Sunday morning mailbag…

Q. ESPN’s Danny Kannell said Saturday Ole Miss controls its own football destiny this season. How can this be?

A. Not so, unless Alabama, which is undefeated and beat Ole Miss, suddenly drops football. Actually, Texas A & M also is undefeated in the SEC West and leads Alabama by a half game and Ole Miss by a full game. So Ole Miss needs to win out and get lots of help. It is possible but not likely since two teams would have to defeat Alabama and, by rule, Bama doesn’t play any NFL teams.

Q. Do you see any way that Mississippi State can get to six victories and thus a bowl game?

A. It’s going to be awfully tough. And it will have to start with a victory over Auburn on Oct. 8. The Bulldogs have to win four more. They have home games with Auburn, Samford and Arkansas and road games with BYU, Kentucky, Texas A & M, Alabama and Ole Miss. Do the math. Realistically, as of now, they are favorites over just Samford and Kentucky. So, yeah, it’s going to be extremely difficult.

Q. What’s wrong with Nick Mullens?

A. New receivers, lots of drops. That said, he has completed 58 percent of his passes for 913 yards and nine touchdowns through four games. No, his numbers aren’t as eye-popping as last year but should get better as he adjusts to new coaches, new receivers.

Q. Who votes for the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. How does one become nominated?

A. There is a statewide selection committee that meets in September each year to vote. By design, that committee represents practically all facets of sports in Mississippi. Anybody can nominate someone for the MSHOF. The nomination form can be downloaded here. The list of people who have been nominated can be found here.


From time to time, I’ll answer readers’ questions to the best of my knowledge/opinion. Address questions to or tweet to @rick_cleveland.

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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 13 times as Mississippi Sports Writer of the Year, and is recipient of multiple awards and honors for his reporting and writing.