This and that from the football week

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 5, 2001

Make mine football, thank you. As if you hadn’t guessed after 53 years of my trying to write sports for The Natchez Democrat.

At any rate, things are looking up for Tennessee, a team that has been tough all over all of the time, except when the Vols earlier dropped a 26-24 Southeastern Conference biggie to a Georgia team capable of knocking off just about anyone on a given day.

So Tennessee is No. 2 in the land at 10-1, and, I guess rarin’ to go in the SEC title showdown. LSU’s would-be title participants did for a fact shackle Auburn and its wily coach Tommy Tuberville last Saturday. But again, everything’s still unfolding at the time of this writing.

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Mississippi State, meantime, had a Cougar by the tail in Brigham Young last Saturday. All that ole passing stuff did the Maroons in just like it does so many others. Even so, State was in the ball game because of its own offensive prowess against BYU, losing by three, 41-38. State’s still considered a stout team this season, the Bulldogs’ 3-8 season notwithstanding.

Ole Miss managed to slip by a Vanderbilt team that has beaten almost no one. The score was 38-27, Ole Miss, but Vandy players didn’t leave the field with heads hung low. Good thing Eli Manning plays for Ole Miss.

But not just Eli Manning, for it actually required the clutch play of Ole Miss seniors Joe Gunn, Charles Stackhouse, Terrence Metcalfe, Jamie Armstrong and Kenny Jackson. Vandy was that mean against the now-7-4 (4-4 in the SEC) Rebels of coach David Cutcliffe. Vanderbilt won just two games this year.

Mississippi State wasn’t that bad against BYU, if you check out the Dawgs a little closer. The 3-8 Bulldogs at least snapped out of their offensive slump even in defeat.

State won’t lack for success long under head coach Jackie Sherrill. Or that’s my opinion.

And Mississippi Southern …The Eagles’ task wasn’t an easy one for sure, what with an Alabama team that had warmed up by facing several of the nation’s best standing in the wings for their Thursday night battle. Bad news, always.

The Crimson Tide was sure enough too much for USM, itself menacing but not good enough to derail ‘Bama despite a really good first half performance. Remember, though, Jeff Bower’s USM teams seldom take a back seat to Alabama or any of the “giants.”

Houston’s Gallery Furniture Bow without a doubt would welcome the Golden Eagles to their bowl. But in regard to Mobile’s GMAC Bowl, USM athletic director Richard Giannini made the remark that officials hadn’t made overtures to him a few days ago. “I would think that if the Mobile people (GMAC Bowl) wanted us they would have at least come by our locker room, don’t you?” the USM AD remarked.

AND TRINITY’S magnificent march to a state MPSA Academy A championship is certainly going to get notice in this column! I’ll add my two cents worth!

And here it is: Team and coach, your 14-7 title-game victory is big, big for your hometown. Savoring rights are certainly yours. Savor on!

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