By JOEL COLEMAN
With SEC Media Days now in the rear-view mirror, that can only mean the 2015-16 athletic year is just around the corner. As we put another week to rest, let’s analyze some of the happenings of the past seven days in something I plan to make a weekly happening here on the SDN Bulldog Blog.
(Drum roll, please)
I present to you, the 3-Pointer:
- Media picks Bulldogs to finish last in SEC West – I don’t know if Dan Mullen is a fan of Whitesnake, but in my mind, I can’t help but paint this picture. It’s Thursday. The seventh-year leader of the Bulldogs checks his email. There it is. The 2015 preseason SEC media rankings have Mississippi State dead last in its division. Mullen grins and stands up. The drums begin to beat. Maybe Mullen strums a little air guitar before blaring out “Here I go again on my own. Going down the only road I’ve ever known……” Okay, maybe it didn’t happen like that. But Mullen wasn’t far off when on Tuesday he called it “tradition” for Mississippi State to be predicted last in the West. Yes, a year ago, the media predicted a fifth-place finish, but the point stands that it has become commonplace for many to put MSU near the bottom on an annual basis. Personally, I don’t see how a healthy State team falls to the cellar of the division. I think Dak Prescott alone insures that doesn’t happen. But make no mistake, there’s not going to be a whole lot of separation in the seven Western Division teams. Any of them can win on any given day. Yet if there’s one team that won’t mind at all being overlooked, it’s Mullen’s Bulldogs. In fact, in hearing the guys talk on Tuesday, they almost seem to prefer it that way.
- Medical evaluator to be present at each SEC game – Also last Tuesday, the SEC announced that an independent medical evaluator would be in the replay booth for the games this fall. This person will have the power to stop a play and remove a player from the field if he feels the player is exhibiting signs of a head or neck injury that personnel on the field didn’t catch. This is an excellent idea. Player safety should be prioritized. But the evaluator could be put in some unenviable positions for sure. Picture this scenario. State trails Alabama 17-13 in the fourth quarter. 10 seconds remain. The Bulldogs have the ball and it’s 4th and goal from the Bama 3. MSU lines up to run the play. The whistle blows everything dead. Prescott must be removed from the game for at least one play because the medical evaluator saw something he didn’t like. Now I realize something like this happening isn’t likely. But it is possible. And should anything like this come to pass, the conspiracy theorists will have a field day. Even with all that said, kudos to the league for taking another step towards keeping players healthy.
- Big Dawg Camp set a near-impossible standard a year ago – For those who closely follow recruiting, the 2014 Mississippi State Big Dawg Camp went down as one of the most newsworthy nights in school history as State secured eight verbal commitments in a span of about five hours. Though only three gave pledges to MSU in the 2015 edition of the camp on Friday night, the SDN’s Robbie Faulk writes in his column coming in the Monday edition of the Starkville Daily News that the event was still a success. Pick up a Monday paper to find out why and read more of Robbie’s thoughts, plus get quotes from MSU’s newest commitments.
That’s it for this week’s edition. Only 48 days til kickoff as of this posting. Pick up a Monday copy of the SDN for more good stuff.
And on a personal note, thanks for all the support this week. Sports is fun. I look forward to helping you all enjoy it a little more by providing you entertaining and interesting content both here, and in the paper. Catch you all down the road.