Finally: Mississippi to host Alabama All-Stars at The Rock

The Rock
The Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game moves to The Rock after 28 years in Alabama
Rick Cleveland
Rick Cleveland

So much is going on in Mississippi’s sports world. Ole Miss is back in the Sugar Bowl. Both Mississippi State and USM will play in nice bowls. Alcorn has won the SWAC Championship and will play in the first Celebration Bowl at Atlanta. The high school football championships have been decided. Basketball season is well underway and Mississippi State has the ninth ranked women’s team.

So much is going on, we could overlook that history will be made Saturday. We shouldn’t.

Mississippi and Alabama high school football all-stars have been playing all-star football games for 28 years. They have never played one of these in Mississippi.

Until Saturday.

Mississippi’s best will “host” Alabama’s best at The Rock in Hattiesburg Saturday.

Finally.

Can’t tell you how many times I’ve written columns in the past about the inequity of the situation. Every year, Mississippi’s stars would play Alabama’s stars on Alabama soil, first in Mobile and then in Montgomery.

Not surprisingly, Alabama leads the series 21-7.

Nearly all games have been really close. Most times, Alabama has prevailed. Four games have gone to overtime. Alabama won every one.

In close games, the home team always has the edge. Alabama always has been the home team.

Kudos to Johnny Mims, executive director of the Mississippi Association of Coaches, and Don Hinton, executive director of the Mississippi High School Activities Assocation, for bringing this game to the Magnolia State.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Mims said. “I want to thank the MHSAA for helping make this happen. We look forward to being in Hattiesburg for the first Mississippi-Alabama football game ever played on Mississippi soil. When I came on board with the coaches’ association 14 years ago, one of my goals was to get this game in Mississippi on an alternating basis. I think this will be a exciting new experience for our players, coaches and fans.”

Said Hinton, “Alabama has hosted that game for the past 28 years. It has taken a lot of hard work from a lot of people in that state to make it happen. Johnny Mims and his coaches have done a lot to bring this game to Mississippi. The mayor and the City of Hattiesburg, USM’s athletic administration as well as other communities in the area have bent over backward to make this event a success. It’s going to be a great showcase for the university and the entire area.”

As per NCAA rules, the game will be administered by the MHSAA, not the university.

Kickoff is at noon. Alabama has won seven straight since Mississippi last won in 2007.

For ticket information, click here.

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Need a Christmas gift for that special sports fan. The newly expanded MSHOF museum store will host an open house today from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Details here.

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