Thursday, December 8, 2011
Big week for USM
I don’t get a vote for the Heisman Trophy.
I’m not that important of a journalist yet.
But I do participate in the voting for the Conerly Trophy, awarded to the best college football player in Mississippi.
The winner this year, and my number one choice, was Austin Davis, senior quarterback at the University of Southern Mississippi.
The other finalists were Mississippi State defensive back Johnthan Banks, Ole Miss defensive back Charles Sawyer, Jackson State quarterback Casey Therriault and Delta State QB Micah Davis.
Austin Davis, a fifth-year senior from Meridian, holds USM’s records for career passing yards, touchdown passes and career total offense. He broke the marks of a player you’ve probably heard of – Brett Favre. Davis is very deserving of the award.
Saturday was a “road day” and I could not take in the entire Conference USA championship game.
First that morning we went to a church gymnasium near Cordova, Tenn., about an hour away, for the first game of the third- and fourth-grade girls basketball season.
We left there, grabbed some lunch and returned home for a brief break. We got to watch a little bit of the matchup between USM and favored Houston before getting back in the vehicle for a two-hour ride to West Point (Oak Hill Academy) for our son’s high school basketball game.
En route to West Point, Pam was in the passenger’s seat with my iPad, which features an ESPN app. She was steadily keeping up with the play by play of the high-flying Golden Eagles’ contest as they dominated the previously-undefeated and then sixth-ranked Cougars. It was exciting for the Burlesons, to say the least, because we’ve become big Southern Miss fans since our daughter Emma enrolled there two and a half years ago.
A talented USM team (with an 11-2 record) has been off the radar for the most part nationally this year, except for hearing coach Larry Fedora’s name recently mentioned in connection with some job openings at other colleges. But the team and the school grabbed some big-time attention Saturday on national TV.
We knew there would be a big celebration in Hattiesburg Saturday night. Emma and other students, plus community members and more, were ready to welcome the Golden Eagles and their first-place trophy back to campus.
Later we got a photo, via the Internet, of her and some of her friends posing with the star quarterback himself (see this week’s sports section).
Sunday, we found out the Golden Eagles’ bowl game is in Honolulu versus Nevada. She hasn’t asked to travel to Hawaii. I briefly thought about going, until I saw the price of plane tickets.
We were all a bit disappointed they did not get a bowl game a bit closer to home. We were hoping for the Liberty Bowl.
Emma later told us she may have a ticket to the BCS national championship game in New Orleans, La., which features another of our favorite teams, Alabama. I told her if she does land one, she needs to give it to her dad for raising her right.
I think there are more than 30 bowls games awaiting from mid-December through the January 9 title contest.
But only a few really interest me.
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