Stronger LSU too much for Ole Miss

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 15, 2000

I’ve seen more exciting LSU-Ole Miss football games, but last Saturday night’s game in Oxford nevertheless excited fans from both schools more than a little.

But Ole Miss couldn’t capitalize on its few opportunities that were blown with overthrown passes, and the hard-nosed, resourceful Tigers won, going away 20-9. The way it looked from here, the Tigers were just better than the Rebels. LSU is still in the thick of the SEC West race for title and good bowl honors, remember.

In fact, the Bayou Bengals are in a good position if they should end the regular season tied with Mississippi State for the West crown, because LSU beat State in Baton Rouge Oct. 21. All this, however, hinges on whether LSU can take Arkansas in Little Rock Nov. 25. That could take some doing since Arkansas can rear up at a moment’s notice.

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Fact is, the SEC West diadem is up for grabs. Certain teams can win and certain teams lose and certain things will happen. I’m not trying to confuse you, but it’s simply confusing at this time.

Florida, meantime, roared past South Carolina 41-21 and wrapped up the SEC East crown. The Gators are currently No. 4 in the land, so Steve Spurrier is spurring his &uot;reptiles&uot; right along toward a possible SEC championship.

Mississippi State did look good socking it to Alabama 29-7 last Saturday as veteran Bulldog skipper Jackie Sherrill became State’s all-time winningest coach with 66 victories. &uot;They’re stuck with me here,&uot; coach smiled and stated. I’m sure Bulldog fans screamed with delight.

The University of Southern Mississippi meantime scratched out a win over dangerous UAB, hanging in for a 33-30 victory last Saturday. Even though the Golden Eagles were their own worst enemies so much of the game, coach Jeff Bower spurred them right at the right time for the double overtime win. USM will probably at least tie for the C-USA title and go bowling.

Mississippi State and USM continued residence in the Top 25, State now at No. 13 in both the AP and USA Today polls, Southern at 24 and 20, respectively. The Golden Eagles travel to Cincinnati this weekend, while State has pesky Arkansas at home. I like USM and State.

My further SEC guesses include Georgia to nip Ole Miss in Athens; Auburn over Alabama; Tennessee over Kentucky; S. Carolina over Clemson; Florida over Florida State. Make mine SEC and C-USA, thank you. It’s football, ain’t it?!

4HURRIED HASH: And how about them Saints! Too bad all-everything back Ricky Williams broke his ankle and will miss the remainder of the regular season, but coach Jim Haslett’s New Orleans favorites are doing a pretty good job of continuing on toward the playoffs. The 7-3 Saints have won six straight games. Go Saints!

4It was good to note in The Democrat that Vidalia High’s all-around baseball star Jarrett Hoffpauir has inked a C-USA baseball scholarship at USM, mainly because he himself feels comfortable with his decision. Jarrett’s dad Johnny Lee was of course for whatever his son wanted, what with Mississippi State and McNeese State bidding to sign the infielder as well. Brother Josh’s USM playing days convinced Jarrett to sign on with head coach Corky Palmer’s splendid USM baseball program.

4Shades of days gone by – coach James McFarland’s Ferriday High Trojans reveled as they took one big step forward in the Louisiana state prep playoffs by slashing Redeemer-Seton 37-12 last Friday. Now it’s Christian Life. Hang tough, Trojans.

Glenvall Estes is a longtime sports columnist for The Natchez Democrat.