Ito Smith rushed for 176 yards and this touchdown against Kentucky last season in Lexington. The Wildcats appear in Hattiesburg this weekend for a rematch.

Notes, quotes and an opinion or three, all in Twitter-form, 140 or fewer characters, starting with predictions on Saturday’s games.

• Ole Miss 42, South Alabama 27: The Rebels have some issues, but the ability to score and score fast shouldn’t be one.

Rick Cleveland

• State 55, Charleston Southern 7: Charleston Southern? They are the Buccaneers, and they will earn this pay day the hard way.

• Kentucky 27, Southern Miss 17: Kentucky has a proven quarterback; USM does not.

• TCU 52, Jackson State 7: The hope is that the Tigers find a QB and don’t lose many front-line players. They need the $550,000, at any rate.

• Alabama 24, FSU 20: So many NFL players, they should play this on Sunday.

• Word out of Tallahassee is that Clinton’s Cam Akers won’t start in his college debut against Alabama. Bet he starts second game.

• RIP, Rollie Massimino. Villanova’s 66-64 1985 upset of Georgetown was one of basketball’s best games ever. #great coach, great man.

• Here’s what it has come to for Johnny Manziel: He tried out last week for the CFL Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He did not get hired …

• … Manziel, however, is on the Tiger-Cats’ “negotiation list.” So is Colin Kaepernick …

• …The guy making that decision for Hamilton is GM Kent Austin, former Ole Miss QB and offensive coordinator under Houston Nutt.

• Do I think Kaepernick has been blackballed in the NFL? Well, yes … pretty obvious, isn’t it?

• Floyd Mayweather made $100 million, Conor McGregor made at least $30 million for their recent fight. No, I did not contribute.

• I’ve got Ole Miss and State both finishing 6-6 and USM 7-5. No, I wouldn’t bet the house on any of that.

• Delta State will play its first home game (Tarleton State) Saturday at Cleveland Central High. New DSU turf is not ready yet.

• State’s Brent Rooker has adjusted well to advanced-Class A ball and is hitting .282 with 18 homers in his first summer as a pro. #rawpower.

• Pitching as in relief, USM’s Kirk McCarty has a 2-2 record, a 2.03 ERA and 26 strikeouts/8 walks over 30 innings in A ball.

• USM’s Dylan Burdeaux is hitting .275 and, like Rooker, has already advanced one level in his first season of pro ball.

• As a new college football season arrives, I am no more ready for TV timeouts than I was last year or the year before …

• … Friendly reminder, they will be called “media” timeouts. #fakenews. They are for TV, period. Sports writers hate them. Sad.

• Feleipe Franks, a red-shirt freshman & former four-star recruit, will start at QB for Florida Saturday against Michigan. Love the name.

• Don’t forget that Cam Akers committed first to Alabama. Rest assured, Crimson Tide defenders have been reminded.

• Nick Saban on Akers:  “…we think he’s a fabulous player. … He’s a good person, a very productive player in high school.”

• Kentucky is the first non-Mississippi SEC team to ever play USM in Hattiesburg.

• New Orleans Saints prediction? I’ve got ’em 7-9. After last three years, seems a safe bet. #4 in a row.

• Idea for NFL: Don’t bring the teams out until after the National Anthem. See there. Problem solved.

Braden Thornberry with Haskins Award

• See the photo at right. That’s Ole Miss golfer Braden Thornberry with the Haskins Award …

• That’s the trophy that goes to the best college golfer in the USA …

• Here are some of the names on it: Ben Crenshaw, Curtis Strange, Brad Faxon, Scott Verplank …

• … Phil Mickelson, David Duval, Justin Leonard, Stewart Cink, Tiger Woods, Matt Kuchar, Luke Donald, Charles Howell III …

• … Graeme McDowell, Hunter Mahan, Justin Thomas, and, of course, Braden Thornberry. #good company


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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.

One reply on “Got a short attention span? College football predictions and more in Twitter form”

  1. Translation of Saban quote: Please toss Akers into Saturday’s game. We have some special hospitality for him in my new stadium.

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