Friday, October 24, 2014  SUBSCRIBE   
 
Starkville awash in No. 1 football teams
Starkville is the only town in America where the chant "We're Number One!" is met with the question, "Can you be more specific?" Two weeks ago, when Mississippi State ascended to the No. 1 ranking in both national polls -- its highest ranking ever -- the Bulldogs became the third Starkville-based team to enjoy top-ranked status this month. Unbeaten Starkville High School has held the top spot in Mississippi's Class 6-A rankings, the largest division in the state, since midseason, while 7-1 Starkville Academy held the No. 1 ranking among private schools for a week before losing a narrow decision. The cash registers are flying open with greater frequency, too. "It's really crazy," said Courtney Martin, who works at The Lodge, a store that sells MSU-related memorabilia and athletic attire. "Since they went to No. 1, we've probably had two or three trucks coming in every day and we're selling a ton, mostly Hail State shirts or anything that says anything about being No. 1."
 
Mississippi State use intelligent play-calling and Bulldog spirit to rise to No1
As Mississippi State defensive back Justin Cox preserved the biggest victory in school history with a sprawling interception near the goal-line, thousands of cowbells rang in unison producing a cicada-like din inside Davis Wade Stadium. The Bulldogs' 38-23 win over No2 Auburn, their third straight victory over a top-10 opponent, vaulted them past Florida State into the top spot in the nation. Mississippi State president Dr Mark E. Keenum has beamed with intense pride while closely following the run. Keenum was born in Starkville and played football at Northeast Mississippi Community College before earning a PhD from Mississippi State in agricultural economics. "Seeing our Bulldogs rise to the consensus No1 ranking has been a great joy," Keenum said. "Being able to showcase our academic prowess, facilities and impactful research has been the real payoff from this wonderful football season. I'm confident that these days are just the beginning."
 
Licensing, likeness infringement following Mississippi State football success
Mississippi State University is addressing reports of local and state businesses attempting to piggyback football success with their own by selling unlicensed merchandise and using student-athletes likenesses in promotions without their permission. MSU's Office of Athletic Compliance and Office of General Counsel are both working to identify businesses in clear violation of NCAA legislation and university trademarks, Bracky Brett, senior associate athletic director for compliance, confirmed Wednesday. Brett said his office is pursuing the image-use issue, while general counsel and Licensing Resource Group, a subsidiary of Learfield Communications that handles MSU's licensing, both are handling reports of trademark infringement.
 
Mississippi State's Keenum on search committee for new SEC commissioner
Mississippi State will have a hand in who replaces Mike Slive as the next commissioner of the Southeastern Conference. The league announced a search committee on Thursday to fill the vacancy, which opens next July. Mississippi State's Dr. Mark Keenum is one of five members selected to the committee. Nicholas S. Zeppos, Chancellor of Vanderbilt University and current chair of the SEC's Presidents and Chancellors, appointed the committee members.
 
Mississippi State's Keenum chosen for SEC commissioner search committee
Mississippi State University President Mark Keenum has been named to a committee that will search for a new commissioner of the Southeastern Conference. Others on the search committee are David Gearhart, chancellor of the University of Arkansas; Judith Bonner, president of the University of Alabama; Eli Capilouto, president of the University of Kentucky; and R. Bowen Loftin, chancellor of the University of Missouri. The committee will work with athletic directors, faculty representatives, senior women administrators and student athletes in the search.
 
Mississippi State's Mark Keenum on SEC commissioner search committee
The Southeastern Conference is set to launch a national search to name its next commissioner. Mississippi State President Dr. Mark Keenum was among a group of five presidents and chancellors selected for a search committee. Mike Slive is retiring after 13 years in that position. The committee will work closely with athletic directors, faculty representatives, senior women administrators and student athletes in the search.
 
Mississippi State Secures Grant to Educate Community About Impaired Driving
Mississippi State's health education and wellness department is kicking off a year of programming to educate the university community and surrounding local areas about the dangers of impaired driving. A $27,775 grant from the Mississippi Office of Highway Safety will help MSU facilitate public information and educational programs starting this month and continuing through September 2015. The grant is specifically designed to make people aware of the impact that alcohol and drugs play on people's ability to safely and legally operate a vehicle. Joyce Yates, MSU director of health education and wellness, said many people believe they drink responsibly, but often do not recognize the point at which they become legally intoxicated and pose a danger if they decide to operate a vehicle.
 
MSU Extension Service to promote diabetes awareness
The Mississippi State University Extension Service will promote diabetes awareness in a series of health fairs next month. Health fair attendees will be able to talk to MSU Extension health specialists, get printed materials, obtain information about the signs and symptoms of diabetes. They will also learn about healthy lifestyle choices.
 
Mississippi State's Mike Brown Receives Major Weather Education Honor
A Mississippi State faculty member and alumnus who also is the state climatologist received a major honor from the National Weather Association this week. Professor Michael E. "Mike" Brown of the geosciences department received NWA's 2014 Public Education Award for "providing significant contributions to increase the public's weather awareness." Gregory Dunaway, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, extended congratulations to Brown and said the university values having Brown among the faculty. "As MSU's senior meteorologist and state climatologist, Dr. Brown is the consummate professor. He not only is an effective and innovative educator, but he also provides tremendous leadership that assists with protecting our campus and the citizenry of the state of Mississippi," Dunaway said.
 
Unemployment rates drop in Golden Triangle
Unemployment is down from this time last year on both the state and local levels. Last month's rates for Lowndes, Oktibbeha, Clay and Noxubee counties were down at least nine tenths of a percent from September 2013, according to the Mississippi Department of Employment Security. In Oktibbeha County, the rate was 7.1 percent, whereas it was 8 percent in September 2013. That equates to about 1,490 people looking for work. The nationwide unemployment rate was 5.9 percent, which was 1.3 percentage points lower than the 7.2 percent rate it had a year ago.
 
Mississippi construction industry sees labor shortage
Eighty-three percent of construction firms that responded to a survey by Associated General Contractors said they were having trouble finding qualified craftsworkers. In the Southern U.S., the survey said, that number is 86 percent. It's a problem Mike Barkett is trying to solve in Mississippi. Barkett, the president of the Mississippi Construction Education Foundation, said the late-decade recession is still pummeling the industry -- just not in the way it did five years ago. Now that the industry has things that need building, finding enough craft workers -- carpenters, plumbers, brick masons and the like --- is a lot harder than it used to be. To rebuild the labor pool, the AGC is promoting a renewed funding push for career and technical education programs in U.S. high schools and community colleges.
 
Fed: Mississippi, other states in Atlanta District expected to sustain modest economic growth
Expect to see more of the growth in economic activity that is occurring in Central and South Mississippi, says a new Federal Reserve Beige Book that periodically assesses the economic health of the Atlanta Fed district and the 11 other districts. The Beige Book, released Oct. 15, leads off with a note that the "modest pace" of economic improvement in the Atlanta district, which takes in central and south Mississippi, should be sustained or even rise above current levels. The district also includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and portions of Louisiana and Tennessee.
 
Northrop Grumman's MQ-8C Fire Scout, assembled in Moss Point, prepares for shipboard testing
Northrop Grumman Corp. has successfully completed precision sloped landing tests with the MQ-8C Fire Scout at California's Naval Base Ventura County in preparation for at-sea testing, company leaders said Thursday. Northrop Grumman's Unmanned Systems Center in Moss Point completes final assembly of the Fire Scout. The Moss Point center, near Trent Lott International Airport, also builds fuselages for the Air Force's Global Hawk program and the Navy's Broad Area Maritime Surveillance program, among others. The MQ-8C is the company's latest variant of its successful Fire Scout unmanned aerial system, which performs intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions for the U.S. Navy.
 
'Ready to Run' Urging Women to Join State Politics
Mississippi is one of just two states to never elect a female congressman, senator or governor. A new initiative is underway to recruit more women to run for political office. Called Ready to Run, the goal is to provide women with the skills, knowledge and encouragement to get involved in the political process. The program is sponsored by the Mississippi Commission on the Status of Women. Former state Sen. Neely Carlton says often women don't see themselves as politicians despite being very involved in the community. "They have tremendous skills. They have worked on PTOs. They have worked on civic projects. They have worked in their church organizations. And if they give themselves credit for that skill set, they will realize those are the same skill sets that help people run for public office," Carlton said.
 
Cochran stumps for support from black voters
Republican Sen. Thad Cochran told black voters Thursday that when he first ran for Congress in 1972, Mississippi was in a period of fear and uncertainty because race relations were changing. He said the gubernatorial election of 1971 was the first time a candidate for a major office in the state, Democrat Bill Waller, made an effort to appeal to black voters who were asserting their constitutional right to vote. "I can remember this -- you were denied that right, and that was wrong," Cochran said. "And we are working more successfully than ever to break down those barriers and prejudices and open up our society to participation by everybody. And that's my goal as I continue to serve in Washington."
 
Cochran thanks black voters; Childers camp blasts PAC
Republican Sen. Thad Cochran on Thursday thanked African-American voters who helped him pull off a win in the GOP primary runoff and asked for their continued support against Democrat Travis Childers on Nov. 4. The event was sponsored by the All Citizens for Mississippi PAC. This group was created by black religious and political leader Bishop Ronnie Crudup. While Republican Cochran continues to campaign for support from black Democrats, Democrat Childers has been trying to win support from tea party Republicans. Many of McDaniel's supporters angered over his loss have vowed to cross over and vote for Childers on Nov. 4.
 
Childers campaigns despite not hearing from opponent for debate
After a nasty Republican primary and months of legal battles with Chris McDaniel, Republican nominee Thad Cochran is headed for a November 4th showdown with Democrat Travis Childers. But Childers, who has asked Cochran to debate multiple times, said his opponent is avoiding the public forum. "I just believe if you're not willing to answer those tough questions now, will you make the tough decisions within the next six years?" asked Childers on a Thursday afternoon visit to the Pine Belt. "We feel like we're in the last five minutes of the fourth quarter," said Childers of the last 12 days of the campaign.
 
Sojourner could face fine, jail for not filing report
After being fined $500 and having her legislative pay cut off, state Sen. Melanie Sojourner could face a $3,000 fine and jail time if she doesn't eventually file her 2013 campaign finance report. A spokeswoman for Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann said he has turned the issue over to the Attorney General's Office, as required by law. Reports to disclose legislators' campaign donors for 2013 were due Jan. 31. Sojourner is the only lawmaker, out of 174, who has not filed a report. Sojourner, R-Natchez, campaign manager for U.S. Senate candidate Chris McDaniel's campaign, could not be reached for comment Thursday. Sojourner could eventually face criminal penalties for failure to file.
 
Supreme Court weighs McDaniel challenge
Even as Democrat Travis Childers and Republican incumbent Thad Cochran campaign for the Nov. 4 U.S. Senate election, the state Supreme Court is still weighing whether Chris McDaniel can legally challenge his June 24 loss to Cochran in the Republican primary. The state's highest court heard oral arguments on Oct. 2 on whether under state law McDaniel, a second-term state senator and Tea Party favorite, waited too long to file a legal challenge to his loss to Cochran. But at this point, if the Supreme Court ruled with McDaniel, resulting in his legal challenge being renewed, it's unlikely that it could be resolved before the Nov. 4 general election, meaning Cochran and Childers would remain on the ballot. While many believe even if the Supreme Court rules that McDaniel's unprecedented challenge of the statewide election results is timely, it would be unlikely he could prevail in a trial.
 
Mississippi among the 5 most conservative states
Alabama is the most Republican state in the country, according to The Hill's new rankings. The Hill ranked all 50 states on a red to blue scale, looking at voting history in presidential elections, party breakdown in Congress, and elections for governor and state legislature. The South and West dominate the list of the five most conservative states. Mississippi also reflects the divisions in the GOP, even in deep red states, as Sen. Thad Cochran had to battle to beat back Tea Party challenger Chris McDaniel in this year's primary.
 
IRS notches legal victory in tea party cases
The IRS may have inadvertently figured out how to win its legal battles against aggrieved tea party groups: Give them what they wanted in the first place: tax-exempt status. That was a major reason a Republican-appointed federal judge on Thursday threw out two lawsuits brought by more than 40 conservative groups seeking remedies for being singled out in the tea party targeting scandal, a victory for the IRS. Judge Reggie Walton of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia dismissed almost all counts brought against the tax-collecting agency in two cases, ruling that both were essentially moot now that the IRS granted the groups their tax-exempt status that had been held up for years.
 
Defective air bags raise questions about automakers' ability to handle gigantic recall
More than 30 million cars and trucks nationwide are equipped with dangerously defective air bags, congressional officials say, a number that raises questions about whether the U.S. auto industry can handle what could become the largest recall in history. Federal safety authorities have recalled only 7.8 million vehicles over the defect in a few states, a limited action that lawmakers said Thursday was vastly insufficient to address what they deemed "a public safety threat." Two senators demanded a much broader recall that would cover every affected vehicle nationwide. But a recall of that magnitude -- including best-selling models from Honda, Toyota, GM, Chrysler and six other companies spanning 2002 to 2007 --- could prove far greater than the industry has ever managed.
 
Nashville touted as new auto industry leader
A leading automotive expert called Nashville "the capital of the new American auto industry" and urged its leaders Thursday to pay close attention to three major trends unfolding at the same time. Paul Ingrassia, managing editor of Reuters and a Pulitzer Prize-winning automotive industry journalist and author, said there are significant changes on the way in the way car engines work, in the use of satellite communications technology and in the emerging development of unmanned vehicles. Tennessee cannot remain stagnant if it wants to continue to see growth among automotive manufacturers and suppliers, which now have a presence in nearly every county, Ingrassia said. Sen. Lamar Alexander, in the keynote address, told auto industry leaders that Tennessee must stay the course if it wants to remain attractive to auto manufacturers and suppliers.
 
As Rebs win, Ole Miss balances Dixie and diversity
Ole Miss is enjoying its best football season in a half-century, and that's bringing new attention. The Rebels haven't played this well since 1962, which happens to be the same year troops stood up to mob violence to force the University of Mississippi, under federal court order, to admit James Meredith as its first black student. School leaders have struggled ever since to improve both the image and the reality of a place once seen as a bastion of segregation. The latest initiative is a diversity plan Chancellor Dan Jones is rolling out this year, addressing symbols and substance to make the campus more inclusive. Civil War-era traditions have a tenacious hold here.
 
Pearl River Community College loses one of its oldest alumnae
An educator, storyteller, dorm mom and even musician are among the roles the late Leta Slade took on during her 107 years of life. Affectionately known as "Miss Leta," Slade was one of Pearl River Community College's oldest alumnae when she died Oct. 17. She died at Pearl River County Nursing Home, where she had been a resident since 1999. Born April 7, 1907, about 7 miles from Poplarville to the late Arthur and Ella Tyner of Hillsdale, Slade was a student at Center School near Baxterville and a graduate of Poplarville High School. After PRCC, she received a teaching degree from Mississippi Southern College --- now the University of Southern Mississippi. She taught at Loyal School, and after retiring from teaching, she served as a "dorm mother" at PRCC.
 
Meridian Community College instructor tapped for humanities honor
To say Meridian Community College theater instructor Steve Nabors is busy is an understatement. From portraying Meridian founding father Lewis Ragsdale in a cemetery tour to rehearsing for the upcoming musical The King and I to teaching theater classes, Nabors has a full playbill of tasks. And that's just this fall term. One more item on his to-do list: Present the lecture, The Italian Commedia dell'Arte and Its Influence on Contemporary Entertainment as MCC's Humanities Teacher of the Year. The Mississippi Humanities Teacher Awards recognize the contributions of humanities faculty at each of the state's colleges and universities. Nabors was selected as Meridian Community College's honoree.
 
U. of Alabama student victim of attempted kidnapping
A University of Alabama student was able to fend off a would-be attacker as she walked home from campus Wednesday night, authorities said. Law enforcement authorities say that a man accosted the woman as she walked south on 10th Avenue, grabbed her and tried to force her into his SUV. The woman, who has had training in self-defense, fought him off, Tuscaloosa County Metro Homicide Unit commander Sgt. Dale Phillips said. Nearby witnesses began yelling at the man before he left the area in his vehicle, possibly heading south through a nearby apartment complex. Several people witnessed the incident, which happened around 8:30 p.m. in what Phillips described as a fairly well-lit area.
 
U. of Alabama business school gets $1.5 million gift
The University of Alabama Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration has received a $1.5 million gift from alumni and a pledge for matching funds from the family of the college's namesake. "We are excited about the Faryards' gift, as well as the Culverhouse match," said Michael Hardin, dean of the business school. Alumni Gary Fayard and his wife, Nancy Fayard, gave $1.5 million to the business college, money that will be used to create the Fayard Endowed Chair in Accounting, according to Hardin. The gift is the largest endowment in the history of the Culverhouse School of Accountancy. "It's something for the university and the state to be proud of," Hardin said.
 
Gunmen rob UGA students downtown hours before armed home invasion
Athens-Clarke County police said they are investigating two armed robberies that occurred Friday morning within a three-hour time span. The victims in one of the robberies were University of Georgia students walking through downtown and the other robbery involved a home invasion, police said. The first robbery happened at about 1:10 a.m., when two female UGA students were walking on North Thomas Street near East Hancock Avenue, police said. The suspects were described as black males in their late 20s or early 30s and had short haircuts and no facial hair, police said. One was tall and skinny and wore a "beanie" hat, dark sweatshirt and possibly sweatpants, police said. The suspect with the gun was shorter and wore a sweater.
 
U. of Arkansas Alumna Gives $600k to Alma Mater
Hot Springs native and University of Arkansas alumna K. Denise Henderson is giving more than a half-million dollars to her alma mater. Henderson's planned gift of $600,000 will be divided between the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural Food & Life Sciences, the Women's Giving Circle and the Arkansas Alumni Association. Each entity will receive $200,000. Her donation to the Bumpers College will establish the K. Denise Henderson Endowed Scholarship that will benefit undergraduate students in the School of Human Environmental Sciences. Henderson graduated from the university with a bachelor's in home economics.
 
Former spy James Olson now teaching art of espionage at A&M's Bush school
After 31 years of chasing Soviet KGB secrets and jumping out of moving cars for the Central Intelligence Agency, James Olson made the move into academia. That led him to Texas A&M's Bush School of Government and Public Service. Olson committed to two years with A&M. Offers came to work at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, or overseas. But he and his wife, Meredith, had grown fond of A&M and College Station. Olson accepted a professorship at A&M in 2000. "Best decision we've made in our lives," Olson said. "We love it here. How could we not be excited about a second career teaching the next generation of young men and women to come in behind us and do national security? And we're doing it."
 
PETA ask Texas A&M to stop using elephants during Elephant Walk
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has asked Texas A&M University in an open letter to Interim President Mark Hussey on Thursday that live elephants no longer be a part of the Elephant Walk tradition. The animal advocacy group challenged Hussey and student organizers to end elephant involvement in the senior ceremony to ensure student safety and stop the exploitation of animals for entertainment purposes. Elephant Walk is an annual event that began in 1926 in which seniors walk around visiting campus landmarks the week before the last football game to replicate elephants who wander to look for a place to die when their value to the herd is over. This year's 86th walk is scheduled for Nov. 8 at Simpson Drill Field.
 
U. of Missouri provost candidate touts teaching, research experience
Michele Wheatly is a self-proclaimed "science nerd," with degrees in biological sciences and comparative physiology. But she said her education and experiences make her more than what's listed on her resume. Wheatly, the first candidate for University of Missouri provost to have an open forum on campus, explained her personal and academic history Thursday afternoon to an audience of primarily faculty members with some administrators, staff and students, at the MU Student Center. Though Wheatly is an administrator, and has been for about 20 years, she emphasized the fact that she has conducted federally-funded research and taught for well over the majority of her administrative career, a point that resonated with some faculty members.
 
U. of Missouri student's death highlights difficulties balancing Type 1 diabetes, college life
The death last month of 20-year-old University of Missouri student Cale Boedeker sent a shock through campus and highlighted the difficulty and dangers of Type 1 diabetes. Boedeker died Sept. 29 of diabetic ketoacidosis, according to the Boone County medical examiner. Diabetic ketoacidosis is a serious complication of diabetes that occurs when the body is unable to produce enough insulin, according to the American Diabetes Association. It's a complication that can be triggered by illness, especially when there's dehydration. A few days before he died, Boedeker was vomiting and saying he didn't feel well. He died inside of his fraternity house. Managing diabetes presents particular challenges for a college student.
 
Scientists Fight For Superbug Research As U.S. Pauses Funding
An unusual government moratorium aimed at controversial research with high-risk viruses has halted important public health research, scientists told an advisory committee to the federal government on Wednesday. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy said Friday that the federal government will, for now, not fund any new research proposals that might make three particular viruses more virulent or contagious. The three viruses are those that give rise to influenza, severe acute respiratory syndrome, and Middle East respiratory syndrome. Some researchers who study these germs say they received "cease-and-desist" letters from their funder, the National Institutes of Health.
 
Higher ed trade group presidents make more than many college presidents
Salaries for executives at higher education trade associations rival those of top-paid college presidents. Compensation for the leaders of these higher ed groups -- which are considered nonprofits by the IRS -- has climbed in recent years. Twenty-seven of 48 association heads earned about as much or more than the median salary for a university president, which was about $400,000 in 2012-13. The highest-paid sitting association leader is Mark Emmert of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. He earned $1.7 million from fall 2012 to fall 2013. "The impression, for me at least, is that it looks like the higher education trade industry is a substantial industry, in which executives are well-compensated, in some cases extremely well-compensated," said James Finkelstein, a public policy professor at George Mason University who studies executive compensation in higher education.
 
OUR OPINION: McDaniel's election challenge trudges on
The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal editorializes: "It's been three weeks since the Mississippi Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Chris McDaniel's appeal of a special judge's ruling that he waited too long to file a legal challenge to his loss in the Republican primary runoff for U.S. Senate. Chief Justice William L. Waller Jr. said after six of the court's nine justices listened to lawyers on both sides Oct. 2 that the court would 'render a decision in due course.' ...In any case, the political spectacle continues. And an unfavorable ruling from the Mississippi Supreme Court won't necessarily be the end of it. ...we may still have a costly trial, perhaps in state court, maybe at the federal level, all because McDaniel has been unable to come to terms with losing an election he thought he was going to win."


SPORTS
 
Dan Mullen's unvarnished style turns Mississippi State into a winner
Winning is a powerful elixir. Winning will buy loyalty and sell tickets. Winning can unite a campus, reconnect alums and create a national identity. But now there's a new standard for what winning can achieve. Winning can make half the state of Mississippi (the maroon-and-white half) fall in love with and fall in step behind a brash, arrogant, fast-talking -- there's no other way to say it -- Yankee. Halfway through the 2014 season, Mississippi State is 6-0 and No. 1. The Bulldogs started the season winning, and kept winning, and suddenly the trappings of success well-known to the Alabamas and Ohio States of the world began to flow into Starkville. The transformation of Mississippi State on the field wouldn't have happened without Mullen finding his way into the hearts and minds of the southern family that is Mississippi State football off the field.
 
Despite stats, Mississippi State confident in secondary
How good is Mississippi State's defense? It depends on which stats you look at. The Bulldogs rank sixth in the nation in interceptions. They're 12th nationally in rush defense, 10th in opponents third down percentage and second in red zone defense. Then, there's the secondary. Mississippi State (6-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) ranks 121st in the country in pass defense allowing more than 300 yards per game. It skews MSU's total defense to worst in the SEC and 88th in the country. "They have to realize that we might not be as bad as some statistics say we are," said MSU coach Dan Mullen, whose team plays at Kentucky on Saturday. "And aren't as good as some say we are."
 
Prescott's star on the rise at Mississippi State
If you want to draw up an ideal quarterback for Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen's power spread offense, the end product would be Dak Prescott. At 6-foot-3, 230 pounds, Prescott is never to easy to bring down for a defensive end or linebacker. With the ability to run the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds, he has the speed to outrun a linebacker. You add all that up and not only is Prescott an ideal quarterback for MSU's scheme, but he is also the leading Heisman Trophy candidate at the midway point of the 2014 season. As long as the Bulldogs (6-0) keep winning, Prescott's chances to be in New York City on Dec. 14 for the Heisman presentation will only increase.
 
Kentucky, Stoops regrouping after big loss
Mark Stoops is attempting to put Kentucky's football program in the spotlight at a school where basketball rules. Stoops has the Wildcats off to a 5-2 start and will get the perfect opportunity to make an impact this weekend, hosting top-ranked Mississippi State. "It's important for us to play well," Stoops said. "Any time you're playing a No. 1 team in the country, you're going to have great exposure. We want to play well and represent our program and what we've been doing." Stoops' Wildcats must face a MSU team that has won nine straight games dating back to last season and has the leading Heisman Trophy candidate, Dak Prescott, leading the way at quarterback.
 
Dan Mullen talks NFL Draft and Dak Prescott
Dak Prescott told Sports Illustrated last week, if he's a first-round pick, he'd leave Mississippi State. His coach agrees with him. Dan Mullen said on his radio show Thursday night that he would encourage Prescott to head to the NFL if he is a first-round draft pick. "I'm a firm believer, if you're a first-rounder, go," Mullen said. Prescott is a fourth-year junior. He is scheduled to graduate in December. He's already set the school record in touchdowns responsible and is one of the front runners for the Heisman Trophy. "If Dak's a first rounder, we're going to encourage him to go to the NFL," Mullen said. "If he's not we're going to encourage him to come back."
 
'Breaking Bad' with Mississippi State
Mississippi State is "Breaking Bad" in its latest hype video. The Bulldogs have used inspiration from "The Dark Knight" and "Iron Man 3" in previous weeks. This time in preparation for No. 1 MSU's trip to Kentucky, the program looked to television. Toward the end of the minute and 25-second video the quote "I am not in danger. I am the danger," is said over the music. It's a line Walter White said in the hit TV series "Breaking Bad."
 
Mississippi State has two No. 1 teams on campus
Mississippi State now houses two No. 1 teams. Two weeks after the football squad assumed its positioning atop the polls, the women's golf team has garnered the same accolade by birdiefire.com. In four events, MSU has finished in the top 5 each time, including two wins. The Bulldogs begin their spring slate Feb. 13-15 at the Florida State Seminole Classic in Tallahassee.
 
Mississippi State women's golf chip their way to a no. 1 ranking
Now, there are two No. 1 teams at Mississippi State. Two weeks after the football squad assumed its positioning atop the polls, the women's golf team has garnered the same accolade by birdiefire.com after a compelling start to the fall season. In four events, MSU has finished in the Top 5 each time and has won twice, including this past week at the Old Waverly Bulldog Invitational in West Point. "This is a team of champions, in attitude, will, and work ethic," MSU coach Ginger Brown-Lemm said.
 
Performance, Not Academics, Drive Incentives for SEC Football Coaches
When's the last time you heard of a college football coach getting fired for his players' bad grades? Sure, you've heard of the ones where an academic scandal has hit the fan, and the university is forced to clean house, but you usually don't hear of coaches being let go because their starting quarterback can't make the grades. It's because college football is an industry driven by on-the-field results. Those results are the driver that results in millions upon millions pouring into the universities. Just look at the Southeastern Conference, the proclaimed king of the college football world, where the top teams and top-paid coaches reside.
 
U. of Tennessee students to try to 'Kill Kiffin with silence'
University of Tennessee Chancellor Jimmy Cheek has publicly outlined that he sees a problem with profanity during football games since a derogatory chant rang through Neyland Stadium on Oct. 4. Cheek believes vulgar chanting negatively affects the reputation of the state's flagship university, and the slew of emails he and athletic director Dave Hart received in the aftermath of the chant indicate that many fans and alumni feel the same way. But in a meeting with student leaders on Sunday, head coach Butch Jones got a little more specific about how the actions of UT's student section and fans could negatively impact the football program. Inspired by Jones' message, some students are spearheading a movement to "Kill Kiffin with silence" during Saturday's game when the Vols welcome former UT coach and current Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin to Neyland Stadium.
 
Under pressure to keep athletes eligible, advisers struggle to help players just enough, but not too much
In the world of big-time college sports, academic advisers are under severe pressure to do whatever coaches believe is necessary to keep students academically eligible for play. The written job description for an academic counselor to athletes may not mention duties like providing chauffeur services and making wake-up calls, but at some elite programs that is precisely the sort of thing these staff members are called upon to do. Academic advisers may never have been under greater scrutiny. This week the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill released the findings of an external investigation that found advisers complicit in a nearly two-decade-long scheme of academic fraud, in which athletes were steered toward no-show classes in order to maintain their eligibility. The case has reinvigorated a national conversation about whether academic advisers are too cozy with athletics programs and unduly influenced by coaches who are hellbent on winning.



The Office of Public Affairs provides the Daily News Digest as a general information resource for Mississippi State University stakeholders.
Web links are subject to change. Submit news, questions or comments to Jim Laird.
Mississippi State University  •  Mississippi State, MS 39762  •  Main Telephone: (662) 325-2323  •   Contact: The Editor  |  The Webmaster  •   Updated: October 24, 2014Facebook Twitter