Over the years, I’ve noticed that Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury can be a polarizing figure. It’s not that he says or does controversial things, but fans seem to either love him or strongly dislike him. Or at least dislike the way he coaches.
I usually abstain from criticizing coaches, especially when it comes to the nuts and bolts of their jobs, because they know much more about the game than I do. So when MSU lost its season opener to Rider and then fell to Richmond, I watched in amusement as a handful of fans ripped on Stansbury. Heck, maybe some of it was deserved, but now that the Bulldogs are 8-2, the criticism seems to have quieted for now.
And as I write in today’s opinion offering, making snap judgments based on early-season results is silly. It’s a very long season, and some teams just take a while to find a groove, especially when injuries arise. So, I was sort of defending Stansbury, but more so just cautioning against premature conclusions.
• FOOTBALL UPDATE: I also wrote today about football coach Dan Mullen‘s search for a new defensive coordinator. Nothing real new in there, just drew from Wednesday’s conversation he had with us.
• NEWTON’S FINAL 3: Junior college QB Cameron Newton, a big recruiting target for State, told Auburn’s Scout.com Web site (subscription required) that he has narrowed his list of possible destinations to three: Auburn, MSU, and Oklahoma. He visited Starkville for the Egg Bowl, took a trip to Norman last weekend, and will be in Auburn this weekend. I imagine we’ll hear a decision from him before Christmas, since he wants to enroll at his school of choice in January.
Newton told the site, “The component of having me platoon with another player is out of the question.” MSU, of course, used a platoon system this past season with Tyson Lee and Chris Relf, and Mullen’s never had a problem playing two QBs.