Welcome home Babe Ruth All-Star team
Scanning the Sunday sports scene while wondering whatever happened to Jeff Rutledge …
A welcome home celebration is being planned for the Meridian 14-year-old Babe Ruth All-Stars today at 2 p.m.
The event will take place at Meridian Community College's Scaggs Field. That's when the caravan of players is expected to make its official return to Lauderdale County.
The team represented the area and the state well, going 3-3 in the 10-team tournament in Clifton Park, N.Y., and reaching the semifinals before being eliminated. This same team won the Southwest Regional Tournament at Scaggs Field earlier in the month.
With the pros on the verge of going on strike because they can't decide exactly how to divide up millions of dollars, this would be a great time to come out and honor those who play the game the way it was meant to be for fun.
It's really hard to figure this Saturday's football game between Jackson State University and the University of Southern Mississippi set for M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg.
There has been a lot of smack talk on the various college bulletin boards on the internet, but that's all it is talk.
What is really going to matter will take place on the turf beginning at 6 p.m.
The last, and only, time the two teams met was in 1987 with USM taking a hard-fought 17-7 win.
But this is 2002, not 1987.
The game could be close once again, but this time out it just looks like the Golden Eagles have too much firepower. JSU has a strong football history, but has stumbled a little the last couple of years.
USM will not overlook this game at all, so there will be no surprises. To move the ball JSU will have to take to the air, which could lead to some fireworks.
When it's all said and done look for USM to take a solid 35-6 win.
Other first week
Eli Manning may pass for a million yards when the Rebels play host to Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday night.
To be honest, Jackson State is probably a better team than Monroe and Manning will take advantage of that by throwing a handful of touchdowns.
Mercy will be the only thing keeping this from being embarrassing. The Rebels should walk away with a 56-0 win, as Manning and crew watch the last 20 minutes from the sidelines.
Many college football observers aren't giving Mississippi State much of a chance against Oregon on Saturday.
I don't see it that way. I do believe the Ducks will win, but it won't be easy and I won't be surprised if the Bulldogs do pull the upset.
But in the end, I see Oregon taking a 27-21 win.
Just how weak
can you get?
Is there any weaker league in the NFL than the NFC South that features the Saints, Tampa Bay, Carolina and Atlanta?
While the Buccaneers may be the surprise of the NFC this season, the rest of the division is not very strong.
The Saints may hover around the .500 mark, with an outside shot at the playoffs (very outside and also very unlikely), but the Falcons and Panthers probably won't combine for eight wins between them.
The Bucs should roll to the title and may even post 12 wins.
Jon Gruden will prove his coaching ability as he turns one of the Johnson boys (Brad and Rob) into a top-level NFL quarterback.