energy and effort transformed into joy twice Saturday for Greater Golden Triangle football teams.
STARKVILLE -- One counter attack can change a match. For most of the past nine seasons, the Mississippi State University women's soccer team tried to become a program that did more than bunker in and absorb pressure. While MSU had admirable success in non-conference games, it often opted to play a more defensive style against Southeastern Conference opponents. That brand of soccer is what then-coach Neil Macdonald felt gave his team its best chance to be successful.
Apparently punitive remedies are the only ones that work for the Mississippi Department of Education.
Adam Lowrey has watched helplessly as a program he spent five years building has started to fall apart around him.
The summer heat is here. These are times to devise a game plan to catch fish. More than one rod is the best way for a weekend angler to enjoy his or her time on the water without spending the day cutting off lures and tying on several others.
Perfection is a matter of opinion.
As warm weather arrives people in the South turn their thoughts to their favorite beverages.
Even though Rick Stansbury hadn't been a head coach when he was hired to replace Richard Williams as head men's basketball coach at Mississippi State University, the perception was he was ready to take the next step.
There is a hot new bait out on the market in bass fishing. The Alabama rig, an umbrella rig that has five wires with swivels attached, allows an angler to attach five baits to the rig and to fish on a single cast. Designed and sold by Andy Poss, he took the idea from the saltwater fishermen who use umbrella rigs to run teaser lures behind the boat while trolling to get the attention of saltwater fish such as marlin and tuna.
STARKVILLE -- Applause greeted Rick Stansbury at 1:12 p.m. Thursday as he turned the corner into the lobby of the Bryan Building. The longtime Mississippi State men's basketball coach scanned the room and chided the supporters gathered for the announcement of his retirement for having long faces. "Cheer up. Smile. This is a happy day," Stansbury said.
STARKVILLE -- Coaches have been known for years to borrow or to tweak an aspect of one coaching style or strategy into their way of doing things. Sometimes, though, a coach needs a little more assistance in grasping the importance of a concept and incorporating it into their philosophy. Holly Davis was only too happy to provide that assistance to a friend who looked like he could use some help.
Scott Stricklin has more than 11 million reasons to hope Vic Schaefer is the right man.
STARKVILLE -- Sharon Fanning-Otis wasn't one for euphemisms or pithy comments. Instead, the veteran coach was more likely to use her postgame comments to the media to break down the finer points of the game and highlight where her team excelled or fell short. True to her nature, Fanning-Otis was a teacher. She remained that way even in her next-to-last game as Mississippi State University women's basketball coach, a humbling 76-40 loss to the University of Kentucky.
Forget 5-hour Energy. If you ever need a pick-me-up, try watching tapes of basketball teams scrambling all over the court in pressure defenses because they're bound to get your blood pumping. After playing more than 24 minutes of face-contorting, rim-busting basketball, the Starkville Academy girls basketball team turned to pressure defense Friday afternoon in a last-ditch effort to keep its hope for a Class AAA state title alive.
STARKVILLE -- For much of the 2010-11 season, a familiar refrain prevented the Mississippi State University women's basketball team from finding its rhythm. Stuck between a lack of execution and experience and an inability to care for the basketball, MSU suffered its first losing season since the 2005-06 campaign and took a step back after making the program's first trip to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament in 2009-10.
The pieces are in place. Rick Stansbury has repeated the thought that the 2011-12 Mississippi State University men's basketball team has greater versatility and depth than last season's team. On Saturday, MSU showcased another ingredient it will need to realize its potential: Resolve.
Sports start with a smile. Do you remember?