Have Rebels, Bulldogs turned corner?

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 17, 1999

Should there be Ole Miss and Mississippi State fans out there who believe the Rebels and Bulldogs have turned the corner this 1999 football season – don’t.

True, Memphis appeared to be quite a test for the Rebels in their struggling 3-point win over the Tigers early. The same held true when the &uot;Dawgs&uot; likewise struggled to a 3-point victory last Saturday over Memphis.

But it’s the same old story: Who knows at this point whether Memphis is good enough to have actually served as an acid test for either team?

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No, not even if the two state SEC teams had both beaten Florida State instead, early-season stuff has a way of warping football fans’ sense of sizing up early results of their favorite’s games, fans who, regardless, love to believe.

One constant as we look at State’s game Saturday against Oklahoma State is that OSU definitely stacks up as stronger than Memphis. And maybe Vanderbilt’s better than Memphis, maybe not. Vandy is OM’s foe Saturday.

And Southern Mississippi? Gotta say it’s the same old story, although the Golden Eagles might have beaten in defending Conference USA champion Tulane Sept. 6 an even better ball club than Memphis, also of C-USA.

Northwestern Louisiana might likewise be about the caliber of Middle Tennessee, State’s easy first game. And Arkansas State that Ole Miss rallied to slam to the mat pretty well last Saturday. USM splashed the University of Louisiana at Monroe last Saturday.

But one has to figure that No. 4 Nebraska will almost surely be too much for USM at Nebraska Saturday. But there again, you know how unpredictable football is. Any class or brand. Iowa fell 42-7 and California 45-0 the first two weeks to Nebraska. But never say never – USM could upset Nebraska.

But my guess is that the bigger, deeper Huskers will prevail something likee 28-17. Coach Jeff Bower’s Eagles certainly won’t be overconfident this week or next, for No. 7 Texas A&M comes calling on them next Saturday.

I fear for Mississippi State Saturday, even at home. The&160;Bullies looked good to me, but I’m afraid they’ll lose to OSU something like 31-24.

And Ole Miss? Vandy’s no Nebraska or Oklahoma State, so I’ll take a pretty good looking Rebel team to outscore the Commodores 34-20.

Question-mark LSU, on the other hand, may or may not have reached the point that it can be said of the Tigers they’re pretty good looking. However, I do believe that the Bayou Bengals have beaten in San Jose State and North Texas two better teams than some others’ early opponents. On a hunch – LSU to win a close one over Auburn 31-27 Saturday.

n Richard&160;Fallin was truly a remarkable man. Natchez-Adams School Board members knew it better than any other group of citizens, pre se. But I bet’cha more Natchez people admired and respected the late Natchez High vocational-technical center director, maintenance director, and assistant superintendent of operations, than anyone.

Richard was my close friend and neighbor, and I can tell you without fear of contradiction that he knew more about, and could do more things vocational and technical, than any person I ever knew. And big-hearted and compassionate Christian man that he was, Richard Fallin would rush to the assistance of anyone who needed a hand.

&uot;The Richard Lee Falline Natchez High School Career and Technology Center&uot; will stand forever in moving memory of one great in our town.

Thank you School Board for honoring this fine person that died in February.