First, as we all remember September 11th, 2001 in our own way, including where we were on that tragic day, we should all realize how much our country has changed since, and be thankful for the good that we have in our lives.
Back in ’01, I was still a student at Mississippi State (since graduated in May of ’03). Routinely, I would have the news on in the morning while getting ready for class. That day, the television remained off as I was running late in getting ready for my Market Research class (still was on time though).
As I sat down at my desk, rumors flying around the room about a terrorist attack and the targets which had been hit, especially in Washington, DC, were, as I later came to find out, grossly exaggerated. Being from DC, where friends and family resided, panic immediately set it. I raced home after the teacher excused us, and after multiple attempts with congested lines of communication, I was finally able to confirm that my loved ones were okay.
Sporting events across the nation were postponed, but sports were also part of the recovery process. Mississippi State essentially played in the first major football game post 9/11, a Thursday ESPN matchup versus South Carolina on September 20th. The Bulldogs would go on to lose to the Gamecocks 16-14, but their valiant efforts on the field were part of Americans coming together as a nation to get through adversity.
Now, to this week’s game: do the Mississippi State Bulldogs stand a chance against Auburn?
Coming off last year’s sweep of the state of Alabama, the Tigers will be looking for a bit of revenge. ESPN.com’s Chris Low is predicting a grind-it-out affair, but choses the Tigers to prevail, 21-16.
Danny Sheridan of USAToday.com has Auburn giving State 10 points.
The Mississippi State Sports Blog gives a 17-14 nod to the Bulldogs.
Sylvester Croom will try to avoid Robert Dunn like Devin Hester.
I understand that Tommy Tuberville asserts that this is a different Mississippi State program, and I’d have to agree. We’re observing a team of accountable men under Sylvester Croom, opposed to the team of talented boys under Jackie Sherrill.
However, the loss to Louisiana Tech was a severe blow to my confidence in this year’s team. Not to say that my hope for a winning season and a bowl game is lost, but I had desires that the Bulldogs were done losing to the likes of the Tulanes, Houstons, UABs, and gasp, Maines of the world. Hopes too high? Probably so.
With injuries and an inconsistent, sputtering offense to overcome, I can’t see the Bulldogs beating Auburn this week. Later in the season, when the team has had a chance to gel, maybe so.
I’ll be rooting against my forthcoming prediction while glued to the TV this Saturday. But calling it in print right now, I’ll have to go with Auburn 23 – Mississippi State 9.