What a weekend for college sports.

Ole Miss won the Egg Bowl, but not all the action was on the football field, as several elite universities are looking for head football coaches this week.

Ole Miss removed the interim tag from Matt Luke's title and made him permanent head coach.  The SEC now has openings at Mississippi State, Arkansas and Texas A&M.  Tennessee, who had an agreement to hire a head coach, is back looking for a leader at the helm. While UCLA and Florida picked their leading men this weekend, Nebraska and Arizona State have just begun their search for new hires.

Arkansas is also making a push for Auburn coach Guz Malzahn to come back home while A&M has their pocket books on Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher. So the merry-go-round keeps turning and will for several more weeks.

Many college football writers said that MSU's Dan Mullen was the third choice of the Gators behind former Oregon coach Chip Kelly and undefeated Central Florida's Scott Frost.  Some media sites rumored that Mullen was heading to Knoxville - if the Gators job had not panned out. Kelly took the UCLA job while Frost may be heading to his alma mater in Nebraska or may remain at Central Florida.

Mullen is a good pick for Florida. He did an outstanding job in his nine seasons at MSU. He led the Bulldogs to a 69-46 mark while leading MSU to eight straight bowls. Mullen was the Gators' offensive coordinator under Urban Meyer, so he is very familiar with the Gator culture. The Gators' athletic director is Scott Stricklin, Mullen’s former boss at MSU.

Mullen has developed some great quarterbacks, and this year Florida used three starting quarterbacks. So Stricklin’s number one target was someone who could bring improvement to that side of the ball.



SEC Championship Game

The SEC championship game will have longtime border rivals in Georgia (11-1) vs. Auburn (10-2) in a rematch.  Auburn finalized their plans for the weekend in Atlanta with a 26-14 win over Alabama. The Tigers offense rolled up over 408 yards of offense and the Auburn defensive line was dominating.  The Tigers and the Bulldogs played three weeks ago when Auburn won, 40-17, on the Plains. Georgia was a 3-point favorite in the first game, but Auburn is a 2.5 favorite in this game.  The 122nd meeting between the teams will decide the SEC championship and a spot in the College Football Playoffs.



Odds & ends

Ole Miss will host the MHSAA state football championships this Friday and Saturday.

Oxford and Ole Miss track star Sam Kendrick was named the USA Track & Field Male Athlete of the Year. Sam won a bronze in the 2016 Olympics in the pole vault. He went 17-0 last year.

The Philadelphia Eagles are 10-1 for the first time since going to the Super Bowl in 2004.

The New England Patriots clinched their 17th consecutive winning season.

More folks tuned in to the Iron Bowl than any other college football game of 2017. Viewing was up 66 per cent over last year’s Iron Bowl. The NFL was down ten percent Thanksgiving Night for their Giants-Redskins TV game.

Auburn and Ohio State are the only two FBS teams to be ranked in the top 20 in both offense and total defense.

Tennessee finished 0-8 in SEC play in their first eight-loss season in school history.

Former Texas head coach Mack Brown in his first 10 seasons in Austin averaged over 10 wins a season. Four years later, he was run off. Their best mark since Brown left is 6-5.

Atlanta Falcon wide receiver Julio Jones broke former Brookhaven, Mississippi native Lance Alsworth’s league record for most receiving yards in the first 90 games of his career. Alsworth established his mark (8,502) from 1962-1969 with the San Diego Chargers.

Dale McKee, a resident of Waynesboro, has covered Mississippi sports for more than 40 years. He writes a weekly sports column. You can contact Dale at ddmckee18@yahoo.com