It’s hard to believe 2013 has already come and gone but, the years always seem to click on by.
Before we bust 2014 wide open, let’s take a look back at the top ten moments in Mississippi State sports for 2013. Of course these are our opinions and there may be some events that we may have missed that could be on the list, so fill free to hit us up with your suggestions.
So – without further ado, let’s recap Maroon Magazine’s Top Ten Bulldog Moments for the 2013 calendar year.
10 – MSU Women’s Golf
At the end of the fall schedule, the Mississippi State women’s golf team is ranked 25th in the GolfWeek.com rankings after top-10 finishes in each of its four tournaments this season. Ginger Brown-Lemm’s squad has shattered all records this season and claimed the first tournament title since the 2004 season.
The Bulldogs began the 2013-14 season at the Cougar Classic in Hanahan, S.C., where junior Ally McDonald notched the lowest 18-hole score in school history with a 6-under-par 66 in the opening round.
All-American Ally McDonald paced Mississippi State with a 70.92 stroke average to place second in the SEC individual standings. Finishing the fall season as the top ranked SEC freshman, Jessica Peng posted a 72.72 average and a runner-up medal behind McDonald in the Old Waverly Bulldog Invitational.
Head coach Ginger Brown-Lemm was inducted into the Arkansas State Golf Association Hall of Fame on Thursday, Oct. 24, at the Pleasant Valley Country Club in Little Rock, Ark.
9 – Women’s Volleyball – McCree Leads Dogs To First Win In Knoxville Since 1995
For the first time since 1995, the Mississippi State volleyball team (12-20, 3-15) won in Knoxville, beating the Tennessee Volunteers (9-23, 1-17) 3-1 to conclude the 2013 season. Senior outside hitter Dani McCree turned in a career-best 17 kills in her farewell match.
The Bulldogs posted one of their best home seasons in program history with eight home wins, which are second-most in program history. State also drew 7,199 fans to the Newell-Grissom Building on the year, a new single-season record for the facility.
MSU’s nine nonconference wins are also the most in the Hazelwood era and the most since downing 11 nonconference opponents in 2011.
The 12 wins this season also matches the most wins since Hazelwood returned to Starkville in 2009. The last time an MSU squad turned in more than 12 wins was the 2006 team, which turned in 17.
8 – Men’s Track and Field – Hearn Wins Silver At Pan American Junior Championships
In familiar fashion, Mississippi State sophomore Scottie Hearn clocked top speeds at the 2013 Pan American Junior Championships to win silver in the 400-meter hurdles.
Competing for Team USA, Hearn raced a time of 51.67 to win the preliminaries, before posting a 50.96 during the finals to finish second.
“I’m thrilled for Scottie,” MSU coach Steve Dudley said. “He has trained hard this summer, and his hard work is paying off. I am so pleased with how he represented this program.”
7 – Bulldogs Snap 13-Game Losing Streak in Men’s Hoops with 73-67 win over Ole Miss
In front of a raucous crowd at Humphrey Coliseum, the Bulldogs ended their 13-game losing streak by turning back arch-rival Ole Miss, 73-67.
The victory avenged a 93-75 setback to the Rebels in Oxford back in January.
“I’m just so proud for my guys,” said MSU coach Rick Ray, who earned his first victory in this heated rivalry. “They’ve worked so hard all year, even with the losing, and now they have something to show for their effort.”
6 – Bulldogs set a Record with 30-Straight Football Sellouts
Since October 2009, Davis Wade Stadium has seen thirty consecutive sellouts, a stretch of four seasons and an increase in season ticket sales. The stadium’s attendance record was broken twice during the 2009 season, including the Florida (57,178) and Alabama (58,103) games.
Before the 2012 Season Mississippi State announced plans for a 75 million dollar expansion. The expansion will increase the capacity of the stadium to 61,337 and be open for the 2014 season.
5 – Bulldogs Win 51-Games in Baseball
2013 was a record breaking year in baseball and John Cohen’s team won 51-baseball games, which is good for second on the all-time school win list. Ron Polk’s 1989 team won 54-games, only three better than the 2013 Dawgs.
4 – Russell Breaks MSU Touchdown Record
2013 was not the year everyone envisioned for Tyler Russell but, he does leave Starkville first in school history in touchdown passes (42) and passing efficiency (137.3). He finished second in passing yards (5,441), pass completions (410) and touchdowns responsible for (45).
He is also fourth all-time with (10) 200-yard passing games, 3rd all-time in passing attempts with 448, 3rd in passer completion percentage and 4th in yards per attempted pass at 7.7.
When people look at the record books for quarterbacks at Mississippi State, he will be all over them.
3 – Bulldog Fans Help Break Attendance Record at College World Series
For nearly two weeks, Omaha Nebraska was painted Maroon by Mississippi State fans; as the 2013 College World Series drew a total of 341,483 fans, making this year’s championship event the most attended CWS in history.
The attendance of 27,127 fans for the championship game between UCLA and Mississippi State is the largest crowd for a CWS championship game final, and also marked the largest single-game crowd in TD Ameritrade Park history.
The 2013 Series drew an average crowd of 24,392 fans per game — 2,610 more than the 2012 series and 1,415 more than the 2011 average.
2 – Bulldog Football Team Sets Record with Fourth Straight Bowl Appearance
The 2013 Bulldog football team was at times frustrating to watch, sometimes painful and sometimes a thing of beauty. There were ups and downs in 2013 for the Bulldogs but, at the end of the day, the Bulldogs won their final two games, both in overtime and beat rival Mississippi in epic fashion to get to six wins and for the first time, make four straight bowl games.
Do not make light of this accomplishment. In a time where the SEC is at its peak, the Bulldogs have stayed the course. You can punch holes in schedules and the teams the Bulldogs may play from time to time but, there have been several a Bulldog football team to drop those games over the years.
Four straight bowl games is a huge accomplishment and something the Bulldogs have never witnessed in the school’s history.
1 – Bulldogs Make Epic Run to Baseballs National Championship and Fall Just Short
UCLA completed an unblemished, 10-game run through college baseball’s postseason, rolling past Mississippi State 8-0 to win the College World Series and the first national championship in the program’s 94-year history.
But, someone had to win their first ever National Title as both the Bulldogs and the Bruins were new to the championship scene. Despite the loss, it was an epic ride through the post season and the Bulldogs just ran up against the better team.
The Bulldogs baseball run gave their fans and the state of Mississippi an experience never seen before within this state.
From the Bench Mobb to Jonathan Holder, to epic plays in the field and more, the 2013 baseball Bulldogs deserve to be number one on everyone’s list of college sports stories this year.
The Bulldogs run left the remaining players on that team and coaches hungry for more, as well as their fans.
Bulldogs everywhere are eyeing the 2014 baseball season, hoping to make a return trip to Omaha and finish the deal with a National Championship.