Sideline View by Dale McKee

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The 2018-19 college bowls got off to a roaring start this Saturday as six games were played. North Carolina A&T edged Alcorn State, 24-22, in the Celebration Bowl played in Atlanta. Other winners were Utah State, Tulane, Fresno State, Georgia Southern and Appalachian State. We have nine more bowl games coming this week as single games will be played beginning on Tuesday. The ESPN networks will televise 35 of this year’s 40 bowl games. Only three are on CBS and two on Fox-TV. The football playoffs and National Championship games will be televised on ESPN.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs will hit the practice field this week. The Bulldogs will break for Christmas vacation and then head to Tampa for the Outback Bowl on December 26. They will meet Big Ten foe Iowa on January 1, 2019. Coach Joe Moorhead hired former Jackson State head coach Tony Hughes this week. Hughes is considered one of the best recruiters in the college game.
The Mississippi State cagers had a big win over Cincinnati Saturday night before over 9,000 screaming fans. The Bulldogs are now 9-1 and were ranked 18th in last week’s top 20 AP poll. The SEC has four teams in Tennessee (3rd), Auburn (8th), MSU (18th) and Kentucky (19th). Nine SEC schools rank in the Top 55 on the NCAA’s NET rankings (as of Dec. 13): Tennessee (5th), Auburn (10th), MSU (26th), Kentucky (39th), LSU (40th), Florida (50th), Ole Miss (52nd), Arkansas (61st) and Vandy (63rd). The SEC schedule begins with five games on Saturday, January 5. The Rebels travel to Vandy in their conference opener while MSU will travel to South Carolina on Tuesday, January 8, for their opener.
Ole Miss improved to 8-2 with a pair of wins over SE Louisiana and Chattanooga last week. The game in Jackson against Southeastern was interesting in that the whose who of Mississippi basketball were in attendance. Former Chicago Bulls coach Tim Floyd and former USM head coach James Green were on press row. Southeastern head coach Jay Ladner's and Ole Miss head coach Kermit Davis Jr's, fathers played against each other in the first Mississippi Coaches All-Star game back in 1955. They also competed as high school coaches back in the old Big Eight Conference of Mississippi high school basketball. Ladner coached at Picayune and Kermit Senior at Tupelo. Kermit Davis Sr. was head coach at Mississippi State for seven years and was at the helm when Humphrey Coliseum was opened in 1976.
The Mississippi State Lady Bulldogs (10-0) were ranked fifth in last week’s AP poll. State visited USM last Friday night, and the third largest crown in women’s history at Reed Green Coliseum showed up. State won easily before 4,448 fans and will now travel to Oregon and Washington before breaking for the holidays. The Lady Dogs have won 46 straight regular season games.
Odds & Ends
Lady Bulldogs head coach Vic Schaefer's daughter Blair, who helped her dad to back-to-back Final Fours, is now doing radio and has worked games on the SEC Network since her graduation from Mississippi State this past year.
Former Ole Miss baseball pitcher Lance Lynn signed a three-year $30 million contract with the Texas Rangers. Lynn played for the Twins and Yankees this past summer.
Mississippi State tight ends and associate head coach Mark Hudspeth was hired as the Austin Peay head football coach. The Louisville, Mississippi, native was head coach at Louisiana-Lafayette 2011-17.
Delta State punter Cody Mills of Oxford was selected as a Division II All-American.
This Wednesday is the early signing for high school football players. Division I football and Division I and II midyear and junior college transfers may sign. The next possible date they can sign is February 6, 2019.