Throwback Thursday: Classic Memphis Wrestling set for Minglewood Hall tonight

1655496_498745616928290_2857908786836256116_oTonight is the big night!  Memphis Wildfire Wrestling returns to Minglewood Hall for an event entitled “Long Live the King” – a tribute and celebration of Jerry Lawler’s career.  We have been talking about it for weeks and the stage is finally set.

Tonight, the boys are back in town.

Instead of posting a classic Memphis Wrestling clip as usual, I’ve decided to simply invite you out for a night full of Throwback Thursday action.  Nearly every person scheduled to appear has been featured on Throwback Thursday at one time or another.

Scheduled to appear tonight at Minglewood Hall for the first time in ages, the legendary broadcast team of Dave Brown & Lance Russell.  If that’s not exciting enough, include Jerry “The King” Lawler, “Handsome” Jimmy Valiant, “Superstar” Bill Dundee, “Grand Master Sexay” Brian Christopher, Rock n’ Roll Express, PG-13, Jerry Calhoun and “Dangerous” Doug Gilbert.

Headlining the event is none other than Jerry “The King” Lawler versus “Dangerous” Doug Gilbert.  The two have a history that runs deep within the chronicles of Memphis Wrestling.  Doug Gilbert discussed the Gilbert’s versus Lawler’s feud on MSL, last week.  Also, the two have been trading words back and forth via Wildfire Wrestling’s official Facebook page.

In case you missed it, here are the interviews that have been circulating the web, leading into tonight’s big match-up:

VIDEO:  Doug Gilbert challenges Jerry Lawler

VIDEO:  Jerry Lawler accepts Doug’s challenge

Not only will tonight’s event be jam-packed with all of your favorites from the 1980′s and 1990′s, but many of the upcoming Memphis Wildfire Wrestling stars will be in action, as well.  Not to mention, Maria & I will be hosting a special Five Starr Showcase interview segment with none other than “Handsome” Jimmy Valiant.  Afterward, we square off against “Superstar” Bill Dundee in what is being billed as a Return Grudge Match.

Belltime is 7:00PM.  Special meet and greet autograph session starts at 6:00PM.  For more information on tonight’s “Long Live the King”, go to Wildfire Wrestling’s official Facebook page.

Dustin Starr is an active sports entertainer and regular contributor to MemphiSport and MSL. Follow him @DustinStarr.

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Week 3 TAM Rankings: Ole Miss No. 1 Heading Into Their Bye Week

Ole Miss cupcakesIt was another solid week for the TAM teams.

Memphis was off on a bye week after a close contest with UCLA.  Next up for the Tigers is a TAM showdown with an MTSU team that knocked off a tough Western Kentucky team in three overtimes this week.

Tennessee strolled into Norman to face the No. 4 Sooners and fell way short of victory.  The Sooners put on a football clinic especial on defense when it came to rushing the passer. Justin Woorley was under constant pressure all night.  That pressure led to Woorley committing 3 turnovers (two interceptions and one fumble), he was also sacked five times, and completed just 48% of his passes.

The only other two TAM team to lose this week were Arkansas State and Southern Mississippi.  Both teams were overmatched, as the Golden Eagles got demolished by Alabama, while the Red Wolves fell to a Miami team that was still licking its wounds after their loss to Louisville.

Mississippi State and Ole Miss both took advantage of overmatched foes to remain undefeated on the year.

Arkansas proved to be too much for the Red Raiders of Texas Tech as the Razorbacks rattled off 438 rushing yards in route to their first win over a power five team in 13 tries.  That win, coupled with the Vols loss, led to the Razorbacks jumping to Tennessee for third in the rankings.

Vanderbilt looked sub-par again on Saturday, but the Commodores had just enough to rally late and beat UMass to give Vandy their first win of the year.

This week marks the start of conference play for the SEC teams in the TAM ranking, and all of them will face ranked opponents this week (except Ole Miss who has a bye week before playing Memphis).

Even though there are four games featuring TAM teams and ranked opponents, all eyes will be on Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium on Saturday.  After almost knocking off the Bruins, fans are anxious to see if the Tigers can take care of business against an MTSU squad that almost won Conference USA last season.

Every week that passes brings us closer to the end of the college football season.

Without further ado, here are week three’s TAM Rankings…

The Mid-South is full of fans with allegiances to different area college football programs. Which FBS program in the three states surrounding the Memphis area is the best? To help end some arguments and start others, every week MemphiSport ranks all the college football teams in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi. We call it the TAM Rankings.

1. ole_miss logoOle Miss (3-0):
Last Game:
W 56-15 vs. LA-Lafayette @ Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium
Best Win:
41-3 vs. Vanderbilt @ LP Field
Worst Loss: N/A
Wins Against TAM Teams: 1 (Vanderbilt)
Losses Against TAM Teams: N/A

2. Mississippi_State_Bulldogs logoMississippi State (3-0):
Last Game:
W 35-3 vs. USA @ Ladd-Pebbles Stadium
Best Win:
49-0 vs. Southern Miss @ Davis Wade Stadium
Worst Loss: N/A
Wins Against TAM Teams: 1 (Southern Miss)
Losses Against TAM Teams: N/A

3. Arkansas logoArkansas (2-1):
Last Game:
W 49-28 vs. Texas Tech @ Jones AT&T Stadium
Best Win:
49-28 vs. Texas Tech @ Jones AT&T Stadium
Worst Loss: 45-21 vs. Auburn @ Jordan-Hare Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams: N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: N/A

4.  University-Tennessee-Logo-2Tennessee (2-1):
Last Game:
L 34-10 vs. Oklahoma @ Memorial Stadium
Best Win: 38-7 vs. Utah State @ Neyland Stadium
Worst Loss: 34-10 vs. Oklahoma @ Memorial Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams: 1 (Arkansas State)
Losses Against TAM Teams: N/A


5.  memphis-tigers logoMemphis (1-1):
Last Game:
L 42-35 vs. UCLA @ Rose Bowl
Best Win: 63-0 vs. Austin Peay @ Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Worst Loss: 42-35 vs. UCLA @ Rose Bowl
Wins Against TAM Teams: N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: N/A

6. Arkansas State Logo 2Arkansas State (1-2):
Last Game:
L 41-20 vs. Miami @ Sun Life Stadium
Best Win: 37-10 vs. Montana State @ Liberty Bank Stadium
Worst Loss: 34-19 vs. Tennessee @ Neyland Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams: N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: 1 (Tennessee)

7.  MTSU LogoMTSU (2-1):
Last Game: W 50-47 (3 OT) vs. Western Kentucky @ Floyd Stadium
Best Win: 50-47 (3 OT) vs. Western Kentucky @ Floyd Stadium
Worst Loss: 35-24 vs. Minnesota @ TCF Bank Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams:
N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: N/A

8.  Vandy LogoVanderbilt (1-2):
Last Game:
W 34-31 vs. UMass @ Vanderbilt Stadium
Best Win: 34-31 vs. UMass @ Vanderbilt Stadium
Worst Loss: 
41-3 vs. Ole Miss @ LP Field
Wins Against TAM Teams: N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: 1 (Ole Miss)

9.  Southern Miss logo 2Southern Mississippi (1-2):
Last Game:
L 52-12 vs. Alabama @ Bryant-Denny Stadium
Best Win: W 26-20 vs. Alcorn State @M.M. Roberts Stadium
Worst Loss: 49-0 vs. Mississippi State @ Davis Wade Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams: N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: 1 (Mississippi State)

 

SEE ALSO:

CJ Hurt covers college football for MemphiSport. Follow him @conradicalness for live tweets from games.

 

 

 

MSL Podcast: ‘Cooper Young Fest 2014′

 

cooper young festHOUR 1:

(Segment 1) Guest hosts Maria Garay and Dustin Starr are joined by  Marcus Hunter as they recap the week’s biggest stories during the Starting 5.
(Segment 2) Kevin Cerrito calls in to talk Cooper Young Fest and do an early edition of Woohoos and Boos.
(Segment 3) Surprise call from Action News 5 sports anchor Jarvis Greer and  Football Gossip with Maria Garay.
HOUR 2: (Segment 1) Hang Up & Listen (Segment 2) Doug Gilbert joins the show to talk about highlights from his career, what he is doing these days, and shooting Jerry “the King” Lawler (Segment 3) Shenanigans

Throwback Thursday: Long Live the King

1655496_498745616928290_2857908786836256116_oTwo years ago, Memphians and wrestling fans across the world were fearing the worst.  Jerry “The King” Lawler collapsed on a live broadcast of WWE Monday Night RAW.  Reports throughout the evening did not sound good.

Rumors circulated that Lawler would succumb to a fatal heart attack – a medical condition that runs in his family.  Other reports stated that if Lawler survived, he was sure to have brain damage .  After the heart attack, Jerry Lawler was “clinically dead” for several minutes with his brain deprived of oxygen.

This week’s Throwback Thursday isn’t a eulogy or tribute to a fallen King.  Instead, let’s take a look back at October 16, 2012 inside FedExForum where The King made his triumphant return to the WWE.

How fitting that his return was in his hometown of Memphis, TN?

This particular interview was Lawler’s very first appearance back from his heart attack.  The interview was also non-televised, making it a very special memory for the Memphians who were in attendance that evening.

On September 18th, Memphis Wildfire Wrestling returns to Minglewood Hall for an event entitled Long Live the King – a tribute and celebration of Lawler’s career.  Many Memphis Wrestling greats are scheduled to appear.  Headlining the event is none other than Jerry “The King” Lawler versus “Dangerous” Doug Gilbert.  Doug joins MSL this Saturday for an exclusive interview, with Maria & I guest hosting the program.

For more information, go to Wildfire Wrestling’s official Facebook page.

BONUS CLIP:  Jerry Lawler’s first televised post-heart attack interview.

Dustin Starr is an active sports entertainer and regular contributor to MemphiSport and MSL. Follow him @DustinStarr.

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Week 2 TAM Rankings 2014: Ole Miss Remains Number One

Ole miss cupsIt is not often that a loss is the most impressive performance in a week of TAM football.  Yet, that is the case this week as Memphis went into the Rose Bowl and pushed UCLA to the brink of defeat.

Coach Justin Fuente’s offense looks unstoppable, especially after quarterback Paxton Lynch threw for 305 yards and a touchdown in their 42-35 loss to UCLA in the Rose Bowl.

Next up for the Tigers is in state rival and fellow TAM team MTSU.

Speaking of the Blue Raiders, they also lost to a Power Five opponent this week when they went on the road to face Minnesota.

After looking sloppy in their week one win over Boise State, Ole Miss flexed their muscles this week against a Vanderbilt squad that looks nothing like the Commodores team that went 9-4 last season.  The Rebels only allowed three points and six completions (that is right quarterback Stephen Rivers completed just 1.5 passes a quarter against the Rebels) for 60 passing yards to Vandy in route to a 38 point win.

Ole Miss was not the only TAM team that decided to demolish their opponent this week.  Arkansas dropped 73 points on lowly Nicholls State, ending the longest losing streak in school history.

Mississippi State continued beating up on overmatched opponents with their victor over UAB, and Southern Mississippi won a surprisingly close game over Alcorn State.

Tennessee took advantage of fellow TAM team Arkansas State for the Vols second win of the year.  Things get a little bit tougher for them Volunteers as they go to Oklahoma this week.

There are some great games featuring TAM teams this week including Tennessee vs. Oklahoma.  However, Arkansas vs. Texas Tech is this week’s game of the week.  The Razorbacks are looking to get a win over a “Power Five” team for the first time since beating Kentucky on October 13, 2012 (that is a 15 game losing streak).

Week three of the college football season is upon us, and Vanderbilt is the only TAM team that remains winless on the year.

Without further ado, here are Week 2′s TAM Rankings…

The Mid-South is full of fans with allegiances to different area college football programs. Which FBS program in the three states surrounding the Memphis area is the best? To help end some arguments and start others, every week MemphiSport ranks all the college football teams in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi. We call it the TAM Rankings.

1. ole_miss logoOle Miss (2-0):
Last Game:
W 41-3 vs. Vanderbilt @ LP Field
Best Win:
41-3 vs. Vanderbilt @ LP Field
Worst Loss: N/A
Wins Against TAM Teams: 1 (Vanderbilt)
Losses Against TAM Teams: N/A

2. Mississippi_State_Bulldogs logoMississippi State (2-0):
Last Game:
W 47-34 vs. UAB @ Davis Wade Stadium
Best Win:
49-0 vs. Southern Miss @ Davis Wade Stadium
Worst Loss: N/A
Wins Against TAM Teams: 1 (Southern Miss)
Losses Against TAM Teams: N/A

3. University-Tennessee-Logo-2Tennessee (2-0):
Last Game:
W 34-19 vs Arkansas State @ Neyland Stadium
Best Win: 38-7 vs. Utah State @ Neyland Stadium
Worst Loss: N/A
Wins Against TAM Teams: 1 (Arkansas State)
Losses Against TAM Teams: N/A

4.  Arkansas logoArkansas (1-1):
Last Game:
W 73-7 vs. Nicholls State @ Razorback Stadium
Best Win:
73-7 vs. Nicholls State @ Razorback Stadium
Worst Loss: 45-21 vs. Auburn @ Jordan-Hare Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams: N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: N/A

5.  memphis-tigers logoMemphis (1-1):
Last Game:
L 42-35 vs. UCLA @ Rose Bowl
Best Win: 63-0 vs. Austin Peay @ Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Worst Loss: 42-35 vs. UCLA @ Rose Bowl
Wins Against TAM Teams: N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: N/A

6.  Arkansas State Logo 2Arkansas State (1-1):
Last Game:
L 34-19 vs. Tennessee @ Neyland Stadium
Best Win: 37-10 vs. Montana State @ Liberty Bank Stadium
Worst Loss: 34-19 vs. Tennessee @ Neyland Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams: N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: 1 (Tennessee)

7.  MTSU LogoMTSU (1-1):
Last Game: L 35-24 vs. Minnesota @ TCF Bank Stadium
Best Win: 61-7 vs. Savannah State @ Floyd Stadium
Worst Loss: 35-24 vs. Minnesota @ TCF Bank Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams:
N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: N/A

8.  Vandy LogoVanderbilt (0-2):
Last Game:
L 41-3 vs. Ole Miss @ LP Field
Best Win: N/A
Worst Loss: 
41-3 vs. Ole Miss @ LP Field
Wins Against TAM Teams: N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: 1 (Ole Miss)

9.  Southern Miss logo 2Southern Mississippi (1-1):
Last Game:
W 26-20 vs. Alcorn State @M.M. Roberts Stadium
Best Win: W 26-20 vs. Alcorn State @M.M. Roberts Stadium
Worst Loss: 49-0 vs. Mississippi State @ Davis Wade Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams: N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: 1 (Mississippi State)

CJ Hurt covers college football for MemphiSport. Follow him @conradicalness for live tweets from games.

SEE ALSO:

 

 

The Absurdity of Preseason College Football Rankings

ap logoIt is an understatement to say that Americans love football, especially collegiate football.  As a society, we are infatuated by the sport, craving it morning, noon, and night year round.

To suggest that anything could possibly be wrong with the sport seems like the most severe form of blasphemy there is.  After all, most of us swear allegiance to a team (or in the case of some fans an entire conference) and will defend our program (again or conference) to the bitter end.

Yet, nothing is perfect. Not even in the realm of college football.

The fact that there are preseason rankings is one of the most bizarre aspects not just in college football, but in all of sports.

How do you rate teams that you have never seen play?

Sure you saw the team that was fielded last season and seasons before, but you have not seen this version of the team perform ever.  Things change, coaches leave, players matriculate, former five star high school recruits fail to develop, while former two star recruits blossom into fixtures in the lineup so how can anybody accurately rank the top 25 out of the 125 FBS schools?

It is less of an issue now that there is a selection committee, but still come on, why should fans even pay these rankings attention for the first four or five weeks of the year?

Voters are doing their best to judge these teams, but they have no relevant information to go on and it shows by season’s end.

About half of the time the pollsters just vote last year’s champion No. 1 to start the year.   In the 65 year history of the AP Poll the defending National Champion started the year off in the top spot  23 times to be exact.  Only three times did said National Champion end the year at No. 1 (USC in 2004 and Oklahoma in 1975 and 1956).

The only things voters can use to gauge how good these teams are at the start of the year are rough predictions about recruits and last season’s results, not actual football games played this particular year.

Seriously ask yourself why does matter if in week 2 of the season Wossamatta U, led by Rocket J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle Moose, beat the Mud City Manglers who just so happen to be the No. 16 team in the AP Poll (shout out to all you Rocky and Bullwinkle fans out there)?

It honestly should not matter until the regular season ends and we get to compare wins and losses.  If the Mud City Manglers go on to regroup and lose maybe one or two more games then that is a noteworthy win for Wossamatta U.  However, if Mud City implodes on itself the rest of the season then that win losses some luster, but we will not know the implications until the later in the season.

There are several real life examples of preseason top 25 teams winning games over top 25 opponents. Texas A&M, UGA, and LSU all won their week one games against preseason top 25 teams.

The Gamecocks hardly looked like a Top 25 team against the Aggies, let alone a team that should start the year off at No. 9 in the AP Poll.  Why were they even there, after all they lost Jadeveon Clowney, Connor Shaw, and a host of other key players?

South Carolina fell all the way to No. 21 after their opening night loss and if that does not show you how asinine preseason polls are nothing will.  It might seem harsh, but since the only game we have seen South Carolina play this year was that debacle then they should not be ranked.

On the other hand, Texas A&M came in ranked No. 21 in the preseason AP Poll and after crushing South Carolina jumped all the way to No. 9.  That is a 12 spot jump based off of one game against a team that appears to be severely overrated.

Nobody knows how good either team is yet, so pollsters should not waste time ranking them.

To truly see the damage preseason rankings cause take a look at the 2010 college football season.  A season that saw Ohio State start off at No. 2, Wisconsin start the year at No. 12, and Michigan State start the year off unranked.

The Spartans avoided playing the Buckeyes but beat Wisconsin that year.  All three teams finished the season with just one loss, tied for the Big Ten Championship, and ranked in the top 10 of the AP Poll.

However, because the Badgers and Buckeyes started off ranked in the preseason poll, they had a proverbial head start on the Spartans in the rankings.  Michigan State did not have enough to jump either school despite being No. 9 in the nation and beating Wisconsin.   Thus, Sparty missed out on a BCS game (they went on to get slaughtered by Alabama in the Capital One Bowl , but using Nick Saban logic the Spartans were just too disappointed to show up after being so close to the Rose Bowl).

There will always be teams that are overrated and others that are underrated, but pollsters should probably wait until actual games are played to start ranking them.

CJ Hurt covers college football for MemphiSport. Follow him  @Conradicalness for live tweets from games.

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Preview: Ole Miss vs. Vanderbilt

Let me begin by saying that my prediction of Ole Miss vs. Boise St. was pretty much spot on. Ugly first half, Ole Miss pulls away late, scores a touchdown to make it look worse than it was, 34-17 final score. Everything I said would happen did, and I was only one point off on the Rebel score and four points off on the Boise St. one. So I guess you can pretty much take the following preview to the bank.

Photo by Chris Evans

Photo by Chris Evans

The Ole Miss/Vandy rivalry is one that doesn’t get much press, and outside of a thriller to open the season last year and an ultra-close late season matchup two years ago, hasn’t produced a ton of worthwhile games. But it is an interesting rivalry of late as Vandy has largely had Ole Miss’ number in recent years. Ole Miss fans aren’t exactly thrilled that what was once a very lopsided series has become extremely competitive.

Former Vanderbilt coach James Franklin spent several years doing what many thought could not be done. He turned the Commodores into a competitor, a team that could break the top-25 and get to decent bowl games. He put the laughingstock of the SEC on the map, but many knew that it wouldn’t last forever. The inevitable happened this past offseason and Franklin took off, along with his recruits, to rebuild the Penn State program, leaving a mess behind in Nashville.

Franklin’s replacement, former Stanford assistant coach Derek Mason, has potential and the capability to win, but it’s not likely to happen this season. After opening the year with an embarrassing home loss to a Temple team that went 2-10 last year, many Vanderbilt faithful are afraid they are looking down the barrel of a disastrous season. Their playmakers from last season are gone. The quarterback position is up in the air. Leadership on the field is lacking. Not an ideal combination for the Commodores.

Ole Miss is headed to Nashville on the heels of a decent showing against a middling, by their standards, Boise St. team. While the Rebels won big, there was nothing pretty about the first half, and Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace looked like the same old Bo everybody thought would finally turn the corner this year. The Rebels might not have won as convincingly as they or Coach Freeze hoped, but it was still a good win, pretty much the opposite of the way Vanderbilt started the season.

The Rebels are picked to win big in this one. Ole Miss hasn’t beaten Vanderbilt by more than 16 since 1998, but is still favored by 20 points. That says a lot right there. Ole Miss has the talent on both sides of the ball, the experience on the field and on the sideline, and has a lot more swagger heading into the game. On top of all that, the game is being held at LP Field instead of Vanderbilt Stadium. This will allow Ole Miss fans to buy more tickets than usual, and in a very historically Rebel-friendly Nashville, means Ole Miss will have close to home field advantage. All signs point to an easy Rebel win.

Vanderbilt will find a way to stay competitive, but much like last week, Ole Miss will pull away in the end. I expect to see Evan Engram get his groove back and one of the Ole Miss running backs to get the ground game going, as it was largely absent last week. Bo Wallace should rebound from his iffy game one performance and find his plethora of talented targets often. On the defensive side, the Rebs will welcome back LB Denzel Nkemdiche from a one game suspension, LB Serderius Bryant from his early targeting ejection against the Broncos, and DT Isaac Gross from an injury that kept him out of the first game. These three will be welcomed sights for Ole Miss fans who want to see their highly touted defense at full strength. Ole Miss starts its SEC slate 1-0.

Ole Miss 38 – Vanderbilt 20

Warner Russell covers Ole Miss Football for MemphiSport. Read his non-sports stuff over on The Wise Guise. Follow him on Twitter @uncle_warny.

Week 1 TAM Rankings 2014: Ole Miss Starts Year Off No. 1

Ole Miss flagCollege football is back which means it is time for week one of the TAM Rankings.

There was a TAM team matchup right off the bat as Mississippi State demolished Southern Mississippi to get their first TAM win of the season.

Two other TAM teams suffered losses this week.  Vandy started things of in less than stellar fashion for the TAM teams on Thursday.  They amassed seven turnovers and allowed 23 unanswered points to Temple.  So much for the progress the Commodores mad during the James Franklin era.

For a half, it looked like Arkansas was going to pull off a major week 1 upset over the defending SEC Champion Auburn Tigers.  After all, the score was tied at 21 to start the second half.  Alas, there are two halves in college football, something Arkansas should remember next game.  The Razorbacks did not score in the second half and allowed 24 second half points in route to their 45-21 opening week loss.

Ole Miss struggled early but pulled away late against Boise State to get their first win of the year.  The Rebels are trying to repeat as TAM Champions.

A couple of unexpected TAM teams scored 60 plus points on lesser opponents.  MTSU beat FCS foe Savannah State 61-7, and not to be outdone Memphis destroyed the Govs of Austin Peay 63-0.

Tennessee took care of business against Utah State, while Arkansas State handled Montana State.

With so many good games in week two featuring TAM teams it is tough to select one as the TAM game of the week.  Tennessee looks to keep the good feelings rolling as they take on fellow TAM team Arkansas State, while Memphis travels clear across the country to take on UCLA (No. 7 in the AP Top 25).  However, the TAM game of the week belongs to Ole Miss versus Vanderbilt.  Will the Commodores bounce back, or can Hugh Freeze’s team continue rolling?

Without further ado, here are week fourteen’s TAM Rankings…

1. ole_miss logoOle Miss (1-0):
Last Game:
W 35-13 vs. Boise State @ Georgia Dome
Best Win:
W 35-13 vs. Boise State @ Georgia Dome
Worst Loss: N/A
Wins Against TAM Teams: N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: N/A

2. Mississippi_State_Bulldogs logoMississippi State (1-0):
Last Game:
W 49-0 vs. Southern Miss @ Davis Wade Stadium
Best Win:
49-0 vs. Southern Miss @ Davis Wade Stadium
Worst Loss: N/A
Wins Against TAM Teams: 1 (Southern Miss)
Losses Against TAM Teams: N/A

3. University-Tennessee-Logo-2Tennessee (1-0):
Last Game:
W 38-7 vs. Utah State @ Neyland Stadium
Best Win: 38-7 vs. Utah State @ Neyland Stadium
Worst Loss: N/A
Wins Against TAM Teams: N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: N/A

4.  Arkansas logoArkansas (0-1):
Last Game:
L 45-21 vs. Auburn @ Jordan-Hare Stadium
Best Win:
N/A
Worst Loss: 45-21 vs. Auburn @ Jordan-Hare Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams: N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: N/A

5.  memphis-tigers logoMemphis (1-0):
Last Game:
W 63-0 vs. Austin Peay @ Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Best Win: 63-0 vs. Austin Peay @ Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Worst Loss: N/A
Wins Against TAM Teams: N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: N/A

6.  Arkansas State Logo 2Arkansas State (1-0):
Last Game:
W 37-10 vs. Montana State @ Liberty Bank Stadium
Best Win: 37-10 vs. Montana State @ Liberty Bank Stadium
Worst Loss: N/A
Wins Against TAM Teams: N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: N/A

7.  MTSU LogoMTSU (1-0):
Last Game: W 61-7 vs. Savannah State @ Floyd Stadium
Best Win: 61-7 vs. Savannah State @ Floyd Stadium
Worst Loss: N/A
Wins Against TAM Teams:
N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: N/A

8.  Vandy LogoVanderbilt (0-1):
Last Game:
L 37-7 vs. Temple @ Vanderbilt Stadium
Best Win: N/A
Worst Loss: 
37-7 vs. Temple @ Vanderbilt Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams: N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: N/A

9.  Southern Miss logo 2Southern Mississippi (0-1):
Last Game:
L 49-0 vs. Mississippi State @ Davis Wade Stadium
Best Win: N/A
Worst Loss: 49-0 vs. Mississippi State @ Davis Wade Stadium
Wins Against TAM Teams: N/A
Losses Against TAM Teams: 1 (Mississippi State)

The Mid-South is full of fans with allegiances to different area college football programs. Which FBS program in the three states surrounding the Memphis area is the best? To help end some arguments and start others, every week MemphiSport ranks all the college football teams in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi. We call it the TAM Rankings.

CJ Hurt covers college football for MemphiSport. Follow him @conradicalness for live tweets from games.

 

SEE ALSO:

 

Preview: Boise State vs. Ole Miss

Texas A&M v MississippiOle Miss quarterback Bo Wallace said that his goal this year was to get the Rebels to Atlanta. Guess he can go ahead and check that off his list since the Ole Miss season opener against Boise State will be played from the Georgia Dome. Obviously Wallace meant getting the Rebs to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game, but starting the year off in the Georgia Dome for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game isn’t a bad thing.

For the majority of America, this Thursday’s ESPN matchup between the Ole Miss Rebels and the Boise State Broncos will serve as the official kickoff to the 2014 college football season. With millions of people watching, a lot is on the line for both teams. Boise State is breaking in a new coach and looking to continue their pattern of taking down the big boys while Ole Miss hopes to make the jump into the upper-tier of the SEC.

So how is this early season showdown going to shape up?

Ole Miss has the advantage on paper. With their superior talent, SEC speed on both sides of the ball, and stability with a veteran quarterback and proven SEC coach, it’s no surprise most places are picking the Rebels to win by double digits.

But Boise State thrives in games where they are labeled the underdogs. They have an underrated running back in Jay Ajayi who is coming off of a 1400-yard season and a senior quarterback, Grant Hedrick, who played well last season when his number was called midway through the year. They do have a new, young coach in Bryan Harsin who has seen success in past roles, and he’s ready to make a name for himself in his first big time gig. However it will be mighty tough to fill Chris Petersen’s shoes.

Playing the game in the Georgia Dome obviously lends itself to the Ole Miss cause. Ole Miss will travel well and Boise State will not. While it won’t be nearly to capacity, the game will feel much like an Ole Miss home game.

The biggest difference in my opinion will be the Ole Miss defensive line. (I expect to say that a lot this season.) Boise State, like Ole Miss, has a young, inexperienced offensive line. I expect the Robert Nkemdiche and C.J. Johnson to get to Hedrick often and to have pretty good success at shutting down the Boise State running game. And behind the D-line, the Rebels have an experienced crop of linebackers and a deep secondary. Coach Harsin might have to rely on some non-traditional play calls to find success against an ultra talented Rebel defense, one that many think is among the best in the SEC.

Assuming the Ole Miss defense gets the job done, the Rebels will still need to score some points. As I mentioned earlier, Ole Miss does have a thin O-line, but it is should survive against Boise State’s mediocre defensive front. The Bronco secondary is strong, but so are the Rebel receivers, led by Laquon Treadwell, who should have a nice advantage over those tasked with covering him. There will be some kinks to work out with a new crop of Rebel running backs, and Bo Wallace will likely need a few downs to get back into the swing of things. But overall I see the Ole Miss offense being just fine.

I think Boise State and Ole Miss will struggle with first game jitters early on, but expect that both teams will figure things out by the second quarter. I firmly believe that Boise State is going to find a way, despite being less talented, to make this an interesting game. Just something about Boise State doing that so many times on a big stage makes me think that this game won’t be much different.

However Ole Miss will prove to be too much in the end. I expect the Rebels to break away late in the third quarter and score a touchdown that makes this one look worse than it actually was.

Bo Wallace and Laquon Treadwell will both have big games for Ole Miss. Robert Nkemdiche will make one or two “WOW” plays and establish himself as the force to be reckoned with that many think he will be. Cody Prewitt will grab an inerception and force a fumble. Coach Freeze will let the world know the Rebels are ready for a big year.

The game will end, whether it should or not, with chants of ‘SEC. SEC. SEC” throughout the stadium.

Ole Miss 34 – Boise State 17

Warner Russell covers Ole Miss Football for MemphiSport. Read his non-sports stuff at thewiseguise.com. Follow him on Twitter @uncle_warny.

 

MSL Interview: Jim Cornette

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Legendary wrestling manager Jim Cornette joined Cerrito & Dustin Starr on MSL to talk about Memphis, Yokozuna, manager props and more.

Click here for more MSL interviews.


MemphiSport Live

Kevin Cerrito hosts MemphiSport Live (MSL) with Marcus Hunter on Sports 56 & 87.7 FM every Saturday from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. MSL was voted 3rd Best Sports Radio Show in the 2010, 2011 & 2012 Memphis Flyer Best of Memphis poll.