Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dave Curtis is strange, likes understatements

The Sporting News' Matt Hayes and Dave Curtis squared off yesterday about a variety of college football topics, including the following question: I've got a pair of 50-yard-line, 2009 season tickets for any team in the country. Who are you taking?

Hayes responded with USC, apparently wanting to see which medicore Pac-10 team they Trojans will inexplicably choke against this year. Dave Curtis, though, went an entirely different route, mixing in the understatement of the year...
Curtis: Mississippi State. (Say what?) On the surface, spending seven Saturdays in Starkville sounds like a Siberian exile. But check out the teams coming to Scott Field this fall: Jackson State, LSU, Georgia Tech, Houston, Florida, Alabama and Ole Miss. That's a strong football buffet -- great defenses, a triple option offense and one of the nation's five best from outside the Big Six conferences. Here's the added bonus: I'm a sucker for watching a team build itself up from the basement to the penthouse. Mississippi State won't win a national championship, but Dan Mullen's bound to make this program a factor in the SEC West. Get on the bandwagon now, and enjoy watching this squad grow almost from scratch with a lineup of young players.
Really? First off, I was unaware that the bulldogs had a bandwagon. As bad as it crashed and burned to the ground last year, I think the bulldog bandwagon is a figment of Curtis' imagination. Sure, they've got their base of loyal fans and alumni, but that's hardly enough for a bandwagon. It's rarely enough to fill their stadium.

Secondly, I'll take Curtis' bet that Mullen makes state a "factor in the SEC West." They're mired deep in the cellar as it is... which school are they going to surpass? LSU and Alabama? Obviously not. Ole Miss? Given Nutt's track record against the bulldogs? No chance. Arkansas? Say what you will about Petrino, but he'll win some games while he's there. Auburn? Would seem to be the most likely given their offsesason shenanigans, but Chizik put a good staff together and seems to be recruiting fairly well. My guess is that Mullen finds what every other coach who goes to the land that fun forgot... you can't win there without cheating.

Fortunately, Matt Hayes got things right when he asked about his favorite college towns, listing Oxford, Athens, Boulder, and Pullman. While I've not been to the latter two, Oxford and Athens rank #1 and #2 in my book and there's not a close third.

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