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."
SCOOBA -- The state's best Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges North Division rivalry took an odd turn last season when EMCC defeated Northwest Mississippi C.C. 79-7 on the way to its second National Junior College Athletic Association national championship.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Even Alabama's No. 7 ranking can't conceal some chinks in the Alabama football team's armor that once seemed impenetrable. Special teams muffs, turnovers, and even problems running the ball have been among them. Coach Nick Saban can work on those issues, but he can't change the fact that a 14-13 victory against Arkansas causes more concern than celebration among his fan base.
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.
OXFORD -- Playing as a top-five team for the first time, the Ole Miss football team passed a major test Saturday night in a 35-20 rout of then-No. 14 Texas A&M at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas. Coach Hugh Freeze and his Rebels will try to build on the momentum of back-to-back victories at 6 p.m. Saturday (ESPN) when they play host to Tennessee at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
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.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- After all the frustrations of late, Nick Saban at least had his comic timing down pat. The Alabama coach, following a 14-13 victory against Arkansas and a second-straight game filled with turnovers and key penalties, had his deadpan response ready when asked about the reasons for the mistakes.
The Ole Miss football team's defense is forcing turnovers and scoring points. Safety Cody Prewitt said the unit is relentless and stingy. It's hard to argue with him after the defense helped No. 3 Ole Miss beat No. 14 Texas A&M 35-20 to improve to 6-0 for the first time since 1962.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Even after a week, Blake Sims wasn't quite ready to let go of the frustration from the shocking loss at Mississippi. The rest of the Alabama quarterback's teammates played as if they were still hung up on the loss as well for much of a 14-13 victory at Arkansas on Saturday night.
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.
Auburn-Mississippi State By the Numbers
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Bo Wallace ran for two scores and threw a touchdown pass and Ole Miss' defense added two scores to help the third-ranked Rebels remain undefeated with a 35-20 victory against No. 14 Texas A&M on Saturday night.
5 for Inside for Mississippi State-Auburn
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- An Alabama team known for stingy defense and physical offense is getting more attention for turnovers and penalties this week. The seventh-ranked Crimson Tide (4-1, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) has been uncharacteristically mistake-prone, especially the past two games.
STARKVILLE -- Call it the one that got away. A year before his team defeated then-No. 8 LSU and then-No. 6 Texas A&M in back-to-back games, Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen had the Bulldogs in position for a huge win at Auburn early in the 2013 season. At the time, few knew how good Auburn really was.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State guard Fred Thomas wants to be a leader on the basketball court. Part of that desire comes from the fact that it will help the Bulldogs, 24-41 in the past two seasons, win games more games. The other part? Thomas wants to provide MSU's newcomers with something he didn't have when he entered the program three years ago.
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