Emptying notebook on a cold Sunday morn
Sunday morning notebook:
Five things I think I know:
• I underestimated Missouri. The Tigers are far, far better than I thought. They are really good up front on both sides of the ball. They have two excellent quarterbacks, a fleet of receivers and better runners than I anticipated. You choose your poison. You can stack the box and make your defensive backs cover their gazelles one-on-one. Or you can play pass defense and they’ll ram it down your throat.
• Looks to me like freshman Damian Williams will be State’s quarterback in the Egg Bowl. All indications are that Dak Presscott can’t go and Tyler Russell’s Saturday injury appeared severe. Granted, Williams has a small body or work to judge, but he surely was clutch against the Razorbacks.
• Still, I would fully expect Ole Miss to stack the box and make Williams win the game with his arm.
• Bo Wallace is one tough sonuvagun. He threw some strikes against Missouri, playing with a high fever and flu-like symptons.
• Oddsmakers have make Ole Miss a 3.5-point favorite at Starkville. That seems about right, given where both teams are and given that the game will be played in Starkville.
Jeff Monken, the coach of giant-killer Georgia Southern, is USM coach Todd Monken’s cousin. . . . Stat of the season: Ga. Southern 0 passing yards and a victory at The Swamp. How in the world did things get so bad in Gainesville?
Two bowl scouts told me Saturday night that a Duke-Ole Miss matchup would have great appeal. It could happen in Nashville or Atlanta, depending on what happens in Starkville and at Chapel Hill. Duke, 9-2 under David Cutcliffe, finishes its season at North Carolina. If Cutcliffe beats Larry Fedora, he finishes 10-2. At Duke. Count me as one who would love to see a Duke-Ole Miss matchup for all the obvious reasons.
Don’t look now, but Southern Miss basketball is 5-0, having won three straight games away from home, including tough road victories over DePaul, North Dakota State and South Alabama. Donnie Tyndall’s team, a 27-game winner last year, appears even deeper this season.
One of the NFL season’s premier matchups is up next for the Saints: 9-2 New Orleans at 10-1 Seattle next Monday night. The Seahawks have a bye this week and the Saints played on Thursday night, so both teams should be rested and ready.
Yes, it’s going to be really difficult for me to get used to the Atlanta Braves without Tim Hudson and Brian McCann. Two class acts; indeed, two of the most classy in baseball.
We will announce the 10 finalists — one per school — for the C Spire Conerly Trophy Monday. The awards banquet is Tuesday night, Dec. 3, when we also will be handing out the first Kent Hull Trophy to the state’s most outstanding offensive lineman. That winner, chosen by a panel of experts including former college players, coaches and former pro scouts, will be announced later this week. Remember, fans will have a say-so in this year’s Conerly voting. Social media voting, conducted by C Spire, will account for 10 percent of the vote. Voting begins Tuesday.
Fans can take part in C Spire Conerly voting. Details.
When the Red Zone becomes the Twilight Zone. From Oxford.