What Might Have Been
Mullen, State had plenty of chances this fall.
By: Braden Gall | 11/22/10, 6:44 PM EST
Is Mullen wondering what if?
It’s not a large leap to presume there’s some frustration at Mississippi State these days, even in the midst of a very solid 7–4 season. Because the Bulldogs are busy thinking about what might have been.
A three-point home loss to Auburn early in the year. An overtime loss Saturday to Arkansas. Both games in the Valley of the Cowbell.
The exasperating game of what ifs is often so fruitless, but, in fairness, the Bulldogs have been so very close this season to a nine-win year with the Egg Bowl remaining. This, of course, all circles back to wafting waves of pseudo-jealousy about Cam Newton’s last-minute spurn job of Mississippi State (for whatever reasons).
One reporter pointed out Saturday that former MSU quarterback and (partial) whistleblower John Bond was turned into a celeb at the game, prominently finding his way on the school’s HD videoboard during pregame. Bond has been turned into a hero for his efforts to shine a light on Newton’s alleged misdeeds.
Here’s the question, while we’re dealing in hypotheticals: What if he had gone to Mississippi State? What if Newton or his dad had accepted a payment of some kind? Would that have come to light in the midst of an exceptionally good season at Mississippi State? Maybe those lamenting the fact that Newton isn’t in Bulldogs maroon should be happy, really. Might be a lot worse than a 7–4 record, right?
Alabama 63, Georgia State 7
South Carolina 69, Troy 24
Florida 48, Appalachian State 10
LSU 43, Ole Miss 36
Arkansas 38, Mississippi State 31 (2ot)
Tennessee 24, Vanderbilt 10
• Cannot say it enough: Alshon Jeffery and Marcus Lattimore have dramatically changed South Carolina’s offense. Consider that the Gamecocks scored 20.6 points a game in 2009 — and they’re putting up 33.6 a game this season. Of course, scoring 69 against Troy on Saturday didn’t hurt. Jeffery and Lattimore got to sit back and enjoy the second half after the Gamecocks led 56–7 through two. That’s new for South Carolina, notorious for playing down to competition. Jeffery, after a five-catch, 123-yard half, now has a school-record 1,210 yards this season. Lattimore, after 102 yards on seven carries, is the school’s first 1,000-yard back since 2000.
• Jordan Reed. Jordan Reed. Jordan Reed. If we keep saying it, perhaps the message will become clearer to Urban Meyer and his band of stubborn Florida coaching cronies. It came against Appalachian State, sure, but Reed showed he can be effective in different ways (four total TDs). He provides the closest thing available to Tim Tebow. And, if Meyer and Steve Addazio are bent on running the same offense, find the next best thing. Let him play. What’s it going to hurt?
• New rule: SEC teams need to stop scheduling FCS teams. We’ll make one caveat: You can schedule one every two seasons, if — and only if — the FCS team is an in-state team, so as to build your state’s college system. Otherwise, what’s the point? Florida plays a Southern Conference team every year. Why? And it’s played Charleston Southern once or twice. Why? Just bring the level of your schedule up, just a touch. Not just the Gators. Georgia just played Idaho State.
Tennessee scheduled Tennessee-Martin. C’mon. We understand there’s design in scheduling a softy between the conference finale and Florida State, but you can do better. You say, well, there are no real FCS possibilities in the state of Florida. For the sake of argument, let’s take former Division I-AA teams Florida Atlantic and Florida International. If you’re going to sink to that level in search of an opponent, go that direction.
• Here’s to you, Carl Moore. The Gators receiver was tossed out of his own Senior Day for fighting with an FCS player. He played, oh, about a quarter of the game before his ejection. If any of Moore’s family traveled from California for the game, we hope Moore has or will appropriately apologize. That’s embarrassing, both for Moore and the Gators. No reason for that at all. Regrettable for a lifetime, really. Moore might be suspended for part of this week’s Florida State game, as well.
Stud of the Week
South Carolina. A week after one of the biggest wins in school history, at Florida, the Gamecocks followed up with the fifth-most points in the program’s history. Lot of momentum heading into the Clemson and SEC title games.
Dud of the Week
The schedule. Real dearth of activity in the league, beyond the good one in Starkville.
Most Popular Articles
Contests & Promotions
Athlon Sports Fantasy Racing!
Enter the Athlon Sports Fantasy Racing game. Just head over to athlon.myfantasyracing.com and register for your chance to win a chance to watch a 2014 race from the grandstands. You'll also have a chance to win other amazing prizes such as an autographed Kyle Busch helmet.