Dale’s Sideline View

Posted on: August 07,2023

The world of college sports has been like a speeding spaceship the past two years. Where the craft lands, no one knows. The ship may discover a brave new world or crash land in deep space with no chance for recovery. Ever since Texas and Oklahoma asked to join the Southeastern Conference two summers ago, the college sports world has been traveling into “Strange New Worlds.”

The PAC-12 Conference was dealt a death sentence this past Friday. The Big Ten announced Oregon and Washington would be joining next season, and before the day was over the Big 12 Conference added Arizona, Arizona State and Utah. The PAC-12 began with nine teams and is down to California, Oregon State, Stanford and Washington State. The week before Colorado jumped to the Big 12, and last summer UCLA and USC left for the Big 10. So, what Texas and Oklahoma started in July of 2021 has turned college football topsy-turvy. The Big 10 will now have 18 members in 15 states beginning next football season from sea to shining sea. The Big 12 will now be a 16-team conference that spans from Florida to Arizona. The SEC will also have 16 members located in a dozen southern states starting next August.

I grew up thinking that college football was too popular to fail. I am not so sure anymore. There are lots of questions, and who knows the answers. What will happen to Notre Dame and the entire ACC that is entrenched with 15 solid members in ten states up and down the East Coast?  I know the argument is that we will have new rivalries growing from these rapid changes. I hate to see some of the old rivalries going by the wayside. Growing up in Mississippi we love our college sports, and I for one enjoy it an awful lot. Why did the suit and ties tinker with something that was not broken?          

Many experts thought the Name Image Likeness (NIL) and Transfer Portal would doom the colleges. I really think Colorado head coach and former Jackson State coach Deion Sanders said it best when asked about the fast denigration of the PAC 12. “All this is about money, you know that it is about the bag. Everyone is chasing the bag, then you get mad at the players when they chase it. How is that? How do the grownups get mad at players when the colleges are chasing it?

Look for more changes and hope your favorite team is not left out in the cold. 

Delta State football was recently picked to finish first by the Gulf South Conference coaches at the Media Days. The Todd Cooley led Fighting Okra are the defending conference champions. Delta State led the nine-team poll as West Florida, West Georgia, West Alabama. Valdosta State, Mississippi College, North Greenville, Shorter and Chowan followed, in that order. The Statesmen are led by quarterback Patrick Shegog, the GSC 2022 Offensive Player of the Year. The Batesville native passed for 1,722 yards and ten touchdown passes while running for four more in leading the league’s high scoring offense. Last year, DSU was picked fifth in the GSC preseason poll as they were coming off a 5-6 season but shocked everyone by going 11-2. Delta State will open the season on the road on August 31 at Missouri S&T with their first home appearance at Parker Field at McCool Stadium in Cleveland on September 16 against Mississippi Valley. 

Mississippi College was picked sixth in the preseason poll. Coach John Bland has quarterback DeAnte Smith-Moore and tailback Marcus Williams returning. Williams rushed for nine yards per attempt last year in the Choctaws’ vaulted triple option offense. The Choctaws open the season on the road against Keiser on Thursday, August 31, in West Palm Beach, Florida. The Choctaws’ first of four appearances at Robinson-Hale Stadium will be against West Georgia on Saturday, September 16. MC concludes regular season play at DSU on Saturday, November 11. 

Dale has been writing sports in Mississippi since 1973. Listen to Dale and Marshall Wood on the Brouhaha Sports Show each Tuesday at 6 p.m. on WABO FM 105.5 in the Waynesboro area. To listen to the broadcast on your computer or smart phone anywhere in the world, go to Google Chrome; go to and click listen live. You may also go to The Brouhaha on YouTube and listen to archived shows.   

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