Monday, July 30, 2007

State of Decline????

The below article was published today by Ian Rappaport of the Birmingham News. You may remember Ian used to cover M$U for the Clarion Ledger. He brings up some good points in the article. But I believe the State can support two SEC schools. The problem is the educational system in the high schools. I think the State has plenty of talented athletes to support two athletic departments. Does the state have too many other schools it has to support, yes. The Valley, JSU, and Alcorn State, Southern Miss Delta State are all schools that are funded by the State system that all do not need to be funded. They could easily be combined and formed to make better schools. Combining Valley and Delta State, JSU and Alcorn, etc. would have saved the State millions over the past decades. Unfortunately the Ayers case has held back Mississippi and has not allowed the major universities like State and Ole Miss to move forward. In most cases it has held them back. Bottom line is the State College Board has too many schools that it has to support.

(AL.Com)Standing at the dais during his SEC media days appearance, once again detailing his rebuilding plan, Mississippi State coach Sylvester Croom heard a question that made him stop and think.
Can the state of Mississippi support two successful Southeastern Conference programs?
"Hmmm." Croom said.
Anyone who follows the conference has no doubt wondered the same thing. The Bulldogs were 3-9 overall and 1-7 in the SEC in 2006, their sixth losing season in a row. The Ole Miss Rebels, who were 4-8 and 2-6, have three consecutive losing seasons.
Not that one school is rooting for its rival.
"I'm just worried about the (state) supporting one. Them other guys can worry about themselves," Croom said. "I know it can support the one in Starkville."
Perhaps the two Mississippi schools face more disadvantages than many of their opponents.
A state with just 2.9 million people has to support two SEC programs. By contrast, Arkansas and a population of 2.8 million has just one SEC team. Alabama, which has 4.6 million people per the 2006 Census, has two SEC teams.
Throw in a poor education rating, its central proximity that makes it a recruiting battleground, a football history that is more past than present, the conference's lowest budgets, and that State has dealt with a brutal probation: It's an uphill battle for both schools.
"It is what it is," Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron said. "I believe in hard work. I drive to most places I go to in recruiting. I fly coach in recruiting. I'm going to get the job done."
Mississippi State has not had a winning record since 2000 when it was 8-4 with an Independence Bowl win. Ole Miss last thrived in 2003 when quarterback Eli Manning helped it go to the Cotton Bowl and finish 10-3 under coach David Cutcliffe.
"Now and then you can have some success," said Jim Mashek, columnist for The Biloxi Sun-Herald, "but it's next to impossible to sustain it year to year."
Simultaneous winning has happened.
Starting with coach Tommy Tuberville in 1997, then with Cutcliffe, Ole Miss ran off seven winning campaigns in a row. But Cutcliffe was fired after a 4-7 season in 2004, and it has been all downhill with Orgeron.
As for Mississippi State, Jackie Sherrill had four winning seasons from 1997 to 2000. With the NCAA investigating his program, he never had another winning season and resigned in 2003, but not before saddling Croom with debilitating probation.
Now, there is a negative perception for both schools.
"People look down on us," said MSU quarterback Michael Henig of Montgomery. "Other teams like LSU and Alabama look on the schedule and go, `We got Mississippi State in the third week, that's a W.' It gets frustrating, but that's why a lot of us came to Mississippi State, to turn this around."
MSU did beat Alabama last season, in a season that included four losses by three points. Such moments have been few. The Rebels have not had a big win since Cutcliffe left.
Neither party made excuses. But in seeking an explanation, "start with the budgets," Croom said.
The athletic budgets for Ole Miss ($33 million) and Mississippi State ($28 million) are 11th and 12th in the conference, according to The (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion-Ledger in a recent story.
Facilities are comparable, and both schools have indoor practice facilities. But the lack of money hurts in recruiting, coaches salaries, etc.
The conference helps, participating in revenue sharing of TV money, for instance. But there is only so much it can do.
"The role of the conference is to make every effort to treat each of its member institutions equitably, and provide each an opportunity to compete in a broad array of sports," SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said. "We understand that each institution has a different profile and its own area of success."
Look at recruiting. The deep high school football talent in the state, along with the fact that it is bordered by four SEC states, make it a target.
Alabama running back Jimmy Johns of Brookhaven, Miss., was a former Mississippi Mr. Football. LSU tight end Richard Dickson of Moss Point, Miss., was a four-star recruit. Auburn star defensive end Quentin Groves was an All-American from Greenville, Miss. The list goes on and on.
"A higher-profile kid who gets the chance to leave the state is almost expected to do it," Mashek said. "You're just going against schools with a lot more resources."
Opponents often flaunt their history.
"With the records the last few years, you hear from schools who are going to bowl games," said Ole Miss' Marcus Tillman of Franklin County, Miss. "They flash that in your face."
Asked what the University of Alabama has as compared to the Mississippi schools, MSU defensive end Titus Brown of Tuscaloosa said, "Twelve national titles. But we're trying to get our own personality."
The academic issues are plentiful, too. One year, six of the Clarion-Ledger's Dandy Dozen, a list of the top in-state players, did not qualify. Croom has done tours aimed at improving education awareness.
"It has gotten better than I anticipated," Croom said. "(But) funding for education is still a problem."
A new NCAA rule tightening academic standards in 2008 won't help the state.
Instability on the coaching staff has not limited the struggling, either. Both Orgeron and Croom have asked for patience.
"The changeover of coaches catches up with you," said Auburn's Tuberville, a former Ole Miss coach. "You've got to give coaches time. When you start over, you start from scratch. It's going to take that coaching staff two or three years to learn the recruiting, get it going again."
It has been that long, and some say the time is now. Both showed flashes of winning big games last year and both look for more this year.
"We just have to put it all together," Ole miss running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis said.

Willis Becomes Rich

(NFL) The San Francisco 49ers have signed middle linebacker Patrick Willis of Mississippi, the earlier of the team's two choices in the first round of the draft, to his first NFL contract. San Francisco last week signed Central Michigan offensive tackle Joe Staley, its other pick in the first round.
Willis, 22, was the 11th overall player selected in the draft. His contract is for five years, with a maximum value of $16.7 million and total guarantees of $12 million.
Regarded as the top linebacker prospect in this year's draft class, Willis figures to play quickly in the San Francisco 3-4 alignment, and to provide the 49ers a tough playmaker in the interior of the defense. A tackling machine, Willis twice led the SEC in total stops, but his quickness and range make him more than just a run-stuffer.
At the combine, Willis enhanced his already soaring stock by posting a 4.51-second time in the 40-yard dash. He also flashed his overall athleticism with an effort of 39 inches in the vertical jump, and solid times in change-of-direction drills.
Known for his innate football instincts, Willis was also a two-time academic all-conference selection. And his toughness was manifested in 2005 when he played the entire season with a cast on his right hand.
In 45 games at Ole Miss, including 22 starts, Willis had 355 tackles, 33 tackles for losses, 11 sacks, one interception, 12 passes defensed, five forced fumbles and three recoveries.

Rebs Named to Pre-Season Teams

(UMAA)BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- A pair of Ole Miss Rebels were distinguished on the Pre-Season All-SEC Media Team Friday, as voted on by members of the press in the concluding day of the 2007 SEC Football Media Days at the Wynfrey Hotel.
Junior Michael Oher was named a first-team offensive lineman, while senior BenJarvus Green-Ellis was chosen as a second-team running back. Green-Ellis, who joined head coach Ed Orgeron and teammate Marcus Tillman in representing the Rebels in Birmingham Friday, was the highest vote-getter on the second team, finishing one vote behind Arkansas' Felix Jones for first-team tailback honors.
The 2007 SEC Football Media Days was the highest attended in the 23 years of the event. The media days drew an attendance of 830, which was larger than last year's attendance of 685.
On the All-SEC Teams, LSU led all schools with eight selections followed by Kentucky and Florida with six each while Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee each had five players on the first and second teams. Arkansas led all teams with five players selected to the first team followed by LSU with four. Every SEC team was represented on either the first or second team.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Schedule Is Complete

The full basketball schedule has been released, at first glance the good news is ten of the SEC games will be on tv.

2007-08 Ole Miss Basketball Schedule
Nov. 2 Delta State (Exhibition)
Nov. 10 Mississippi Valley State
Nov. 13 South Alabama
Nov. 16 Lamar
Nov. 24 Louisiana-Monroe
Nov. 27 Troy
Dec. 1 New Mexico
Dec. 8 at UCF
Dec. 13 Winthrop (Jackson)
Dec. 15 at New Orleans
Dec. 19-22 at San Juan Shootout
Dec. 28 Southern Miss (Southaven)
Jan. 2 Alabama A&M
Jan. 9 at Tennessee (LF)
Jan. 12 LSU (FSN)
Jan. 16 Florida (LF)
Jan. 19 at Auburn (FSN)
Jan. 26 at Mississippi State (FSN)
Jan. 30 Vanderbilt
Feb. 2 South Carolina
Feb. 9 at Arkansas
Feb. 13 at Alabama
Feb. 16 Auburn (FSN)
Feb. 20 Mississippi State
Feb. 23 at LSU (FSN)
Feb. 27 at Kentucky (LF)
Mar. 1 Alabama (LF)
Mar. 4 Arkansas (ESPN)
Mar. 8 at Georgia
Mar. 13-16 SEC Tournament (Atlanta, Ga.)

Media Daze

SEC Media Days wrapped up yesterday with Ole Miss being on the final day. The only interesting thing that came out of the Ole Miss press conference was Coach O's statement that if Brent Schaeffer does not cut it at quarterback in fall camp, he will be looked at elsewhere on the field. Another Rebel fan recently made me aware of this situation based on recent interviews he had read from several players. Does any one really think Schaeffer will line up at wide receiver and give it his all this year? I like O's decision of going ahead and laying this out on the table. If only another former Ole Miss coach, would have had the knowledge and wisdom to move a below average quarterback to wide receiver instead of playing the three headed monster.

(Clarion Ledger) HOOVER, ALA. — If Brent Schaeffer doesn’t win the starting quarterback job, the Ole Miss senior could be getting playing time at another position this season.Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron, speaking at Southeastern Conference Media Days this morning, didn’t deny a position switch is a possibility when asked if Schaeffer could help the Rebels at other positions in 2007.“Obviously, we’d like to put our best players on the field,” Orgeron said in reference to Schaeffer. “We have to see if that happens.”Schaeffer was named the starter before he arrived on campus last season, but suffered through an inconsistent year.He started every game, but was replaced in the second half of the final two games by backup Seth Adams. Ole Miss opened the quarterback job in the spring and Orgeron has said Adams has a leg up on the competition entering next week’s preseason camp.“I don’t know if it was lack of experience in the offense or whatever it is,” Orgeron said. “I’m not going to make any excuses. But we don’t have any more time to figure it out. He needs to figure it out. If he doesn't somebody else will be the quarterback."When asked if the Rebels have considered moving Schaeffer to receiver and if the quarterback has been running routes this summer, Orgeron said, “we don’t know that, yet. We’re going to give him a chance to win the starting job at quarterback.”

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Sexton's Story

Another article from the Birmingham News today. I think it is a pretty good and interesting story. The fact Sexton was able to come from an equipment trainer at UT to one of the most succesful sports agents in history is a hell of a story. Alot of this article is about Nick Saban, but it is still a pretty incredible story about the power he has among coaches in the SEC. It is well worth the read:

MEMPHIS - Jimmy Sexton is telling a story. It's about the time he ruined Nick Saban's life.
It was Sexton who urged Saban to leave Michigan State for LSU after the 1999 season because, hey, that's what agents do. But in the first month of Saban's first season in Baton Rouge, LSU lost its homecoming game to UAB to fall to 2-2.
The next week, the day before Tennessee arrived for another potential beatdown, Sexton met with his client in Saban's office. And braced himself.
``He told me that I'd ruined his life," Sexton recalled. ``That it was the worst thing he'd ever done. He looked at me and said, `I don't know if you can win here.'"
Next day, unranked LSU beat No. 11 Tennessee in overtime.
``Of course," Sexton said, ``the rest is history."
118544156457180.xml&coll=2 (Must Copy and Paste to Read, Link Does Not Work)

Thoughts On Croom

Below is a segment Ray Melick of the Birmingham News wrote about Sly this afternoon upon completion of SEC Media Days. I am interested to hear everyone's thoughts about Croom's comments. Especially if you are a M$U fan. I am not sure this is what I want to be hearing from my head coach. Am I wrong in thinking this?

(Bhm News)Every year there has to be a coach on the hot seat in the SEC, and this year it would appear to be Mississippi State coach Sylvester Croom.
Croom was asked at SEC Media Days today whether he was feeling that his job might be in jeopardy if his team doesn't show significant improvement this year.
"If you're asking me whether I'm worried about whether I'm going to get fired, no," Croom said. "I've coached for 30 years. I've never had to go look for a job. .¤.¤. But at any point during my tenure, or as coaches, we always know that's a possibility."
Croom insisted that he isn't behind schedule in getting State where he believes the program can be. "It hasn't taken any longer than I thought," he said.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Non Conference Schedule Is Complete

For those that were looking to make plans:

2007-08 Ole Miss Basketball Non-Conference Schedule

Nov. 2 Delta State (Exhibition)
Nov. 10 Mississippi Valley State
Nov. 13 South Alabama
Nov. 16 Lamar
Nov. 24 Louisiana-Monroe
Nov. 27 Troy
Dec. 1 New Mexico
Dec. 8 at UCF
Dec. 13 Winthrop (Jackson)
Dec. 15 at New Orleans
Dec. 19-22 at San Juan Shootout
Dec. 28 Southern Miss (Southaven)
Jan. 2 Alabama A&M

Don't Hold Your Breath

For those of you expecting a report from Team USA's appearance in Birmingham, do not hold your breath. The staff at Worldclassglass did not make it out to Region's Park due to weather related issues. The game was delayed several hours and the start time was unknown for several hours. At press time it appeared that Lance Lynn did start(just my luck). However I do not know how we finished in the game.

It is SEC Media Days in Birmingham and you can not find a thing in the paper about this game. I guess it is officially football season now that SEC Media Days has begun. All I know is that Nick Saban is scheduled to report to the podium tomorrow. I am just glad I am away from the hotel as I would guess 5,000 Alabama Rednecks will show up just to see Saban tomorrow and try and get an autograph. They are either there to see Saban or Croom, the jury is still out.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Team USA

Team USA will be in Birmingham tomorrow to take on the Chinese national team. The team is fresh off a trip from the Pan-Am games. More recently they have played two games down in Mobile. Worldclassglass' Gulf Coast correspondent, Cook, was supposed to give us some updates from the games in Mobile.

If either Ole Miss pitcher, Lance Lynn or Cody Satterwhite is scheduled to pitch tomorrow, I will be in attendance to give a full report. Stay tuned as we will be expecting a report from Cook, which will determine if there will be a story from Regions Park tomorrow.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Kennedy Gets Big News

Head Ole Miss basketball coach Andy Kennedy received big news this weekend according to several sources. It is being reported that Macolm White has been cleared to play basketball for the Rebels next year. White is a 6'8, 220 lb power forward that should make an impact on the court beginning next year. White is a top 100 player on several recruiting sites on the internet. Following White's academic history is a bit complicated. The only known factor is that it appeared White was going to have to attend prep school next year and not be able to sign with an NCAA school.

While this is not been officially published by UMAA, everywhere that I read it is a done deal. Hopefully it will be official soon and if it is this is another reason why Ole Miss fans should get behind this basketball program. I am a big believer in Andy Kennedy and what he has in store for the future of the program, I just hope a few "decision makers" don't mess it up.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Rebs #1 In the West

This article was published by UMAA today. It states that a New York Times survey men's sports atop the SEC West in the all-sports category. To be honest I would not have predicted this if I was asked by a stranger who was the overall best men's sports program in the SEC West. At any rate, congrats to the Ole Miss athletic department on this honor, hopefully this will light a fire in UMAA to get the major programs(i.e. football) on a more competitive level.

OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss recently concluded a successful and historic 2006-07 season of athletics competition that saw 10 of its teams reach postseason play.

In men’s sports, the Rebels ranked first in the Southeastern Conference Western Division and fourth overall in the annual SEC All-Sports rankings conducted by the New York Times Regional Newspaper Group, which includes 14 papers throughout the Southeast. Points are awarded to schools based on their teams’ regular-season finishes, and each university’s point total is divided by the number of sports it fields.

Among all sports, nine Ole Miss teams participated in their respective NCAA Tournaments with women’s basketball advancing to the Elite Eight, men’s tennis to the Sweet 16 and baseball to a Super Regional. Volleyball earned its first NCAA berth, while men’s golf returned to the Big Dance after a six-year absence.

Five teams appeared in the final top-25 rankings of their sport, including top-10 clubs in men’s tennis (seventh) and women’s basketball (10th). Men’s tennis also joined men’s basketball in earning SEC Western Division titles.

Ole Miss totaled 12 All-Americans, 30 All-SEC selections and five league athletes of the year, including football defense (Patrick Willis), women’s basketball defense (Armintie Price), women’s field (Brittney Reese), male track runner (Barnabas Kirui) and male cross country (Kirui).

The SEC Freshman of the Year wore Red and Blue in baseball (Jordan Henry) and men’s cross country (Kirui), while the Coach of the Year in men’s basketball (Andy Kennedy) and volleyball (Joe Getzin) came from Oxford.

In the classroom, Ole Miss produced 114 Academic All-SEC members and 11 national academic honorees.

Eight Rebels were selected in professional sports’ drafts this year, including the WNBA’s No. 3 overall choice in Price and the NFL’s 11th pick in Willis. That pair concluded their careers as two of the most decorated athletes ever in their sports at Ole Miss.

Price became just the second player in NCAA history to record over 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 400 assists and 400 steals, joining the legendary Cheryl Miller. With Price on the court, the Rebels advanced to four postseason appearances, including three NCAA Tournament bids.

For the second straight year, Willis topped the SEC in tackles and was named first team All-America. The Bruceton, Tenn., native also received the Butkus Award and Lambert Trophy as the nation’s top linebacker.

Kirui claimed the 10th NCAA track title in school history by winning the 3,000-meter steeplechase, and he became only the fourth runner in conference history to capture SEC titles in all three distance races. The sophomore from Kenya also helped Ole Miss track to its best NCAA Outdoor finish ever, as the men tied for 12th in the nation and the women tied for 27th.

The Rebel volleyball squad equaled a school record with 10 wins in SEC play for the first time since 1979. The team picked up its first ever victory over a ranked opponent with a 3-2 win over No. 11 LSU in the regular-season finale, propelling the unit to its NCAA Tournament debut.

In his first year at the helm, Kennedy coached Ole Miss men’s basketball from a preseason last-place prediction to the top of the SEC West. The Rebels turned in a 20-win season and a postseason bid for the first time since 2002.

Men’s tennis made its 12th top-10 finish in the last 14 years, captured their sixth consecutive SEC West title and reached the NCAA Sweet 16 for the 12th time in the history of the program.

The Rebel golfers posted their highest finish (fourth) at the SEC Championships since 1988 and qualified for an NCAA Regional for the first time since 2001.

The Ole Miss baseball team notched its third consecutive 40-win season and joined Clemson, Cal State Fullerton and Rice as the only programs in the nation to advance to a Super Regional each of the last three seasons.

Kennedy Releases Schedule

This is the below writeup from Clarion Ledger about the basketball schedule. I expect we will get an official announcement from the UMAA soon. I like the New Mexico scheduling, will have to do some more research on Central Florida.

(C-L)Ole Miss has completed its basketball schedule for the 2007-08 season by signing deals with non-conference opponents New Mexico and Central Florida, coach Andy Kennedy said tonight.Speaking before the Rebel Reunion at the Trade Mart in Jackson, Kennedy said the Rebels will play a two-game series against New Mexico and three-game series against Central Florida. Kennedy said Ole Miss will host New Mexico and new coach Steve Alford in December, then play at Albuquerque the following season.Ole Miss will play Central Florida in Orlando this season, said Kennedy, and then the Golden Knights will play games in Oxford the next two years.Kennedy also said a previously reported three-year deal to play Southern Miss is almost finalized. The Rebels and Golden Eagles will play games in Jackson, Biloxi and Southaven. The first game in the series will be in Southaven, said Kennedy.

As Expected

(Clarion Ledger)-Wide receiver A.J. Jackson, one of the most highly ranked recruits in the 2007 Ole Miss signing class, will not play football for the Rebels this fall.
Speaking to reporters prior to tonight's Rebel Reunion at the Trade Mart in Jackson, coach Ed Orgeron said Jackson, who played last fall for College of the Sequoias in California, did not qualify academically."As of right now, we don't think he's going to be enrolling at any university next year," Orgeron said.Jackson was ranked as the No. 1 junior college recruit in the nation by, an Internet based recruiting service.In two seasons at the College of the Sequoias, Jackson caught 73 passes, for 1,260 yards and 25 touchdowns. In 2005, he was teammates with current Rebel quarterback Brent Schaeffer. That season, Jackson had 43 catches, for 667 yards and 16 TDs.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Why Didn't This Guy Play For Us Last Year??

OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss right-hander Wade Broyles, a rising sophomore with the Ole Miss baseball team, was selected to participate in the Coastal Plains League All-Star Game, the league announced on Friday.

Broyles is pitching for the Thomasville HiToms this summer and has posted a 3-0 record in 23.0 innings pitched with a perfect 0.00 ERA. Broyles has allowed only one unearned run in his time on the mound, while striking out 35 batters to date.

The game will be played at Capital City Stadium in Columbia, S.C., on Tuesday, July 17. First-pitch is set for 6:05 p.m. CST. Festivities surrounding the event, including a home run derby, will be held on Monday, July 16.

Broyles pitched in two games for the Rebels in 2007, combining for a shutout of Murray State on April 24. In his time on the mound, Broyles allowed one hit while walking three and striking out two.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Pigskin Rebs in the Pros

Last week we took a look at those former Rebels that are playing professional baseball. This week I stole a list for those former Rebs that play professional football. Those that have access to the Spirit message board have already seen this. To be honest I had no idea there were this many former Rebs that are in the Pros. There are probably a couple that were left off of this list. Any surprises??

Charlie Anderson Houston Texans
Stacy Andrews Cincinnati Bengals
Taye Biddle Carolina Panthers
Derrick Burgess Oakland Raiders
Kendrick Clancy New Orleans Saints
Ben Claxton
Oakland Raiders
Josh Cooper New Orleans Saints
Mike Espy Washington Redskins
Von Hutchins Houston Texans
Marcus Johnson Minnesota Vikings
Ken Lucas Carolina Panthers
Eli Manning New York Giants
Deuce McAllister
New Orleans Saints
Trumaine McBride Chicago Bears
Terrence Metcalf Chicago Bears
Jayme Mitchell Minnesota Vikings
Chris Spencer Seattle Seahawks
Micheal Spurlock Arizona Cardinals
Tre Stallings Kansas City Chiefs
Keydrick Vincent Baltimore Ravens
Todd Wade Washington Redskins
Patrick Willis San Francisco 49ers

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Pro Update

Someone suggested we take a look at those former Rebs in the Major or Minor Leagues. I began to do some research and then stumbled across this excellent summary on another Rebel board. So I will paste it here. There are some shockers in here, like Barry Gunther in AAA ball. On another note, alot of people do not even know or forget about Bobby Kielty playing in the majors. Who else stands out to you?

Major League
Ryan Bukvich – Chicago White Sox 1-0, 4.38, 6 Ks and 8 BBs in 12.1 IP
David Dellucci – Cleveland Indians (15-day DL) .234, 4 home runs and 20 RBI
Bobby Kielty – Oakland Athletics .154, 0 home runs and 3 RBI

T.J. Beam – Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees 1-2, 4.13, 2 saves, 24 Ks and 8 BBs in 24 IP
Barry Gunther – Fresno Grizzlies, San Francisco Giants .333, 0 home runs and 1 RBI (Injured) Seth Smith – Colorado Springs Sky Sox, Colorado Rockies .309, 8 home runs and 46 RBI
Matt Tolbert – Rochester Redwings, Minnesota Twins .313, 3 home runs and 28 RBI

Mark Holliman – Tennessee Smokies, Chicago Cubs 7-7, 2.82, 65 Ks and 37 BBs in 105.1 IP Matt Maloney – Reading Phillies, Philadelphia Phillies 7-6, 3.97, 93 Ks and 39 BBs in 104.1 IP Eric Fowler – New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Toronto Blue Jays 2-1, 6.00, 11 Ks and 11 BBs in 18 IP

Anthony Cupps – Visalia Oaks, Arizona Diamondbacks 2-9, 6.02, 38 Ks and 29 BBs in 80.2 IP Stephen Head – Kinston Indians, Cleveland Indians .252, 13 home runs and 48 RBI

Tommy Baumgardner – Asheville Tourists, Colorado Rockies 2-1, 2.36, 9 saves, 40 Ks and 6 BBs in 34.1 IP
Justin Brashear – South Bend Silver Hawks, Arizona Diamondbacks .196, 3 home runs and 17 RBI
Chris Coghlan – Greensboro Grasshoppers, Florida Marlins .325, 10 home runs and 64 RBI, 19 stolen bases
Brian Pettway – Lansing Lugnuts, Toronto Blue Jays .245, 8 home runs and 33 RBI (injured) Alex Presley – Hickory Crawdads, Pittsburgh Pirates .307, 6 home runs and 38 RBI
Garrett White – Great Lakes Loons, Los Angeles Dodgers 1-4, 3.10, 2 saves, 59 Ks and 14 BBs in 49.1 IP
Craig Rodriguez – Tri-City Dust Devils, Colorado Rockies 0-1, 2.31, 7 Ks and 3 BBs in 111.2 IP Zack Cozart – Dayton Dragons, Cincinnati Reds .194, 0 home runs and 7 RBI
Will Kline – Columbus Catfish, Tampa Bay Devil Rays 0-0, 0.00, 0 Ks and 0 BBs in 0.0 IP Justin Henry – Oneonta Tigers, Detroit Tigers .304, 0 home runs and 3 RBI, 3 stolen bases

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Road Block

I have run into a road block lately with posts. There has not been much news to report on lately so I have been limited on posts. I would like to open it up to the regular readers to see what yall want to discuss. Does anyone have anything they would like to discuss? Any stories you would like me to look into? As of now I have nothing.

Most of the bloggers from the Clarion Ledger and NE Mississippi Daily Journal have taken a couple of weeks off from the blog. I would rather not go away completely for now. Maybe in the future.

I think it is too early to start predicting records, as that will come in August. But let's talk about what you want to talk about. Maybe even some guests columns. Would anyone like to submit?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Bianco Names New Assistant Coach

I forgot to report this the other day. I can't say I am too thrilled about this decision. Some say Bianco has confidence problems and only surrounds himself with "yes" men. This is the second time in two years we have promoted an assistant coach that came to the program with no experience to one of the top assistants. Lafferty is very young and will basically have no control over the pitchers. As with year's past Bianco will continue to call the pitches and control the pitchers in my opinion. Boy what I would give to have Dan McDonnell back.

OXFORD, Miss. – Carl Lafferty, a volunteer assistant coach with the Ole Miss baseball program, has been recommended for promotion to a full-time assistant position, head coach Mike Bianco announced on Friday. The promotion is pending the approval of the Board of Trustees, State Institutions of Higher Learning.

Lafferty, who takes the position following the departure of assistant coach Kyle Bunn, will assume all duties held previously by Bunn and will continue to work with the catchers while assisting Bianco with the pitchers and assistant coach Rob Reinstetle with recruiting responsibilities.

Bunn left Ole Miss to join Clemson University’s staff after serving five years as a volunteer assistant with the Rebels and had just completed his first season as a full-time assistant coach in 2007.

“I am very excited to announce the promotion of Carl to a full-time position with our staff,” said Bianco. “Carl has been a great addition to the staff since he returned as an administrative assistant two seasons ago. It is always exciting for a program to get an alum and former player back in uniform and on the field as a part of the coaching staff, and this is move is something he has earned and deserves.”

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Henry, Miller Named All Americans

OXFORD, Miss. – Despite the 2007 baseball season ending a week ago, the honors continued to roll in for a pair of young Rebels as Jordan Henry and Zach Miller were named Freshman All-America selections by Baseball America, the publication announced recently.

Henry was named as a first team selection in the outfield, while Miller was selected to the second team as a designated hitter. Both were also selected to Freshman All-America honors by Collegiate Baseball earlier in the season.

“It’s a tremendous honor for both Jordan and Zach to be selected as Freshman All-American’s by Baseball America, and it is certainly an honor they both deserve,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco. “Both of these young men played important roles in our success this season and it’s always nice to see that contribution and their athletic ability recognized.”

Sunday, July 01, 2007

What Is More Important??

Parish Alford of the North Mississippi Daily Journal published an interview in the paper today he had with Pete Boone, Ole Miss Athletic Director. Among the many things they talked about were two projects currently on the drawing board for the athletic department: the baseball expansion and the new practice facility for basketball.

I read the interview and then thought to myself which project is more important. Both are truly needed and both are going to cost in the 10-20 million dollar range. The current baseball stadium was built in the late 1980s and up until about 6 years ago was perfectly fine for the crowds the diamond Rebs were drawing. Now under Bianco's leadership the crowds have outgrown the stadium for part of the year. On the other hand Tad Smith was built in the 1970's and has had only minor renovations to the building. Hosting two teams inside the same building has always been a struggle between the two coaching staffs.

In my opinion the basketball practice facility is more important to the overall progress of either of the programs. Taking a recruit to the Tad Pad is somewhat of an embarrassment to Coach Kennedy compared to the other arenas recruits are taken to in the SEC. A new practice facility would give the coaching staff something to show off to the recruits much like the IPF has been for football. As far as the baseball stadium I think it is alot of money that will add a good bit of seats that will only be used a few weeks out of the season. By all means I like the plans, I just think it may be a little much. So if I only had the money to do one project, I would go with the basketball facility. Agree or Disagree?

DJ: Has location been an issue with the cost overruns of the baseball stadium expansion project, or has that been primarily timing?
PB: We’ve had close to $80 million in construction in the last 10-12 years. It’s timing in the sense of compaction of time, not timing in when you do it, but trying to get it done in eight months was an issue and it still is. Location has nothing to do with it. The other is material cost. Location, they may have thought about that in the sense of cranes on the field, but that’s not a major issue.Timing, the architect, I don’t want to get into a position of trying to defend the architects, but we have no clue about any of that. We’re depending on them to talk to the general contractors, who then talk to the subs, and put these things together. Maybe that just didn’t appear outwardly to them on that. The material, a lot of it is rising costs within months. The architects even increased, because initially we were talking about $10 million. Two or three months before the bid they were concerned and increased it to $12 million. We were also probably trying to put in the highest quality of everything and still thinking that would come in within the numbers. Now as we’re going back through there are 30 or so items that we’re looking at that range from a $3,000 savings to a million dollar savings that have to do with timing, different ways to heat and cool, different electrical issues, all those kinds of things.We went through each one of those and debated. If you do this what will it do, what will it look like and how will it be structured. We’ll digest all that and get back with him and say here are the ones we want to leave in and take out.

DJ: Where do you guys stand with the basketball facility?
PB: We feel it will cost $10-$12 million. We’re trying to get $6 million committed before we have a full-fledged campaign and start the detailed drawings. We have about $4 million committed now. We’re making a big push to get to six and take that package to the chancellor, let him look at it and see if we can’t get going.

DJ: What’s your best hope for ground-breaking?
PB: I have learned to not give dates. It’s like in baseball, we’re going to get it done, and it will be done right. It will be here for many years. The date that we start is not near as important as getting it done.