BRAD LOCKE: Big week beckons Bulldogs’ believers

By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal

Happy Day After Tax Day to you all. With that silliness out of the way, we can turn our attention to more pressing matters.
Like spring football. Mississippi State is back on the field today to begin its final week of practice, which will culminate in the annual Maroon-White Game at 1 p.m. Saturday. That’s the centerpiece of Super Bulldog Weekend, which officially begins Wednesday as the women’s tennis team hosts the SEC Tournament.
This is essentially a showcase week for MSU, in particular football. Fans will come in from all over, and many of them will take a tour of the new and every impressive Leo Seal Football Complex. They’ll see the renovation work being done at the north end of Davis Wade Stadium.
The Maroon-White game itself will give fans a glimpse of what’s to come in 2013. Coach Dan Mullen calls it a “celebration” of what the team accomplished in the spring, but of course we’ll all take it more seriously than we should.
What MSU officials are hoping is that fans will leave Starkville with visions of the football complex and Tyler Russell throwing touchdown passes dancing in their heads. It certainly wouldn’t hurt ticket sales.
If you’re more into games that actually count, the MSU baseball team hosts Auburn starting Thursday. The No. 16-ranked Bulldogs (30-9, 8-7 SEC) are on a big roll right now and should continue the hot streak against the lowly Tigers (22-14, 5-10).
And speaking of hot, junior outfielder Hunter Renfroe hasn’t cooled off yet. He went 8 of 14 with three home runs in a three-game sweep of Texas A&M and is looking more and more like a first-round draft pick.
The Bulldogs, who have won seven of their last eight, have worked their way into the conversation of hosting an NCAA regional. Coach John Cohen, in his fifth year at the helm, appears to have this ship going exactly where he has said it would go.
Given how many people will be on campus and how well MSU is playing, Dudy Noble Field ought to be packed and rocking like it used to be.
What Super Bulldog Weekend represents is the ideal combination of fan experience and marketing. It’s arguably the biggest weekend of the year for MSU.
And much more fun than Tax Day.
Brad Locke (brad.locke@journalinc.com) covers Mississippi State for the Daily Journal and blogs daily at DJournal.com.