Sideline View by Dale McKee

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Though the first actual college kickoff for the first game is still more than six weeks away, we’re grateful for some serious football talk. The SEC Media Days has exploded for the past dozen years due to the conference’s National Championship success. More and more media have begun showing up in Hoover. To accommodate the overflow, the SEC had to expand an extra day back in 2014. The extra day allows ESPN and the SEC Network more time to shoot interviews and compile video of each head coach and players who attend to promote the SEC brand. I have attended over a dozen of these SEC Media Days since my first in 1989. Future Pro Football Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith represented Florida that year. I’m looking forward to Media Days next week.

The media types come from all over the country. Most of us are not good at predicting the winner of the SEC championship. Since 1995 only eight times have these media types chosen the SEC champion correctly.

Ole Miss and Mississippi State open their seasons on the road in Memphis and New Orleans as the Rebels will tangle with the Memphis Tigers and the Bulldogs meet Louisiana- Lafayette (Superdome) in 11 a.m. kickoffs. Southern Mississippi will host Alcorn State that evening.

College World Series $$

Mississippi State’s baseball run to the College World Series brought a great deal of attention to Mississippi. I would guess that the free exposure that MSU received had to be worth over a million dollars.

Major League Baseball on the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is a day that John Adams told us in the Constitution should be a day of fun. We should play games and have parades and picnics all across this land. One of today’s Fourth of July traditions we Americans enjoy is taking a look at Major League baseball standings to see who is in first place to predict what the second half of the season will be. Statistics showed teams in first place on the Fourth stayed there approximately 80 percent of the time.

A quick look at the American League Standings on the Fourth showed New York, Minnesota and Houston leading the divisions. There are also six other American League teams in the hunt for the last two wild card spots. The National League has Atlanta, Milwaukee and Los Angeles leading the divisions. There are nine National League teams battling for the two wild card spots.

Odds & Ends

Kudos to the USA Women’s Soccer team for winning their fourth World Cup by virtue of a 2-0 win over Netherland.

Delta State University hired Mississippi Gulf Coast baseball coach Rodney Batts to replace Mike Kinnison. Batts has been the head coach of MGCC for the past five seasons, but before that he was an assistant coach at DSU from 1999-2014. Batts is a former DSU player.

Former Ole Miss Rebels baseball shortstop Grae Kessinger was promoted this past week from Tri-City to the Houston Astros’ single Class A team Quad City River Bandits in Davenport, Iowa. Keesinger played all four infield positions at Tri-City.

Tommy Stevens is a name that Mississippi State football fans may hear a lot this fall. Stevens, from Indianapolis, Indiana, is a graduate transfer from Penn State. His latest fan is Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy. “Biggest surprise of the Manning Passing Academy was Mississippi State quarterback Tommy Stevens,” Nagy wrote on a tweet. Nagy commented that Stevens was big and athletic and has a live arm.

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