For the first time since 1938 Ole Miss and Mississippi State will both have new head coaches entering the next college football season. Ole Miss stole the sports headlines in December with the surprise firing of Matt Luke and hiring of Lane Kiffin. Mississippi State has already taken over the sports headlines for this month with their firing of Joe Moorhead. Days after losing to Louisville in the Music City Bowl, MSU fired Moorhead. MSU officials basically said he was not a good fit. I really believe that Moorhead lost the fan base during his first year. Bulldogs fans expected a ten-win season in 2018, and when Moorhead only delivered an 8-5 season, he devastated the Bulldogs faithful. Throw in a home loss to Dan Mullen and Florida and that was even worse. One thing Joe did was bring home two Egg Bowl wins and a couple of bowl trips. But that was just not enough in this day and time.
As I write this column on Sunday, MSU Athletic Director John Cohen will probably have already named Moorhead’s successor by the time you read this article in your weekly newspaper. Two days after Dan Mullen left for Florida in December of 2018, Moorhead was hired. Cohen has a plan, and this hire will come quickly. The idea of a ‘good fit' by MSU athletic officials is understandable, but I wonder if Ole Miss used that philosophy in their hire of the sometimes outspoken Lane Kiffin.
Since December 21 there have been 40 college bowl games. The Magnolia State played in three of those games and recorded a 0-3 mark as Alcorn, MSU and USM all lost miserably. What is the preview for the 2020 season? The answer could be a lot like this season.
Next Monday night all eyes will be on the New Orleans Superdome as two undefeated football teams in Clemson and LSU will square off for the National Championship. The SEC was 7-2 in bowl games entering the championship game, and LSU is a slight favorite over Clemson.
Saints Fans Heartbroken Again
The New Orleans Saints' season came to an end against the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings scored a touchdown on the opening drive of overtime to clip the Saints, 26-20. It was the fifth time these two teams have met in the playoffs, and Minnesota has won four of those post-season contests. For the Saints it was another controversial ‘none call’ that ended their season. It was another stellar regular season with a heartbreaking final result.
This weekend we will be entertained as Minnesota visits San Francisco and Seattle will be traveling to Green Bay in the NFC. Tennessee visits Baltimore and Texas heads to Kansas City in the AFC playoffs.
The Saints were one of five teams to win at least 100 games during the decade. New England, Green Bay, Pittsburgh and Seattle also accomplished that feat.
Former Saints linebacker Sam Mills was named a finalists for the NFL Hall of Fame.
Former Ole Miss football star D. K. Metcalf was impressive in leading Seattle over the Philadelphia Eagles in wild card weekend. The Oxford native caught seven passes for 160 yards to set a rookie record for yards in an NFL playoff game.
Brett Favre and Ray Guy of USM were named to the All-Time NFL Team. Favre was one of the best ten quarterbacks while Guy was named one of the best punters. Guy was also named to the ESPN first-team All-Time All American Team as its punter to celebrate 150 years of college football.
Dale is a Waynesboro native who has been writing sports since 1973.