The college playoffs are set as SEC champion Alabama (13-0) will take on Oklahoma (12-1) in the Orange Bowl while Notre Dame (13-0) plays Clemson (13-0) in the Cotton Bowl.

Both games are December 29 with the winners heading west to Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, California, to meet in the national championship game on January 7.

The SEC will have 10 other teams heading to bowl games. Mississippi State will play Iowa in the Outback Bowl on January 1. The 18th ranked Bullies, who now have gone bowling every year of this decade, are 13-8 in their bowl history. This is their first visit to the Outback Bowl. USM (6-5) was left out of the bowl selections.

The Mississippi high school football state champions were crowned in Hattiesburg at the University of Southern Mississippi this past weekend.

The northern part of the state claimed five of the six titles.  Nanih Wayia, located in Winston County, was the lone south team to win as they won their first state football championship in school history by ending Simmons' 54-game winning streak, 21-18, in the 1-A matchup. Winston County is rare in that every high school in the county now has a state championship as Nanih Wayia joins Noxapater, Louisville and Winston Academy with state football titles.

In 2-A, Scott Central won their second title and first since 1999 with a 21-7 over Taylorsville.  Water Valley downed Seminary, 34-28, to claim their second title in school history and first since 1990. In 4-A, Louisville is now 9-0 in championship games with their 25-20 win over Poplarville. West Point won their tenth title with a hard fought 27-12 win over West Jones. Horn Lake won their first title in school history, 31-27, over Oak Grove in the 6-A contest.

USM did a great job along with MHSAA to host the event which is slated to be in Hattiesburg again next year.

Alcorn wins SWAC

Alcorn (9-3) won the SWAC championship, 37-28, over Southern University this past Saturday. It was the Braves' third conference title in five years and the first for their head coach Fred McNair. It was the 17th title in school history and the first since 2014. The Braves head to the Celebration Bowl to play North Carolina A&T on December 15.

East Mississippi Community College (12-0) brought another title back to Scooba with a 10-9 win over Garden City, Kansas, in the national championship game played in Pittsburg, Kansas, last Thursday night.  The Lions three-peated with the win and now have five national titles since 2011. 

The fifth-ranked Jones College Bobcats of Ellisville won the Mississippi Bowl played at Gulf Coast Community College Sunday, 27-7, over the Eastern Arizona Gila Monsters. It was the Bobcats' (10-2) first bowl win since 1998 and first 10-win season since 2001. It was their 11th bowl game since their first in 1955.

MSU defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons was named the winner of the Conerly Trophy that goes to the best college football player in the state. The Kent Hull Award sponsored by the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame went to Bulldog center Elgton Jenkins.

In a top 10 showdown, the No. 6 MSU Lady Bulldogs (8-0) looked impressive in downing No. 10 Texas, 67-49, in Austin.

William Carey University women’s soccer team downed Keiser University, 1-0, to win the NAIA Championship. It is the second national title in school history as the 1969 baseball team won a national title.

Taylorsville’s Billy Hamilton showed up at the MHSAA state football championships to support his Tartars. Hamilton was in the final year of his contract with the Cincinnati Reds, and as of Friday became a free agent.



Dale McKee, a resident of Waynesboro, has covered Mississippi sports for more than 46 years. He writes a weekly sports column. You can contact Dale at ddmckee18@yahoo.com