Have Bulldogs been under-bowled?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 15, 1999

A football fan I know surmised over coffee one morning that &uot;bowl officials are trying to embarrass the Mississippi State Bulldogs by sending them to the Peach Bowl to play a 6-5 team (Clemson).&uot; If Clemson should win, he meant.

Fans can’t literally buy that, but even if it just sorta works out that way, the 9-2, 15th-ranked Bulldogs of coach Jackie Sherrill have indeed been under-bowled. If not the Cotton, the Outback Bowl should have quickly grabbed State. Bulldog fans would have backed their team in the Cotton or Outback — Dallas or Tampa, both with a Jan. 1 game, supposedly carrying that special New Year’s glitter.

Being practical, all the Dawgs should do is think &uot;Clemson&uot; during workouts. Clemson is a formidable foe; five losses or not the Tigers are favored by two. Clemson will work hard to prove its worth, realizing that things happen.

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One writer opined as how Ole Miss got &uot;the booby&uot; prize in the Independence Bowl bid. That’s not a nice thing to say, and anyhow, Oklahoma vs. the Rebels stacks up as a good ‘un, with Ole Miss an underdog by 4 points to the Sooners. Even so, I believe coach David Cutcliffe’s Rebels were potent enough to command a bigger bowl, even as did State. Not that OM-Oklahoma will fall short in the excitement area.

USM&160;meantime carries a Conference USA title into Memphis’ Liberty Bowl, as you know. The Golden Eagles’ foe will be yet another conference (Mountain West) champ — Colorado State. Both are 8-3 on the season, and both plenty formidable. We know USM is, don’t we?

Coach Jeff Bower’s Eagles are favored by two or three points in the Dec. 31 battle. In my opinion, no team can ever take USM for granted. Many have made that mistake, and many have headed home as losers. Don’t let down against the Eagles!

This and I’ll move on: Greenwood’s Edwin Henson allowed as how State and Ole Miss are certainly &uot;no drag&uot; when they play in bowls, that &uot;either team would sell out bigger bowls. See last year’s Cotton and the fullhouse State helped draw.&uot;

Meantime, the time draws nigh, and one constant is that Mississippians will be pulling for USM, Ole Miss and State. With gusto.

…RED EDGIN was my close buddy something like 56 years. Red passed away suddenly last Saturday. Man, will I ever miss him!

If you knew Red you know he told it like it was, whether it pertained to a football game or whatever. He was in The Army, I was in The Navy when we met during WWII. Our families have been close since.

We used to see LSU football games together. A Wichita Falls, Texas, native, Red was actually a big Texas Longhorns fan, but I can’t recall ever seeing LSU and Texas play in Tigertown. But LSU-Ole Miss, LSU-State; quite a few times.

While fighting in WWII’s Battle of the Bulge in Germany, Red’s feet froze. It was called &uot;Trench Foot&uot; and he suffered from it the rest of his life.

We sat one cold night in Baton Rouge with my Navy blanket thrown over our legs. Red, whom I could tell was uncomfortable, asked: &uot;Glenvall, would you mind if I use your blanket to wrap my feet?&uot;

&uot;Red,&uot; I replied, &uot;my blanket is your blanket, you need it, you’ve got it.&uot;

I’ll never forget the look on Red’s face. I never told anyone our exact conversation, just that I handed it over. We were simply dubs, you see.