Thursday, September 18, 2014  SUBSCRIBE   
Mississippi State Announces 2014-15 Presidential Scholars Class
Eleven students from Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Kansas and Tennessee are new selections for Mississippi State's most prestigious undergraduate scholarships. Each is receiving $40,000 over four years -- or $10,000 per year -- to cover the current cost of university tuition and fees, books, room and board, and research and study-abroad expenses. Selected from more than 600 qualified applicants, the new group joins more than 25 already participating in a program that is part of MSU's Shackouls Honors College. "The new Presidential Scholars represent some of the strongest, most promising students in the nation," said Tommy Anderson. "They come already conducting meaningful research and with impressive records of leadership and community engagement."
Messages of pain, strength displayed at MSU Drill Field
Survivors of violence and abuse let their messages be heard this week as the Clothesline Project took its place on the Mississippi State University Drill Field. Individuals who have been assaulted or abused had the opportunity to paint their message onto a t-shirt to be displayed on campus for passersby to see. (Subscriber-only content.)
MSU Symposium Offers Landscape Design Ideas
Mississippi State University is bringing three influential designers to campus in October to give professional and hobby gardeners new ideas about landscape design. The 59th Edward C. Martin Landscape Design Symposium will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 15 at the MSU Bost Extension Center Auditorium. Bob Brzuszek, Extension professor of landscape architecture, is the symposium program chair. Speakers this year are Eric Groft, John Mayronne and Sadik Artunc. Brzuszek will sign copies of his book, "The Crosby Arboretum: A Sustainable Regional Landscape." Copies will be available for purchase.
GRE workshop to be held at MSU-Meridian
A daylong workshop on the GRE will take place Sept. 27 at Mississippi State University-Meridian. Taking place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Kahlmus auditorium, the workshop is sponsored by the campus Psychology Club. Rod Wilson said the workshop is designed to familiarize students with the exam's three major domains and share test-taking strategies. Wilson, an assistant professor of psychology at MSU-Meridian, is the workshop's coordinator. "As with any standardized test of this magnitude, stress management plays an important role," he said.
Starkville revokes same-sex insurance
Starkville aldermen specifically removed same-sex partners from the city's new plus-one insurance coverage Tuesday after an hour-long public comment session that yielded support of the move from the city's religious base and sharp criticism from those who self-identified as members of Starkville's LGBT community. Mayor Parker Wiseman, who fervently defended the insurance as an all-inclusive move aimed at saving employees money, vowed to veto the board's action as soon as possible. Ward 3 Alderman David Little brought the new motion to the table Tuesday and accused Wiseman and Chief Administrative Officer Taylor Adams of intentionally deceiving aldermen of the policy's ramifications. After the meeting, Adams again assumed responsibility for a lack of communication with aldermen and promised to better facilitate the flow of information to Starkville's leaders.
August insurance letter acknowledged 'domestic partnership' coverage
An August report delivered to Starkville and provided in the city's e-packet before Sept. 2's meeting clearly identifies "domestic partnerships" as a beneficiary to an expanded plus-one insurance package that the board first unanimously approved earlier this month and then rescinded Tuesday. Before and after Tuesday's policy amendment, Ward 1 Alderman Ben Carver, Ward 3 Alderman David Little, Ward 6 Alderman Roy A. Perkins and Ward 7 Alderman Henry Vaughn slammed Mayor Parker Wiseman and Chief Administrative Officer Taylor Adams for hiding information associated the expansion that briefly offered health insurance benefits to same-sex partners of city employees. Wiseman and Adams both rebuffed the claims at the table, saying the same information they had on the issue was given to aldermen before Sept. 2's meeting.
Starkville drug investigation leads to arrest on marijuana charge
Starkville officers arrested a man on drug charges after receiving numerous complaints of drug dealings. Authorities say they executed a search warrant Tuesday at an residence on Jarnigan Street in Starkville. They say they found paraphernalia, marijuana, wax and an undisclosed amount of cash at the site. As a result, officers detained Michael Lee Woolsey II, 24, of Brandon for possession of marijuana with intent.
Severstal plant formally sold to Indiana company
Severstal Columbus has been sold to Steel Dynamics Inc., an Indiana-based steel producer and metal recycler. The plant, which sits on 1,400 acres near Airport Road, was sold by its Russian owners for $1.62 billion, according to a Steel Dynamics statement Tuesday. Officials also noted that Columbus is "advantageously located in Mississippi to serve the high-growth markets in the Southern U.S. and Mexico, providing both geographic diversification and growth opportunities." "I would like to enthusiastically welcome the Columbus employees, community and customers into the Steel Dynamics family," Mark Millett, chief executive officer of Steel Dynamics, said.
How the 'Bacon Bowl' Gave Hope to a Tiny Town and Then Left for China
Port Gibson, Miss., a town of 1,500 people in one of the poorest counties in the U.S., could use a break. Last November, one seemed to arrive in the form of a cooking utensil: the Perfect Bacon Bowl. Hawked on national television, the plastic molds shape bacon into edible serving bowls for scrambled eggs, macaroni and cheese or even, according to the packaging, ice cream. U.S. Dinnerware Inc., a tiny local maker of plates and school-lunch trays, won an order to make one million bowls. Suddenly, in a town where crumbling houses perch on concrete blocks, the last surviving factory was hiring again. The Bacon Bowl's journey to Port Gibson was roundabout. Working with a "supplier scouting" program of the U.S. Commerce Department, the company spread word that it was interested in a U.S. maker of the bowls. That got the attention of Charles "Bubba" Weir, a vice president at a nonprofit economic-development organization called Innovate Mississippi in Jackson.
Former state Sen. Scoper of Laurel dies at 81
Former Mississippi state Sen. Vince Scoper of Laurel has died of esophageal cancer. He was 81. He died Sunday, and a funeral was held Wednesday at First Baptist Church in Laurel. Scoper worked in the oil business and was longtime chairman of the Senate Oil, Gas and Other Minerals Committee. The Pass Christian native was a top tennis player at Mississippi State University before graduating in 1955.
Ads Get Creative, Even Seductive, To Attract Voters
September is voter registration month, but inspiring Americans to register and vote isn't always easy. Especially with politicians held in such low esteem. So some groups -- and a few election officials -- are taking a page from the book of Mad Men's Don Draper to get voters to the polls. Who knew that voting could be this much fun? Rick Looser runs The Cirlot Agency, a Mississippi advertising firm. His challenge this year was creating an ad to explain the state's new voter ID law. So they played off a memorable scene from the movie Forrest Gump to list all of the different documentation voters can use to get their voter ID cards: "Well, you can bring your Social Security card, your birth certificate, your Medicare, Medicaid card ... "
Mississippi GOP blasts Musgrove education funding lawsuit
The state Republican Party in a fundraising letter criticizes former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove's education funding lawsuit and says "Democrats' idea of education reform is to sue the state -- and, in the process, pocket $300 million from the taxpayers paid in attorneys fees." Musgrove is leading a legal team that is suing the state on behalf of 19 school districts so far over the Legislature underfunding the Mississippi Adequate Education formula.
Ike Brown responds to new state law
Longtime Democratic political operative Ike Brown said a new state law doesn't apply to him because under the constitution a law can't be retroactive. Brown said his message to Republicans is why are they concerned about who is serving on Democratic executive committee. "You don't see me trying to pass a law to get Republicans off their committee." Brown said he was instrumental in getting Republicans out of leadership roles in Noxubee and Kemper counties. He also said there is Democratic leadership in Meridian and Columbus.
Gov. Bryant intervenes in same-sex divorce case
Gov. Phil Bryant is intervening in a case involving a DeSoto County woman who wants Mississippi to recognize her same-sex marriage in order to grant a divorce. Bryant, represented by Christian legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, is opposing the woman's appeal to the Mississippi Supreme Court. The state Supreme Court said Monday that it would hear the case instead of assigning it to the Court of Appeals. Tuesday, it approved Bryant's motion to intervene.
U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Biloxi, opposes sending arms to Syrian rebels
The Republican-controlled House voted grudgingly to give the administration authority to train and arm Syrian rebels on Wednesday as President Barack Obama emphasized anew that American forces "do not and will not have a combat mission" in the struggle against Islamic State militants in either Iraq or Syria. U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Biloxi, was one of those in opposition. "As a Marine who has served in this very region of the world, I believe our men and women in uniform deserve a strong, comprehensive strategy to defeat ISIL," Palazzo said. "Today's vote to provide equipment and training to Syrian rebels is an arbitrary half-measure, and one that won't work."
U.S. to train veterans to install solar panels
The White House says the U.S. will train at least 50,000 veterans to become solar panel installers in the next six years. The program is among a host of initiatives the White House says will cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 300 million tons through 2030, plus save billions on energy bills. The Agriculture Department will also spend nearly $70 million on solar and renewable energy projects, while the Energy Department is proposing stricter efficiency standards for certain air conditioners.
Chinese hackers penetrating key computer networks for Pentagon
Hackers from the Chinese military have repeatedly penetrated key computer networks for the Pentagon, potentially compromising US military operations, warns a newly declassified Senate investigation. One year in the making, the bipartisan report, released Wednesday, focused on the "sophisticated" cyberincursions into the computer systems of contractors for US Transportation Command. While TRANSCOM is one of the lesser-known and seemingly less-captivating commands, it is integral to the mobilization and deployment of US military forces and plays a crucial role in the military's response to crises around the world.
Apple will no longer unlock most iPhones, iPads for police, even with search warrants
Apple said Wednesday night that it is making it impossible for the company to turn over data from most iPhones or iPads to police -- even when they have a search warrant -- taking a hard new line as tech companies attempt to blunt allegations that they have too readily participated in government efforts to collect user information. The move, announced with the publication of a new privacy policy tied to the release of Apple's latest mobile operating system, iOS 8, amounts to an engineering solution to a legal quandary: Rather than comply with binding court orders, Apple has reworked its latest encryption in a way that prevents the company -- or anyone but the device's owner -- from gaining access to the vast troves of user data typically stored on smartphones or tablet computers.
Recruitment week activities affect UM faculty and students
While many students are spending this week juggling fraternity and sorority recruitment and schoolwork, teachers aren't letting up on the amount of work they are assigning. Beth Spencer, a professor with the English department, said she is not a fan of recruitment since it promotes elitism and does not truly build diversity and community among all of the university's students. Journalism professor Mark Dolan said he's generally indifferent about recruitment, but the effects on the students are noticeable. Though he doesn't change his lesson plan to accommodate the demands of the week, he notices that attendance during this week is lower than others, and that some of the students who are present appear exhausted and distracted.
Ground broken for USM College of Nursing
State and local officials, University of Southern Mississippi administrators and faculty, and even some future nurses turned out Wednesday for the groundbreaking of Asbury Hall. Located on the western end of campus, the $31 million, three-story facility will house Southern Miss' College of Nursing. It is scheduled to be completed in 2016. "This has been an eight-year journey," said Dr. Katherine Nugent, dean of the College of Nursing. Asbury Hall will allow nursing enrollment to increase from the current 550 students to more than 800, and expand new programs in the College of Nursing with interactive student areas, an enlarged and enhanced clinical simulation lab, computer labs and classrooms.
Recipe contest brings taste of home to USM students
For most folks, nothing feels like home quite like their mom's cooking. That's why Eagle Dining at the University of Southern Mississippi started the "Just Like Home" recipe contest. Students and faculty are encouraged to submit recipes of the foods from home that they miss the most. "It's something that I developed and I've done previously at another university and it worked really well," said Gene Rapone, campus executive chef. "It helped with the students' transition from a home environment to a university, still having those flavors from home." Once a month, a winning recipe will be selected.
Alcorn State getting federal funding to study small farming operations
Alcorn State University will receive federal agriculture research resources to study how small farming operations in rural Mississippi can fight crop diseases. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), who is ranking member on the Senate Agriculture Committee and who serves on the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture is making $246,318 available to investigate small farm ecosystem crop diseases and the integration of plant pathology resources for limited-resource farmers in rural Mississippi.
Hinds Community College gets a grenade launcher through military surplus program
The Department of Defense is stirring controversy for providing military equipment and weapons to school and university police. According to a Washington Post study, Hinds Community College received a grenade launcher through the 10-33 Program. In a statement, the school says the grenade launcher was purchased in 1988 by a former Campus Police Chief, who retired in 2003. It remained on the college inventory, but according to the statement, has never been used for any purpose on the campus. College President Dr. Clyde Muse said the grenade launcher will be declared as surplus to the needs of the college, and upon approval of the Board of Trustees, will be disposed of according to legal means.
East Central Community College Recognizes Constitution Day
Sept. 17 is Constitution Day -- set aside to remember the signing of our nation's founding document. There were special events in association with the occasion on the campus of East Central Community College in Decatur on Wednesday. "It's a great way to remind students about the Constitution, to give them direct access to it, to help them remember the founding documents of our country where we got our start, and how we have grown and how we use this document today," said ECCC history professor Betsy Anderson.
Higher education affordability group taps Tupelo native
Tupelo native Michael DeBow has been named associate director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, a Washington, D.C.,-based research center that deals with issues related to the economics of higher education. DeBow, who assumed the position Aug. 1, will continue as a law professor at Samford University's Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama, where he has been on the faculty since 1988. Debow graduated from Tupelo High School and earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in economics from the University of Alabama and his law degree from Yale University.
Auburn's College of Veterinary Medicine Anatomy Laboratory undergoes $1 million renovation
The College of Veterinary Medicine's Anatomy Laboratory has undergone a $1 million renovation and recently opened for first-year students to begin their veterinary education. The major renovation focused on improving the ventilation system within the laboratory, which had not undergone a significant upgrade in more than a decade. The renovations included an update to the HVAC system; a sophisticated downdraft table system with more than 40 specially-designed and individually-ventilated dissection tables; an updated digital audio visual system including touch-screen monitors, speaker system, wall mounted computer system and wireless video system; a new ceiling and lighting; and a renovated anatomical preparation area to increase storage space within the lab.
Regents hold closed meetings with potential Louisiana higher ed commissioner candidates
Board of Regents members who have been tasked with finding Louisiana's next higher education commissioner met for nearly four hours Wednesday behind closed doors at an airport hotel with an unknown number of people who are at least interested in the job. The commissioner search committee will resume the meetings Thursday and could name a slate of finalists if the meetings go well, leaders said. "I've been extremely impressed with the quality and character of the individuals who have expressed interest," Board of Regents Chairman Clinton "Bubba" Rasberry said Wednesday after the first day of meetings. The board would not release details about the candidates.
$1 million donated toward new five-story engineering building at U. of Florida
Mindtree co-founder Subroto Bagchi and his wife, Susmita Bagchi, have donated $1 million toward the construction of the $53 million Innovation Nexus Building at the University of Florida -- the College of Engineering's contribution to UF's pre-eminence mission. The Nexus Building is envisioned as a hub for UF's engineering faculty and students, and it will be across from the Reitz Union. The new building will have five floors containing computer engineering, a freshman design lab, prototyping lab, engineering experiment station, advanced manufacturing, a graduate student innovation space and biotech labs.
Four finalists for dean of UGA School of Law to visit campus
Four finalists for the position of dean of the University of Georgia School of Law will visit campus in October to meet with members of the university community. Each finalist will make a public presentation in the Larry Walker Room on the fourth floor of Dean Rusk Hall from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
A&M System's new Area 41 to tackle Texas' biggest issues
The creative minds at work in the Texas A&M System's new Area 41 Institute will not require a roof over their heads to solve the state's infrastructure problems. Professors, students, administrators and researchers from across Texas will unite under the mysteriously named organization to transform ideas into real public policy solutions that aim to support the needs of the rapidly growing state. Texas A&M Executive Vice Chancellor Billy Hamilton, a leader in the formation of the institute, said Area 41's unique approach as a research outfit is too dynamic to be contained by the traditional academic setting. Hamilton likens Area 41's model to his work at an agricultural experiment station during his youth.
U. of Missouri faculty get Pickard Hall radiation update
Saving or demolishing Pickard Hall will cost the University of Missouri at least $10.2 million. MU Chief Operating Officer Gary Ward updated the university's Faculty Council on efforts to study radiation in Pickard at a Tuesday meeting, highlighting additional steps in the process and their cost. MU must send a report to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on how it will deal with the radiation by March. A request for proposals went out last week for a consultant to conduct "characterization" -- a study of the extent of contamination that involves looking inside the building's beams and under the floors -- and help prepare the report for the commission at a cost of $75,000 to $250,000, Ward said.
Mizzou Wireless problems frustrate faculty, staff and students
If Mizzou Wireless were a student, it would be in trouble for nodding off in class. According to its website,, Mizzou Wireless has been in and out of service repeatedly since the start of the school year on Aug. 25. Two days later, MU's IT services posted about Mizzou Wireless connection problems. Its Twitter feed has supplied a pretty steady stream of alerts and updates about wireless problems and offers names and a number to call. The MU Division of Information Technology released an update about the problem Wednesday night that seemed to hint at capacity issues.
More Pressure Than Ever: The 2014 Survey of College and University Admissions Directors
Last year was a difficult one for college admissions -- with institutions reporting more and more difficulty filling their classes. Things aren't any better and they may be a little worse, according to the 2014 Inside Higher Ed Survey of College and University Admissions Directors. Slightly fewer colleges reported meeting their enrollment targets by May 1, more reported anxiety about meeting their targets, and more reported recruiting those who had already committed to other institutions. While the increases in all three areas were small, last year's totals were large -- and worrisome to many college leaders.
Bill would revamp oversight of federal education research
The U.S. Senate's education committee on Wednesday unanimously approved an education research bill over the objection of some researchers who said they're concerned about the changes it makes to how federal education research is overseen. The legislation, which now heads to the full Senate for a vote, would reauthorize the Institute for Education Sciences, the independent research arm of the Department of Education. A similar version cleared the House earlier this year. The wide-ranging bill is aimed at streamlining the institute's operations and promoting accountability by requiring routine outside evaluations of its programs. But several research organizations have protested provisions they say would weaken the National Center for Education Statistics.
SLIM SMITH (OPINION): What would Jesus do a point of contention for Starkville aldermen
The Dispatch's Slim Smith writes: "Upon further review, the Starkville Board of Aldermen, most of them at least, would like you to know that God doesn't hate gay people; he just hates giving them health insurance. He is not real keen about Starkville's Chief Administrative Office Taylor Adams, either. And mayor Parker Wiseman? Please, don't even go there. Tuesday night, the board of aldermen met before a standing-room-only crowd that spilled out into the hallway in what proved to be a memorable evening. It turned out to be a fascinating four hours of bare-knuckle politics, the Gospel and raw emotion."

Mississippi State looks for rare win in 'Death Valley'
It felt like the train never left the tracks. Regardless of the day or time, a train always cut off Mississippi State's team bus en route to Tiger Stadium. It crossed the tracks on Friday en route to the walkthrough. It was there early in the morning on Saturday. It chugged across in the afternoon. It howled at night. Coincidence, perhaps, but in 13 years as Mississippi State's coach, Jackie Sherrill never missed that train. "I never understood that," Sherrill said. "When that happens, you're sitting there for 5 to 10 minutes waiting on the (doggone) train." At LSU, it's not only playing the 11 on the field, but the 92,000 in attendance and the surrounding factors. "Baton Rouge, Tiger Stadium has been a heart-breaking place for many, many, many years," Sherrill said.
Mullen confident Mississippi State can matchup with LSU's front seven
LSU's smallest offensive lineman is 6-foot-7, 301 pounds. The Tigers' tight end is 6-4, 295 pounds. Big doesn't begin to describe Tigers' size up front. "They're just enormous," MSU coach Dan Mullen said on the SEC teleconference on Wednesday. "So you have to try to have some size on the field. I think we have some size in our front seven." The Bulldogs boast five defensive tackles that weigh at least 295 pounds. Chris Jones, Curtis Virges and Nick James all are at least 308 pounds. Virges is the shortest at 6-3. "I think we have an opportunity to match up fairly well with them within the front seven," Mullen said.
Mississippi State targets Jameon Lewis as SEC play begins
Southeastern Conference play begins Saturday for Mississippi State, which means Jameon Lewis' role within the offense is about to increase. "Jameon is a guy we've gotta the ball going to," MSU quarterback Dak Prescott said. "We've gotta get the ball in his hands and get him going. We didn't get it in his hands as much as we wanted to the first two games." Lewis was second on the team with in catches and targets through the first two weeks. The senior's four receptions tied him with wide receivers Fred Brown and Joe Morrow and running back Josh Robinson.
Unmet potential: Injuries have slowed down Griffin's career at Mississippi State
Like many kids, Nick Griffin grew up wanting to play in the NFL. By the time he reached high school he had blossomed into one of Mississippi's top prospects rushing for 4,171 yards and 57 touchdowns during his career at Perry Central. Things seemed to be going as planned as the first team All-State selection signed with Mississippi State in 2010. Griffin redshirted his initial season but was having a strong spring in 2011 before he heard a pop in his left knee during a non-contact drill. A torn ACL kept him out the first five games the following fall.
Tigers tackle Collins to get challenge from Bulldogs defensive end Preston Smith
LSU left tackle La'el Collins puts his unblemished season on the line Saturday. He'll have a tough time staying perfect. Collins said he has graded out at a perfect 100 in each of LSU's first three games of the season: no missed assignments, penalties, sacks or pressures allowed. Collins will be matched up against Mississippi State defensive end Preston Smith, a 6-foot-6, 270-pound senior who has won back-to-back-to-back Southeastern Conference Defensive Lineman of the Week awards -- something no defensive lineman has ever done. "He's a real good athlete," Collins said this week. "Has a really big motor. Goes hard. Does a lot of great things."
Former Ole Miss head coach Ed Orgeron turns down offer from Nicholls State
Longtime college football coach Ed Orgeron said in June he planned to sit out the 2014 season to be with family in Mandeville. It seems the former Southern Cal and Ole Miss coach stuck to his word when Nicholls State recently offered him a head coaching job. reported Wednesday Orgeron turned down the job when offered to him Sunday, after Charlie Stubbs resigned citing health issues. Nicholls announced Steve Axman is the interim coach for the reminder of the season.
Auburn's Secret Sauce: Beet Juice
Behind every championship team is a strategy that may sound strange to everyone else. Auburn's happens to taste that way, too. Beyond the usual explanations for Auburn's remarkable rise from 3-9 in 2012 to winning the Southeastern Conference last year is a secret that hadn't been revealed until now. Over the last two seasons, the Tigers have been experimenting with an elixir-like potion. "We were doing beet juice," says Auburn dietitian Scott Sehnert. Before each game, between team warm-ups and the opening kickoff, Auburn's staff distributes small pouches of beetroot concentrate. "The worst thing in the entire world," said Auburn tight end C.J. Uzomah. "It is nasty." But they aren't drinking it for the taste.
UGA senior athletic administrator Crumley resigns
Frank Crumley, a top UGA athletics administrator who had worked in the department for more than 20 years, has resigned, the school said on Wednesday. Crumley stepped down Tuesday, according to athletic department spokesman Claude Felton, who did not have details on the reasons behind the departure. "I can't comment," athletic director Greg McGarity said. Crumley did not respond to a message left for him. Crumley received a $25,000 raise this summer to bring his annual salary to $230,000 annually.
Self-help book has more teams riding 'Energy Bus'
On some practice fields across the country, one of the worst things a football player can be called sounds like something out of a young-adult novel or a television show on The CW. Pity the guy who's labeled an "energy vampire." The reference actually comes from "The Energy Bus: Ten Rules To Fuel Your Life, Work And Team With Positive Energy," a self-help book more and more teams are studying along with their playbooks. The book offers lessons on staying positive and avoiding "energy vampires" who will "suck the life out of you and your goals and vision if you let them." Tennessee's Butch Jones and Washington's Chris Petersen each had players read the book during the offseason.
RICK CLEVELAND (OPINION): This could be state's best chance for special year
Syndicated sports columnist Rick Cleveland writes: "Mississippi State's Bulldogs are 3-0 and have outscored opponents 99-37. The Ole Miss Rebels, also 3-0, have punished opponents by a whopping 132-31 count. And I know what many naysayers will say: 'Yeah, but let's wait and see what happens when they play somebody really good...' We don't have to wait long. State goes to LSU on Saturday. Ole Miss plays Alabama at home on Oct. 4. Those are the kind of games Mississippi's two SEC teams must win if they are to reach the SEC Championship Game, which brings me to the point of today's offering. That is, this seems as good a year as any for either Ole Miss or State to take that step, to win the West and play for the championship. I write those words for a number of reasons, which we will get to shortly."

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