Blog...Mississippi State Uprising?
Defeating Alabama in back to back seasons, knocking off Auburn on the road enroute to a 7-5 record has those cowbells in Starkville clanging loudly.
By: BE Coleman
After taking State to it's first bowl game in seven years Sylvester Croom said, "We're excited about going into the 2008 season - We've got a lot of players returning, 21 seniors coming back - We're a pretty experienced football team."
State certainly does have experience with running back Anthony Dixon headlining the cast and in having a healthy quarterback with Wesley Carroll giving the coaching staff some bright outlooks.
Is Carroll capable and Dixon as promising behind a reworked line with the downside found in having to replace the center and both tackles on offense. After being forced to dismiss his best offensive lineman this spring (Mike Brown) has been disturbing.
The Bulldog mentor was asked about that damaging issue, "there's certain things on our campus, any kind of possession of any kind of firearm is not tolerated at our institution, and they know that.
If that happens on our campus, you are not going to be in the program again. He made a bad decision," stated Croom. Brown did make a bad decision and will be sorely missed this season up front.
Defending His Sophomore Selection
Croom was asked about his bringing a sophomore to the event this week that is generally reserved for seniors. "Because he know(s) how to win and he's a leader of our offense. You know, I didn't read in the handbook where you had to have a senior (smiling)."
The coach readily admits Carroll does not have the strongest arm, but he is a gamer and "has won more games won than any other quarterback Mississippi State has had in the last eight years."
After State won their bowl game Croom related by saying, " the biggest thing that's happened for us is we're now starting to see the residual effects of last season in the recruiting" process.
Carroll's effect was seen after he was thrown into the fire as a 3rd string quarterback during the Auburn game after Michael Henig broke his hand. Carroll led the Bulldogs to an upset win, has seen nine starts in thirteen games played.
On offense Croom added that his offense would finally open up this season. Okay, our offense is definitely going to open up. A lot of that reason is it starts with the quarterback.
No BCS Playoffs For Croom
A surprising question that Croom was asked specifically about was his stance on the BCS. Do you like the BCS system the way it is now or would you like to have a plus one or playoff system?
"As far as the playoff system, I don't see where you can ever eliminate the Bowls. Anything that would take the Bowls out of the picture, I would not be in favor of. If they could work out a plus one, some kind of way we could get the top four teams in there, you end up with a plus one, wouldn't be opposed to that. If it stays as it is, I'm happy with that."
Croom isn't the only coach allegiant to the bowl games and current system, but has made his voice clear on this second time of being asked about playoffs.
Conference Title Thoughts
"Well, they give a championship trophy. We play in the Southeastern Conference. I don't see any reason why we shouldn't want to compete and shouldn't work toward competing to get that done. Because why else do you play the game, other than to win it all?"
Croom says, "the most important thing to me right now is our team having the chance working toward winning the SEC championship.
You win the SEC championship, you don't have to worry, you'll be in the hunt for the national championship."
The Bulldogs coach could have not been more correct. Get there and the BCS will work itself out four times out of five.
SEC Coaches Tap Seven Players, 7-21-08
Blog - The SEC Weekly Digest, 7-12-08
Who Is In Charge Of The Zoo?, 7-10-2008
SEC Running Backs Are Running Strong, 7-1-2008
Blog ... Tennessee Top 10 Program Wins, 6-22-2008
Nine Conference Games Makes BCS Sense, 6-10-2008