Mississippi State still perfect

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 27, 1999

A 7-0 record is perfect anyway you cut it. And that’s the Mississippi State Bulldogs at this stage of the 1999 football season.

The Dawgs are a mite suspect, many of us are saying. But they’re still unbeaten, and even though rugged foes Kentucky, Alabama, Arkansas and Ole Miss must be faced in November, it’s the present that counts where State’s concerned.

While it’s true that the MSU defense has essentially carried the team to its 7-0 record and a tie for eighth in the nation, the Bulldog offense is anything but slouchy. Particularly as regards crunch time offense.

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The LSU Tigers have never played harder than they did last Saturday against Mississippi State. And that’s fine – that was expected. But it only goes to show this football land the greatness of college football here in the U.S. of A. As long as there’s the American brand of football, we have it made. Agreed?

And look at Southern Mississippi, the Golden Eagles could be on a roll for sure with an upset of an Alabama SEC team Saturday that’s not favored by much over the C-USA USM team that’s now a winner of three straight and sporting a 5-2 season mark and a No. 20 national ranking.

Ole Miss and LSU? Well, it has never been a secret that when the Rebels and Tigers come to blows – especially in Tiger Stadium – the fur flies. Coach Gerry DiNardo of LSU is a truly nice guy who crosses swords this Saturday with another nice guy I met for the first time last Thursday. You already know I mean Ole Miss gentleman head football coach David Cutcliffe.

About coach Cutcliffe:&160;I truly believe he is a swell person, and a good coach. I found him to be coach-like at the right time, and non-coach like and down to earth at the right time. Unlike some coaches who are hard-nosed most of the time, Cutcliffe came across as we talked as a regular guy. Kinda neighbor-like.

The Rebels will likely defeat the hustling, but struggling Tigers who are fighting to save their coach’s job. It could even be another Mississippi State vs. LSU-type game down in Baton Rouge.

In fact, the Tigers could very well bump off the 25th-ranked Rebels. However, my guess is Ole Miss 24, LSU 20 … Also Alabama to nip USM 27 to 24. State’s idle, as you know. Ole Miss’ wagon is loaded, even as is State’s after next Saturday, what with Arkansas, Georgia and State waiting in line for the Rebs.

HURRIED HASH … When Copiah-Lincoln Community College honored well-known Natchez athletes Claude Porter, Alex Sandel and Iris (Poole) Eddy with induction last Saturday into its Athletic Hall of Fame., Co-Lin officials had added to its fabled shrine three athletic heavyweights. Believe me … The former Iris Poole was an All-State lady basketball star to end all lady basketball stars – she out-hustled everyone on the court at Copiah-Lincoln, and previously at Natchez High. Iris was just that way, I guess you could say. Like a Poole? Yep, that’ll work!… And Alex Sandel was an outstanding football player whose credentials included starring stints on coach Ed Reed’s one-of-a-kind Notre Dame Box team that shook up many opponents with its introduction in 1969 at NHS … Proudly I salute all three.

…Did anybody see the Oct. 7 Army-Louisville eye-stopper football contest on TV? I didn’t, and old NHS schoolmate David Aldridge, even though he saw the double overtime 59-52 Army victory, said he didn’t know if anyone else saw the thriller … Army won the thrill-a-second game 59-52, David told me, but you ought to hear him describe how the two teams gained a total of more than 1,000 yards combined, and one Armby back gained 296.

Glenvall Estes is a contributing columnist for The Democrat.