MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The No. 12 University of Alabama men's basketball team has learned its lesson. The Crimson Tide (7-0) have ridden smothering defense and a blend of veteran players and impact freshmen to its best start in nine seasons. This time last year, Alabama was a struggling group that would get it together too late to salvage its NCAA tournament hopes.
STARKVILLE -- Another offseason is nearly here, and reports of Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen leaving Starkville already have started. The Bulldogs' third-year coach deflected questions Tuesday about speculation he is a serious candidate to replace Joe Paterno as head football coach at Penn State University.
STARKVILLE -- Discipline. Structure. Fundamentals. Jemmye Ann Helms remembers those elements being cornerstones Sharon Fanning-Otis established in 1995 at Mississippi State when she took over as the school's new women's basketball coach.
SCOOBA -- Skill positions are crucial in a high-octane offense. But there's plenty of credit to go around when a team scores 41 or more points in its last nine games on the way to an undefeated 11-0 mark and a shot at a national championship.
JACKSON -- Once a walk-on, Southern Mississippi quarterback Austin Davis has been recognized as the state of Mississippi's top college football player.
STARKVILLE -- Jack and Mary Lott weren't about to let a little rain spoil their party. The Lotts have attended the past 15 football games between the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State.
STARKVILLE -- The Golden Egg Trophy will stay in Starkville. The Mississippi State football team won the annual in-state rivalry for the third straight year for the first time since World War II with a 31-3 victory against the University of Mississippi on Saturday night.
STARKVILLE -- Whether it was right, left, or up the middle, the Mississippi State football team ran past an overmatched University of Mississippi defense. MSU's game plan wasn't complicated. Coach Dan Mullen wanted to force the Southeastern Conference's worst run defense to stop the Bulldogs' ground game before they would adjust.
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen pulled a fast one on everybody willing to listen. Less than 30 minutes after MSU lost to No. 3 Arkansas 44-17 last week, the third-year coach didn't want to take questions on the quarterback issue because he was willing to hand over the answer: Tyler Russell was starting the 2011 Egg Bowl.
STARKVILLE -- Houston Nutt didn't want his career as head football coach at the University of Mississippi end this way. There couldn't have been a bigger understatement. Nutt's Rebels were outmanned from the opening kickoff Saturday in a 31-3 loss to archrival Mississippi State in the final Southeastern Conference regular-season game for both teams at Davis Wade Stadium.
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State men's basketball team has little time to celebrate it latest victory. Coming off a 26-point victory Friday against the University of Tennessee at Martin, No. 24 MSU will play host to the University of North Texas at 1:30 p.m. today at Humphrey Coliseum.
SAVANNAH, Ga. -- The Mississippi State women's basketball team parlayed a strong defensive effort into a 56-42 victory against Savannah State on Saturday afternoon at Tiger Arena. The Lady Bulldogs (5-1) allowed only three second-half field goals after leading 26-25 at halftime. Savannah State (3-2) didn't convert its first field goal of the final half until 7 minutes, 26 seconds remained in the game.
AUBURN, Ala. -- Trent Richardson and the No. 2 University of Alabama football team have convinced Nick Saban they're worthy of competing for college's top prize. They'll have to wait a while before for the final decision is rendered
AUBURN, Ala. -- Tailback Trent Richardson isn't among those assuming the No. 2 University of Alabama football team will just roll over its biggest rival on the way to a possible national title shot. He knows Auburn has heard such talk, too.
STARKVILLE -- Dee Bost, Brian Bryant, Rodney Hood, and Jalen Steele. Even without Arnett Moultrie and Renardo Sidney in the starting lineup for the second game in a row, Wendell Lewis probably wouldn't be any higher in the pecking order when it comes to options on offense.
OXFORD -- It may be too early in the season to call it a defining moment, but University of Mississippi men's basketball coach Andy Kennedy thought his club's 64-61 overtime win against previously undefeated University of Miami was a step in the right direction.
STARKVILLE -- Corey Broomfield intercepted passes before and after his first game against the University of Mississippi, but there's one play people still want to discuss.
STARKVILLE -- The Liberty Bowl committee has made it clear to Mississippi State: The bowl will select the school for its game. Liberty Bowl Executive Director Steve Ehrhart told The Dispatch in a phone interview Tuesday his bowl game would like MSU to make its second appearance in its event since 2007.
STARKVILLE -- "Horrible." Catina Bett doesn't mince words when asked to describe her performance in the Mississippi State women's basketball team's first five games.
STARKVILLE -- When asked what the Egg Bowl rivalry means to him, Rockey Felker looked to the sky and took a deep breath before answering. Brevity isn't a useful personality trait when the former Mississippi State head football coach talks about importance of that matchup.