Tag:Mississippi State
Posted on: March 1, 2012 2:13 pm
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SEC loves (playing) the Sun Belt

While Thursday’s release of the Sun Belt’s 2012 football schedule didn’t bring as much fanfare as the SEC or Big 12 schedule release, it did give us a chance to look at which other conferences love the Sun Belt. Specifically which of the other 10 FBS conferences love playing against the Sun Belt.

And no one loves playing/beating the Sun Belt more than the SEC, especially Mississippi State.

Three of the Bulldogs' four non-conference games are against Sun Belt members Troy, South Alabama and Middle Tennessee. Their fourth non-conference game is against FCS member Jackson State. I guess there were no Division III teams available that week.

Anyway, Mississippi State is among nine SEC schools that will play Sun Belt schools this fall in a total of 12 non-conference games. The only SEC schools without a Sun Belt team on the schedule is Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt. Defending national champion Alabama’s schedule features two Sun Belt opponents: Western Kentucky and Florida Atlantic.

After the SEC, Conference USA has the most schools (six) playing Sun Belt opponents with a total of eight games.

Mississippi State is one of five schools with multiple Sun Belt opponents. Alabama, Memphis, Tulane and Navy each have two Sun Belt non-conference games.

The only FBS league that isn’t playing the Sun Belt is the WAC.

Last year, the Sun Belt was only 10-25 in non-conference games against FBS opponents, including a 1-2 bowl record.

Conference (games vs. Sun Belt)

ACC (3):
Duke, Georgia Tech, N.C. State
Big East (1):
Louisville
Big 10 (1):
Nebraska
Big 12 (3):
Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma State
C-USA (6):
Houston, Memphis 2, Southern Miss, Tulane 2, UAB, UCF
Independents (1):
Navy 2
MAC (1):
Akron
Mountain West (1):
Hawaii
SEC (9):
Alabama 2, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State 3, Tennessee
Pac-12 (1):
Oregon
WAC (0)

Posted on: January 18, 2012 4:32 pm
Edited on: January 18, 2012 4:39 pm
 

Texas A&M, Notre Dame most overrated in 2011

Now that the 2011 college football season is finally completed – Bobby Hebert’s done ranting about Les Miles, right? – let’s take a look at how smart or, make that clueless,  the voters in the Associated Press poll were before the season.

I was one of the 60 voters that participated in the AP poll. Each summer we’re asked to produce a Top 25 out of thin air. And then come January, we discover we’re usually as accurate as a non-fiction piece from James Frey.

Surprisingly, though, this year we did a fairly decent job of predicting the future or, if you prefer, the teams did a decent job of living up to their preseason rankings.

First the good.

We nailed it! Of the AP’s preseason Top 25 teams, three schools – No. 7 Stanford, No. 14 TCU and No. 19 Georgia – finished with the same ranking in the final AP poll.

Missed it by this much: Of the remaining 22 teams ranked in the preseason, we were off by only three spots or less on six schools: Alabama (preseason No. 2, finished No. 1), Oregon (preseason No. 3, finished No. 4), LSU (preseason No. 4, finished No. 2), Boise State (preseason No. 5, finished No. 8), Wisconsin (preseason No. 10, finished No. 11) and South Carolina (preseason No. 12, finished No. 9).

At this point I’d like to mention of the preseason top 19 teams, nearly half (nine) finished within three spots in the final AP rankings. Not bad. Which brings me too …

Wow, were we wrong: Of the remaining 16 teams ranked in the preseason Top 25, nine schools finished in the final Top 25, but were nowhere close to their preseason rankings. No. 1 Oklahoma finished 16th, No. 6 Florida State finished 23rd, No. 9 Oklahoma State finished third, No. 10 Nebraska finished No. 24, No. 13 Virginia Tech finished No. 21, No. 15 Arkansas finished fifth, No. 17 Michigan State finished 11th, No. 24 West Virginia finished No. 17 and No. 25 USC finished No. 6.

That leaves seven schools that were ranked in the preseason Top 25 but plummeted out of the rankings by season’s end because (take your pick) they choked under the pressure of a preseason Top 25 ranking, didn’t deserve to be ranked, were overrated, underachieved or all of the above.

We/they totally blew it: Here they are: the not-so-Magnificent Seven teams that were ranked in the preseason Top 25 but ended the season outside the Top 25. No. 8 Texas A&M, No. 16 Notre Dame, No. 18 Ohio State, No. 20 Mississippi State, No. 21 Missouri, No. 22 Florida and No. 23 Auburn all finished out of the Top 25.

We never saw them coming: There were 48 schools that received at least one vote in the preseason Top 25 poll. Yet, there were four schools that did not receive a single preseason vote that still finished in the final top 25: Baylor (finishing No. 13), Kansas State (finishing No. 15), Clemson (finishing No. 22) and Cincinnati (finishing No. 25).

Three other schools received Top 25 preseason votes and were not in the preseason Top 25 but finished in the AP final poll: No. 12 Michigan, No. 18 Houston and No. 20 Southern Miss.

So who were the biggest surprises and disappointments of 2011? Look no further than the Big 12, which had the nation's two most pleasant surprises in Baylor and Kansas State and the nation's biggest disappointment in Texas A&M.

Based on their AP preseason rankings, the biggest surprises in 2011: Baylor, Kansas State, Clemson (yes, even with the Orange Bowl seal-clubbing), Michigan, Cincinnati, USC and Houston. The biggest disappointments: Texas A&M, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Mississippi State, Florida, Arizona State, Miami, Utah, Iowa, Florida State, N.C. State and Oklahoma.

Listed below are the 48 schools that received a vote in the preseason Top 25 and the difference of how many spots better (+) or worse (-) it finished in the final Top 25 rankings. Following the school is each team’s preseason and final ranking. If a school started unranked and finished unranked, it was considered starting/finishing at No. 49.

Diff School (Pre-Final ranking)
+36 Baylor (NR-13)
+34 Kansas State (NR-15)
+27 Clemson (NR-22)
+26 Michigan (38-12)
+24 Cincinnati (NR-25)
+19 USC (25-6)
+18 Houston (36-18)
+15 Virginia (NR-34)
+11 Southern Miss (31-20)
+13 Northern Illinois (41-28)
+10 Arkansas (15-5)
+7 West Virginia (24-17)
+7 Brigham Young (33-26)
+6 Oklahoma State (9-3)
+6 Michigan State (17-11)
+3 South Carolina (12-9)
+2 LSU (4-2)
+1 Alabama (2-1)
+1 Wisconsin (11-10)
0 Stanford (7-7)
0 TCU (14-14)
0 Georgia (19-19)
-1 Oregon (3-4)
-3 Boise State (5-8)
-3 Nevada (46-NR)
-3 Northwestern (46-NR)
-3 Washington (46-NR)
-4 Auburn (23-27)
-4 Texas (26-30)
-5 Arizona (44-NR)
-5 Maryland (44-NR)
-6 Penn State (27-33)
-6 Tulsa (43-NR)
-8 Virginia Tech (13-21)
-8 Missouri (21-29)
-8 Hawaii (41-NR)
-9 UCF (40-NR) 5
-10 Tennessee (39-NR)
-12 Pittsburgh (37-NR)
-14 Nebraska (10-24)
-14 Air Force (35-NR)
-15 Oklahoma (1-16)
-16 N.C. State (33-NR)
-17 Florida State (6-23)
-17 Iowa (32-NR)
-19 Utah (30-NR) 25
-20 Miami (29-NR)
-21 Arizona State (28-NR)
-27 Florida (22-NR)
-29 Mississippi State (20-NR)
-31 Ohio State (18-NR)
-33 Notre Dame (16-NR)
-41 Texas A&M (8-NR)



Posted on: September 1, 2011 6:09 pm
Edited on: September 1, 2011 6:28 pm
 

Mississippi State suspends 5 players vs. Memphis

Mississippi State suspended five players, including starting DT Fletcher Cox, for Thursday night's game at Memphis for violating team rules, the school announced.

The other suspended players were freshman LT Blaine Clausell, who was listed as a co-starter at left tackle, Dylan Favre, Chris Hughes and Malcolm Johnson.

Favre was listed as the Bulldogs' back-up quarterback. Hughes, a sophomore linebacker, and Johnson, a freshman wide receiver, are not listed on MSU's two-deep.

All five players are expected to return for the Bulldogs' next game, Sept. 10 at Auburn, a MSU spokesperson said.



Posted on: July 11, 2011 1:32 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 1:40 pm
 

Biggest winners after major infractions

In part III of CBSSports.com’s series on cheating in college football, I found out that the majority of schools that have committed major violations in the past 25 years actually have had a better record after the infractions.

So much for penalizing the guilty.

Anyway, in my report, I listed the 10 schools that have been hurt the most by the infractions since 1987.

Here’s a look at the 10 schools that fared the best after getting nailed by the NCAA. And if I’m California, I start committing some violations immediately. Because the last two times Cal committed major infractions the Golden Bears improved drastically over the next five years.

OK, so maybe it’s not that simple. But after Cal’s 1988 infractions, they won 18 more games in the next five years than the previous five seasons. The 2002 violations brought a five-year improvement of 27 wins – more than five per season compared to the previous five seasons.

Well, maybe, it had something to do with Cal’s coaching changes. Bruce Snyder replaced Joe Kapp in 1987 and Jeff Tedford replaced Tom Holmoe in 2002.

In the chart below, the year designates the year of the infraction. The improvement in wins is the number for the five seasons after compared to the five seasons before the violation.

Year School Improvement in wins

2002 California +27
2003 Rutgers +22
2001 USC +20
1988 California +18
1990 Florida +17
1997 UTEP +13
1997 Georgia +11
1996 Miss. State +9
1993 Auburn +8
1987 Texas Tech +8



Posted on: July 8, 2011 1:05 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2011 1:19 pm
 

Presenting NCAA's most frequent cheaters club

As our series on college football’s cheaters continues today, I looked at the most frequent cheaters – at least in terms of major infractions – since SMU received the Death Penalty in 1987.

It’s a neck-and-neck race between Alabama and Texas Tech, with three major infractions each.

There are also a dozen teams – Cal, Colorado, Florida International, Florida State, Illinois, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, SMU, Texas A&M, USC and Washington – with two infractions each

Here are the remaining 42 teams with one major infraction each: Arkansas, Arkansas State, Arizona State, Auburn, Ball State, Baylor, Central Florida, Cincinnati, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Houston, Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, Louisiana Lafayette, Marshall, Maryland, Memphis, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi, New Mexico, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, San Diego State, South Carolina, Syracuse, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, UTEP, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Washington State and Wisconsin.

In all 56 of the 120 FBS programs have committed a major infraction in the past 25 years, including nearly two-thirds of the automatic qualifying BCS programs.

By the way, I loved a response on Twitter from @FGrimes1 – listed as Forrest Grimes – defending Texas Tech’s three major infractions. He wrote: “Most of Techs major infractions came around the same time, way to make Tech look like a contuinously dirty program a--hole."

For Mr. Grimes’ information, Tech’s violations were not at the same time – but spaced more than 10 years apart in 1987, 1998 and on Jan. 7, 2011 – during Grimes’ current semester as a journalism major at Tech

While our two-week series is looking at whether schools can win without cheating, I think it’s important to recognize the 23 AQ BCS programs that have not committed a major infraction since 1987 … so far.

ACC–Boston College, Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State, Wake Forest.
Big East–UConn, Louisville, South Florida, West Virginia.
Big Ten–Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern, Penn State, Purdue.
Big 12–Iowa State, Missouri.
Pac-12–Arizona, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA.
SEC–LSU, Vanderbilt


Posted on: June 1, 2011 4:57 pm
Edited on: June 1, 2011 5:00 pm
 

Spurrier wants players to receive $300 a game

DESTIN, Fla. – South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said he was battling laryngitis so he had to speak softly. His message, though, was loud and clear: football players should receive financial compensation.

At Wednesday’s SEC spring meetings, Spurrier presented a proposal that league coaches – out of their own pockets – provide $300 a game to its players. The money would be for game expenses.

“They can give to their parents for travel, lodging, meals,” Spurrier said. “Maybe they could take their girlfriends out Saturday night and so forth.”

Spurrier said six other coaches signed his proposal: Alabama’s Nick Saban, Florida’s Will Muschamp, Ole Miss’ Houston Nutt, Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, LSU’s Les Miles and Tennessee’s Derek Dooley.

“A bunch of us coaches felt so strongly about it we would be willing to pay 70 guys 300 bucks a game,” Spurrier said. “That’s only $21,000 a game. I doubt it will get passed, but as the coaches in the SEC we make all the money as do the universities with television [deals]. And we need to give more to our players. That was something we need to get out there.”

The five coaches who didn’t sign Spurrier’s proposal: Arkansas’ Bobby Petrino, Auburn’s Gene Chizik, Georgia’s Mark Richt, Kentucky’s Joker Phillips and Vanderbilt’s James Franklin.

"I told the other coaches Im going to tell the media what coaches wouldn't sign," Spurrier said.

SEC commissioner Mike Slive said it was doubtful Spurrier’s proposal could ever get passed.

"I don't think [it would pass],” Slive said. “It was a gesture by Steve, thinking about student athlete welfare.”

Spurrier said he’s felt this way for years, especially how much money is made in college athletics by the universities and coaches.

“I just wish there was a way to give our players a little bit piece of the pie,” Spurrier said. “It’s so huge right now. As you know 50 years ago there was not any kind of money and the players got full scholarships. Now they’re still getting full scholarships and the money in the millions.

“I don’t know how to get it done. Hopefully there’s a way to get our guys that play football, a little piece of the pie. The coaches make so much, we ‘d be willing to pay it so there’s no additional expense to the university or anybody.”

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com