Bulldogs making statement

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 6, 1999

Mississippi State might flounder somewhere along the way, but I like to simply say that the Bulldogs are meanwhile making a statement in Southeastern Conference football.

And who’s to say coach Jackie Sherrill’s unbeaten 14th-ranked Dawgs won’t keep on keeping on. They certainly put it on Vanderbilt in major league fashion last Saturday behind the solid quarterbacking of Wayne Madkin and a punishing defense. And Vandy hadn’t done bad in a 3-1 start going into the State game, including a 37-34 overtime win over Ole Miss.

Yes, this is dangerous talk for this time in a season, but when a team looks good winning five straight. a pat on the shoulder for team and coaches is deserved.

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You can bet this Sarturday’s foe, Auburn, will bristle up for the unbeaten Bulldogs, who happen to be ranked up there not far behind, last Saturday’s 24-0 Auburn conqueror, Tennessee. That’s what scouting’s for – Auburn will be ready, particularly at Auburn.

I don’t know how others will go on this one, but I like the Bullies 35-14.

And Ole Miss? Face it, fans, the Rebels of coach David Cutcliffe aren’t setting the woods on fire, but they aren’t doing bad, their overtime loss to Vanderbilt in September notwithstanding.

The Rebels beat up on South Carolina pretty good last Saturday, and Tulane ought to fall this week, but Alabama, which fell in an upset to Louisiana Tech three weeks ago, but looked solid in derailing Top 10 Florida-40-39, looms large for the still-questionable Rebels Oct. 16. I like OM 27-13 this week over Tulane.

The potential’s there in the Rebel camp, and the Rebs have lost only once to date. But with SEC opponents like Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, and Mississippi State – and always LSU, you had better always believe – coming down the line, Ole Miss’ wagon could very well be loaded.

State’s slates, you remind, could be more than the Bulldogs can handle, and that might very well be accurate, but State has quite a few returning players who carried their team to the SEC championship game last year. Consequently, State must be considered a better bet to finish higher than Ole Miss. Right now, anyway.

The USM Golden Eagles will probably find surprising East Carolina too much Saturday but I’m taking the Southerners in an upset, say 20-17, I believe.

I couldn’t believe my eyes, however, as LSU all but handed unbeaten Georgia its first loss of 1999. But stranger things have happened.

Take the Tigers to beat Florida? Can’t go that far. Florida 42-17. Oughta be an interesting SEC weekend.

… HOW ARE THINGS up around Branson and Springfield? In a word, great! My wife Lorene and I had a very casual, really good time. We saw six shows, including Andy Williams, Jim Owen (the funniest man around who also has a great music show), Shoji Tabuchi, Mel Tillis, Mo Bandy and Mickey Gilley. They were all good, but it would be hard to beat Mickey Gilley’s music-comedy entertainment.

Even a touch of awaited us near Springfield, as I have mentioned before. Gary &uot;Peanut&uot; and Debbie Boyd, native Natchezians who own a great eating establishment called &uot;The Hungry Fisherman&uot; in nearby Rogersville, were more than gracious. Visits like the four of us had are indeed precious moments.

Gary and Debbie’s Sunday closing is announced on their menu, and, folks, it says tons as regards Christians running an eating business. I proudly repeat:

&uot;Closed For Sunday For God, Family and Self.&uot;

What a statement for Christians living! We shall return.