Rivalry news is never far away in Mississippi

Rivalry news is never far away in this state it seems.

Last week Mississippi State, unknown at least to coaches and administrators it appears, unveiled its new baseball warm-up tops with a vulgar phrase directed at Ole Miss.

Yesterday, I thought the Sun Herald’s story of a possible Ole Miss-Southern Miss football series was odd. It makes sense to ask that question from a geographic standpoint, but I had not heard a buzz about that series being renewed soon. Apparently it won’t.

Ross Bjork responded with that’s “not in our immediate range plans.”

Neither is a neutral site game in North Korea.

Future football schedules are pretty wrapped up, as Bjork pointed out, but Ole Miss hasn’t been too keen on renewing the Southern Miss series which was last played in 1984.

In other rivalry news, Malik Newman’s dad, former MSU player Horatio Webster, has denied rumors that his son has already signed with the Bulldogs. Where there’s recruiting rumor smoke there’s usually fire. Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy had been hopeful that he’d land the five-star guard from Jackson. The fact that Kennedy cancelled yesterday’s planned in-home visit with Newman offers an ample road map to where this is headed.

In still more rivalry news …

Interesting take here from Bleacher Report’s Barrett Sallee on the Ole Miss-Mississippi State football rivalry.

Both schools were a part of the national conversation last year in a way they’ve never been in modern history. For Ole Miss that means post-Vaught.

Even last season the question was kicked around about which team might be more than a one-hit wonder.

Sallee thinks it’s Ole Miss and recruiting is the reason.

Phil Steele recently had Ole Miss No. 12 in his annual spring projection of what he believes the summer’s first AP Top 25 poll will look like. Remember, this is not Steele’s poll but his guess of how AP’s polling data will play out.

There’s pretty good buzz about Ole Miss football, more buzz than a team generally gets when it’s replacing a three-year starter at quarterback. That’s because Hugh Freeze has recruited so well and added so much depth at other positions.

The real measure of staying power will be what talent and depth look like after key members of the 2013 signing class begin to move on.

Freeze believes it will still be solid. It looks that way from recruiting evals. It will be important this year for some of those who will carry the load down the road to get their feet wet in larger roles.

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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