I missed a day during last night’s chase of the Tobias Singleton departure, but I’m catching up now.
Something that continues to be a lot of fun covering college football is simply the view. Typically, we’re allowed on the sidelines for the final five minutes. Of course, there is a lot of football still to be played, games still to be decided in the span.
I’ve stood under goalposts to watch field goals win – or not win – games in the final seconds. I’ve been just feet away from some big touchdowns and turnovers too.
Just a few that come to mind quickly:
– The 2-point conversion pass from Stewart Patridge to Corey Peterson lift Ole Miss past MSU in the 1997 Egg Bowl.
– The Bill Flowers catch from Ethan Flatt in 2004 to secure an Ole Miss win against No. 25 South Carolina on the road.
– The Dexter McCluster fumble in the south end zone at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in 2008. I remember thinking the Rebels were about to overcome a game filled with turnovers. Given the finish against Vanderbilt and Wake Forest, that 2008 team was very close to an 11-3 season.
– Ed Orgeron always had Memphis’ number, but it wasn’t always easy. Garry Pack had an end zone interception to seal the win in 2005, Ed’s first game.
– As the MSU beat writer at Auburn in 1999 I watched an improbable final seconds comeback that included a Matt Wyatt touchdown pass – I’m thinking from about 10 or 12 yards out – that made its way through two defenders.
Some of the views aren’t about touchdowns but are simply looking around at the stadiums. That was the case in Auburn defeated No. 2 Alabama in 1989 in the first Iron Bowl played at Auburn.
That was also the case in 2009, looking around Vaught-Hemingway for the LSU game. You could feel the tension in the stands, then finally the sense of relief when the clock ran out.
Before expansion I could say I was able to take in at every SEC stadium. I’ve been to Missouri, covering there with Ole Miss in 2006. I’m not going to claim my trip to Texas A&M, though. It was 1985 as the sports editor of the student paper at Northeast Louisiana. That was a great experience, but Kyle Field is a lot different now. I know this from making it part of my daily walk for the five days I was in College Station with Ole Miss baseball in the spring.
It will be 2013 – Lord willing – before I am again able to say I’ve made the tour through the entire SEC.