As that old poker player once said, once the cards were played: “Read ’em and weep:”

Read ’em:

Alabama 48, Ole Miss 43.

LSU 23, Mississippi State 20.

Troy 37, Southern Miss 31.

Arkansas Pine Bluff 45, Alcorn 43.

Grambling 34, Jackson State 14.

Texas Southern 31, Mississippi Valley State 0.

West Georgia 34, Delta State 24.

West Alabama 38, Mississippi College 13.

University of Chicago 35, Millsaps 16.

Huntingdon College 65, Belhaven 21.

We have 10 four-year college football teams in Mississippi. Each one played last week. Each one lost.

I am not saying this has never happened before. I am saying I don’t remember it ever happening before.

There were some good efforts. There’s no shame in losing to Alabama or LSU, and both Ole Miss and State had their moments. Southern Miss, its own worst enemy, was nevertheless throwing in the end zone at game’s end, trying to snatch victory from defeat.

But not quite two years removed from when Mississippi teams (State and Ole Miss) were ranked in the top three in the nation, Mississippi went oh-for. Ten games played, 10 games lost. For one weekend in the Magnolia State, Murphy’s Law was our law.

Two ways for a realist/optimist to look at it: One, at the end of the day, it’s only football.

Two: It will get better.

After all, it can’t get worse.

Rick Cleveland is Mississippi Today’s sports columnist. Read his previous columns and his Sports Daily blog.


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Rick Cleveland, a native of Hattiesburg and resident of Jackson, has been Mississippi Today’s sports columnist since 2016. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s in journalism, Rick has worked for the Monroe (La.) News Star World, Jackson Daily News and Clarion Ledger. He was sports editor of Hattiesburg American, executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. His work as a syndicated columnist and celebrated sports writer has appeared in numerous magazines, periodicals and newspapers.
Rick has been recognized 12 times as Mississippi Sports Writer of the Year, and is recipient of multiple awards and honors for his reporting and writing.