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Miami leaves no doubt about ranking

By Staff
Jan. 4, 2002
Frantically fumbling through the files on a Friday while wondering where in the dickens Larry Coker came from …
Just in case anybody wondered who really was the best college football team in the country, the Hurricanes of the University of Miami explained it loud and clear to the nation on Thursday night.
Miami jumped out to a 34-0 halftime lead on the way to embarrassing the proud Cornhuskers of Nebraska.
Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington who was in the stands at the Rose Bowl hoping for the Nebraska upset so his Ducks could quack their way into a split National Championship probably would have traded his seat to have a chance to play against the Canes.
On this night, it would have been a bad trade.
Miami came out with a nasty attitude and just ran all over Nebraska.
The big question is not who is No 1, but who is No. 2?
That clearly is Oregon, but the gap between No. 1 and No. 2 is so wide you could drive a fleet of trucks through it. It was hard to believe that the Miami team that rolled to a National Championship on Thursday night was the same team that squeaked past Boston College earlier in the season.
They wore the same uniforms and had the same names on the backs of their jerseys, but that is the only similarities.
The controversy is now over. We can't argue back and forth all year long about which team is No. 1. And in fact, a playoff system wouldn't have helped much.
Would have made that big of a difference if Miami had pummeled four teams instead of one? Not really.
Not at all.
Interesting game set for Saturday
The soccer match between West Lauderdale and Lamar School could be the beginning of a tradition in Lauderdale County sports or it could just be a passing fancy.
When the Knights and the Raiders meet it will be the first time an area public school and an area private school have played each other in a sanctioned team sport.
There have been baseball and basketball games between the schools varsity teams in the summer, but those games aren't sanctioned by the MHSAA or the MPSA.
This match, set for noon at the Northeast Soccer Complex, will count on both team's schedules and is part of their regular seasons.
And it could be a pretty good match as well. The Raiders are looking for a good test going into some tough leagues games in the second half of the season and the Knights, fresh off just being ranked in the Top 10 by the Clarion-Ledger, are looking to prove worthy of the honor.
West is currently 8-4, while Lamar is 4-0.
While I haven't seen the Northeast Lauderdale or Lamar baseball schedule, word is that the two schools have a game scheduled for the diamond this season.
That's great to see. Players from both schools play against each other and on the same teams as they are growing up during the summer it is time for them to compete during the school year. It just makes too much sense not to take advantage of the opportunity.
Who knows how long the MHSAA or the MPSA will allow this to happen, but for now the door is open and its good to see Lamar and West Lauderdale have the courage and foresight to walk through it.
Preseason over for SEC teams
It happens every year.
The men's basketball teams in the Southeastern Conference usually build up strong records as they begin working their way toward conference play.
This happens for a couple of reasons. One is that the SEC is a very strong basketball conference. Another is that some of the teams play less than demanding schedules.
But the demand begins on Saturday when 10 of the teams square off and continues on Sunday when Ole Miss travels to Knoxville to take on Tennessee.
There are truly no soft touches in the SEC, especially when they are playing at home.
Saturday's schedule has MSU hosting Kentucky, Alabama hosting LSU, Arkansas traveling to Auburn, Florida entertaining South Carolina and Vanderbilt visiting Georgia.
Who knows who will win the games? But, I do know this. The competition will be real in each instance.
Baldner hopes Judges cup will draw interest
East Mississippi Community College head baseball coach Bill Baldner dropped me a line the other day in response to my column encouraging the four area community colleges East Mississippi, East Central, Meridian and Jones to play each other more often in every sport possible.
He said he has enjoyed the competition with ECCC in the Judges Cup, which is sponsored by Judge Little Sporting Goods and is given to the winner of an annual game between EMCC and ECCC. This will be the third year for the game.
The Judges Cup is a good idea, and in fact I have been a proponent of an annual football game at Ray Stadium between East Mississippi and East Central. But I think the three-day baseball tournament hosted by MCC and sponsored by Rush is the kind of thing that could really become a lasting tradition.
Basketball tournaments for men and women and fast-pitch softball tournaments would be a natural.
The games themselves are good, but having a pair of natural rivals squaring off just seems to make it better.

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