Not a bad week for our college football teams. Overall, most of the state's college pulled off victories.
The big winner last week was Mississippi State. Finally the Bulldogs have a victory over a team not named Ole Miss in the SEC West. MSU's 28-10 victory over Auburn might be a stepping stone for this program.
If MSU handles business against lesser opponents, the next big test comes at home against Tennessee and then Alabama. Mississippi State has all the pieces in place to have a big year if they play like they did this Saturday versus Auburn.
Mississippi State Bulldogs
MSU started slowly and let an offensively challenged Auburn team hang around way too long but the Bulldogs finally got the monkey off their back beating an SEC West team from outside the state Mississippi. Auburn might not have a great offense but the Tigers defense isn't terrible.
Tyler Russell, quarterback, played at the high level MSU fans had been hoping for when he chose the Bulldogs out of Meridian High School. If the Bulldogs are going to do something special this season, the offense has to become a unit other teams at least respect and begin to fear.
The MSU secondary is one of the best in the country and teams are going to think twice about putting the ball in the air against that ball-hawking bunch. Mississippi State got a big win but this week is even more important.
Beating Auburn was big but it means nothing if the Bulldogs follow it up with a loss to Troy out of the Sunbelt. MSU needs to take care of business this week. The Trojans spent last week getting beat by Louisiana-Lafayette 37-24 at home.
Troy hosts the Bulldogs this week and it would be great to see MSU put this game away quickly. Mississippi State can't afford to over look anybody and this week especially. A loss will have everyone back to believing this is the same MSU team as those of the past.
MSU 41 Troy 17
Ole Miss Rebels
Ole Miss fans have to be happy how the first two weeks of the season have gone under new coach Hugh Freeze. The Rebels have won their first two games against teams they should beat.
UTEP gave Ole Miss a battle for all four quarters in the Rebels 28-10 victory. The Miners are one of the best 0-2 teams in the country.
The real work for Freeze and the Rebels begins this week against Texas. Mack Brown is feeling the heat down in Austin after two sub par seasons and the Longhorn faithful expect more.
This game will get a lot of attention national because it will be the stiffest competition either team has face up to this point in the season. Amazing all week I have seen there are tickets left for this game.
Expect the Longhorn fans to snap up any and all available tickets. The Grove will be a sea of burnt orange if the Ole Miss fans aren't careful.
Texas has more talent to work with at this point of the Freeze Era. I look for the Rebels to put up one hell of fight but for the Longhorns to win the war.
Texas 21 Ole Miss 14
Southern Miss Golden Eagles
USM was off last week and the biggest news to come out of Hattiesburg is that true freshman Anthony Alford will take over the starting job at quarterback. The Golden Eagles host East Carolina in their home opener and the university has done everything possible to try and encourage a sellout.
East Carolina spent last week getting Spanked 48-10 by South Carolina. The Pirates are one of the biggest rivals in C-USA for Southern Miss (Tulane is another)so this game is big not just for conference reasons.
Alford can run and is a great athlete but can he throw the ball down the field. East Carolina will load the box and dare the freshman to take shots on them.
USM's chances of winning depend on Alford making ECU pay for loading up against the run. This game could set the tone for the rest of the Golden Eagles season.
USM 28 ECU 24
Jackson State Tigers
It has been a tough season so far for Jackson State. The Tigers took a whipping against Mississippi State and this past week 38-12 beating from Tennessee State.
JSU still hasn't played at home and hits the road against to face Texas Southern. Those early loses are tough but they were not conference games.
All of the Tigers goals are still intact as far as winning their division and playing for a SWAC title are concerned. This game, against TSU, starts SWAC play and JSU needs win this game.
Starting off 0-3 on the season could doom Jackson State in 2012. Texas Southern spent last week getting a 34-7 beating from North Texas.
This game will define the Jackson State season. I think this is the week JSU begins to turn things around.
JSU 31 TSU 28
Alcorn State Braves
I said last week, Alcorn State was up against a tough test against James Madison (one of the best teams in FCS) and it was true. The Braves lost 42-7 to the Dukes last Saturday but they lost to a much more talented team.
ASU faces Arkansas-Pine Bluff this week and with a win would be 2-0 in SWAC play. New head coach Jay Hopson had the Braves ready against Grambling State so it is easy to believe he will have his squad ready for this game.
Last week, Arkansas-Pine Bluff lost to Alabama A&M 14-10. If the Braves weren't beat up too badly against James Madison a 2-0 start in conference play is attainable.
ASU 24 APBU 13
Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils
Things are going well for Mississippi Valley State to start the 2012 season. The Delta Devils lost a heart breaker in their home opener and suffered a 29-7 loss to Alabama State.
MVSU faces a Southern team (Thursday Night on ESPN U) that lost to New Mexico 66-21 to open their season. The Delta Devils are down on talent and on the road.
A 0-3 start to the season wouldn't be a surprise. I expect MVSU to make this game a fight but lack of talent will end any hopes of winning.
Southern 34 MVSU 17
Delta State Statesmen
Delta State bounced back to defeat Elizabeth City State University 26-7 after dropping the first game of the season. The Statesmen now face North Alabama in the first conference game of the year.
North Alabama lost their home opener 31-10 to Harding to fall to 1-1 on the season. DSU needs to win this game to keep their playoff hopes alive and get the first home win of the season.
DSU 28 UNA 17
The Majors are off to a quick 2-0 start after defeating LaGrange on the road last week 54-7. Millsaps stays on the road this week against Point.
Millsaps is in the middle of three straight road games. I'm riding with the Majors until they prove me wrong.
Millsaps 35 Point 22
Mississippi College Choctaws
Mississippi College bounded back to defeat Webber International 31-24 after losing to Millsaps in "The Backyard Brawl". The Choctaws face a tough test in West Alabama out of Division II.
West Alabama 42 MC 13
Belhaven fell to Louisiana College 24-13 last week. The Blazers are now 0-2 on the season.
Next up is Cumberland University (TN) on the road for the Belhaven. Tough season for the Blazers might get tougher.
Cumberland (TN) 31 Belhaven 10
Hinds Community College Eagles
Hinds defeated Coahoma 41-13 last week. Eagles play Gulf Coast this week in a battle of top ranked junior college teams.
Hinds CC 48 Gulf Coast 35
Holmes Community College Bulldogs
The Bulldogs fell 46-12 to Mississippi Gulf Coast last week. Holmes faces Northeast Mississippi CC this week.
Holmes 23 Northeast 13
Last week's predictions (9-2) For the season: (16-5)