All has been relatively quiet for Mississippi State, with preseason camp rolling along quite nicely. No major injuries, no off-field issues (that we know of), no huge transitions being made, no drama.
The same can’t be said for the other six teams in the SEC Western Division.
• Johnny Manziel has had quite the offseason, the latest news being that the Texas A&M quarterback allegedly took a whole lot of money for signing autographs. The NCAA is looking into it, but Cam Newton would like to assure Johnny Football that there is nothing to worry about.
• In Baton Rouge, it looks like LSU running back Jeremy Hill has gotten off easy. He was suspended indefinitely from the team and not allowed to use the LSU football facilities after he sucker-punched a guy in April. On Monday, he was given probation – thus avoiding jail time – and was on the practice field.
Les Miles said the team voted to let Hill rejoin the team. Well of course they did; he’s the Tigers’ best running back.
• Over in Alabama, the perpetually unhappy and unsatisfied Nick Saban is looking to bring the Crimson Tide its 187th national championship (give or take), including its third in a row. That’s a lot of pressure, and anything short of that could severely affect Katherine Webb’s budding entertainment career.
• Ole Miss is hoping for a great second season under Hugh Freeze, but the offense took a big blow when receiver Vincent Sanders broke his collarbone. He’ll be out six to eight weeks, and know this: A couple more key injuries will bring the Rebels’ house of cards crashing down.
• Arkansas has a new head coach, and this is not bad news at all, but there is a real possibility that the Bret Bielema Experiment ends in a spectacular fireball. He’s giving the offense a complete makeover and – get this – is expecting to make Arkansas a formidable defensive squad.
• Auburn also has a new coach, Gus Malzahn, who’s not really new because he was the offensive coordinator for the school’s 2010 national championship team. He’s very good at coaching, and really, there are few concerns about him doing well there.
But Auburn did go 0-8 in SEC play last year, and that’s made living in Alabama’s shadow even more unbearable.
Meanwhile, at MSU, a few assistant coach changes took place, linebacker Chris Hughes was dismissed from the team over the summer, but nothing much else is grabbing headlines.
That whole Will Redmond/NCAA business was big news in June; a prospect getting paid by a booster is never good. But it’s in the rearview mirror now. The Bulldogs, for the moment, can focus on football itself and nothing else.
In other words, things are sort of boring in Starkville right now. I’m sure Dan Mullen likes it that way.
Brad Locke (email@example.com) covers Mississippi State for the Daily Journal and blogs daily at DJournal.com.