Ole Miss has best facilities in state
Scattershooting on a Sunday while wondering how bad St. Louis will run it up on New Orleans…
Thursday's trip to Oxford was my first in more than five years.
And I have to say that I was impressed with the Ole Miss football facilities.
First of all, Ole Miss has one of the nicer press boxes I have been in. It was certainly better than Mississippi State's. The difference is that State has an open-air press box, which wasn't kind last week in 30-degree weather and a nice mix of sleet, snow and rain. On the other hand, Ole Miss has a nice, enclosed, heated press box.
But after my mere luxuries, I was impressed with the additions that have been done to Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. With current renovations, it's easily the best stadium in the state.
But they aren't through.
I had the opportunity to catch part of Assistant Athletic Director Langston Rogers conversation with another sportswriter in the press box.
He tells me they are going to "bowl" in one side of the stadium and more dressing facilities to the other end. They are also adding another deck to the visitor's side which should add more seats.
Mississippi State is also starting renovations on Scott Field that will add seats but it's obvious that Ole Miss is far ahead of the game.
Ole Miss fans should be proud of their new facilities. They are certainly the nicest in this state.
Region or division
After Friday's column concerning the MHSAA going to region play in football, I have had the chance the talk with executive director Mac Barnes.
Barnes says I'm partially right. But here are the changes.
First of all, Classes 2A, 3A, and 4A will all remain in division play but four teams will now make the playoffs from those classes.
That means that 32 teams, instead of 16, will now make the playoffs in those classes. The playoffs will also start a week earlier in those classes as well.
For class 1A and 5A schools, they will all be in region play and will be allowed to play a "classic" game, if they so choose to.
Barnes said he believes the changes will be good overall, especially for team in really strong divisions. Locally, it would mean teams like Enterprise and West Lauderdale would have made the playoffs.
Barnes said they will also try to balance the divisions so that at least seven teams are in each division, if not eight. He also said the day of 10-team divisions is over for now.
Who will be in what division will be voted on Thursday. Barnes said those results will likely be on the Internet Friday at www.misshaa.com.
I wondered if a wild-card system was ever considered and Barnes said it really wasn't because its complexity.
In another interesting note, Barnes said Greenville was consolidating and would again be one of the power schools in the state. It will be interesting to see who lands that football job and what kind of impact they have Class 5A football.
The finalists for the Conerly Trophy have been announced.
Mississippi State's Fred Smoot and Dicenzo Miller are both finalists, along with Delta State's Josh Bright.
Last year's winner, Deuce McAllister was not a finalist this season.
Having seen all three players, Bright deserves to win the award. But don't be surprised if Miller walks away with the hardware.
Robbie Robertson is sports editor for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at email@example.com.