Back to Back with the hosts of Head to Head: Rethinking assumptions

Every Thursday. the hosts of the weekday Supertalk Mississippi show “Head to Head” will answer a question exclusively for Daily Journal readers. Oxford native Richard Cross is also part of the new SEC Network broadcast team, while Matt Wyatt is former MSU quarterback and the color man for Bulldogs’ football broadcasts. Email your questions to DJournalSports@gmail.com

This week’s question: Which result from last week makes you rethink what you’d assumed about the Ole Miss and MSU seasons?

No Original CaptionTHE RICHARD CROSS TAKE

Both Ole Miss and Mississippi State did exactly what they were supposed to do in Week 1: WIN.

While Ole Miss waited three quarters to shift its offense into gear, ultimately it did just that. With 28 fourth quarter points and four touchdown passes in the game from Bo Wallace, Ole Miss left no doubt at the end of the game it was the better team. Certainly there are questions about the offensive line and the running game, but those questions existed on Aug. 27th and will exist until the Rebels definitively prove otherwise.

Mississippi State dominated Southern Miss from the opening offensive drive until the final horn, exactly as they should have. Dak Prescott was effective and stayed healthy, the defensive line was dominant, wide receiver play was perhaps better than expected and the Bulldogs went deep into their roster, with no defensive player getting more than 32 snaps. Mississippi State was never tested in the game but performed the way most expected they would.

The reality for Ole Miss and Mississippi State is the true measuring stick comes in game five for both teams.

State should be 4-0 when it travels to Death Valley to face LSU.

Ole Miss should be 4-0 when Alabama rolls into Oxford.

Wins against the Tigers and Tide, respectively, would announce the arrival of big time football in Mississippi.

No Original CaptionTHE MATT WYATT TAKE

“They are who we thought they were,” screamed Vikings head coach Dennis Green.

Coach Green sure wasn’t prophesying about the 2014 Texas A&M and Vanderbilt teams.

Prior to last Thursday night, I figured it was nearly impossible for Texas A&M to pick up where Johnny Manziel left off offensively. Pair that with the league’s worst defense a year ago – I proclaimed – and it might be tough for A&M to win in Starkville, and even at home against Freeze and company.

Turns out the entire universe underestimated the Aggies, and they proved it by easily dispatching South Carolina.

Vanderbilt was supposed to be the tough, scrappy, non-pushover team that James Franklin fielded in Nashville. They were supposed to resemble an SEC football team. They did neither against Temple. The offense was pitiful. Derek Mason appears to be genuinely likable but his team was poorly coached, dazed, confused, and consequently embarrassed by the Owls. When’s the last time Temple embarrassed anyone?

Vandy fans, here’s hoping you sold your stock when Franklin bolted for Penn State, taking your recruits – and his mojo – with him.

Chalk W’s up, handily, for the Bulldogs and Rebs against Vanderbilt if you want. It’d be hard to blame you.