#3 In The AP Poll, #1 In The Football-Shaped Part Of My Heart

We had the best Friday night and Saturday in Starkville.

And I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around this development all afternoon.

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We play Auburn this week, and the fact that we’re #3 and they’re #2 delights me a little bit. Back in 2008 the final score of the State / Auburn game, which just might have been the worst game in SEC history, was 3-2. So I think it’s clear that the Lord really does give beauty for ashes, even in college football.

The Bulldogs are in a tough stretch of their schedule, but on some level it tickles me to have back-to-back games with A&M and Auburn. Both are land grant schools like State, and we all seem to speak the same down-home, land-loving language. In fact, before Saturday’s game I had a lengthy conversation in The Junction with some Aggies from Houston, and we had the best time talking about the turf on our respective football fields and the importance of high-quality sod. I couldn’t wait to tell Melanie all about it.

And speaking of Melanie.

I feel like I need to let some of you know that even though State and A&M had a big game, Melanie and I are just fine. Couldn’t be better. We talked last Thursday and agreed that we probably wouldn’t talk on game day – just in case emotions were running high (we both tend to err on the side of CUCKOO CRAZY where our teams are concerned). But then Saturday morning we texted just a little bit, and somewhere around the end of the 3rd quarter, Mel texted to tell me that the Bulldogs are the real deal. I didn’t answer her right away, though. Too much football left. And State fans know all too well that a win isn’t a win until the clock stops ticking.

Anyway, I thought about Mel and her best friend, Gulley, about a hundred times during the game, and as proud as I am of the Bulldogs (and what about Dak Prescott, y’all?), I have all the respect in the world for the Aggies. Schools that love maroon shirts, good sod, AND Jackie Sherrill have to stick together, right?

The weekend was also extra special because I got to celebrate my birthday with Sister and four of my very best friends from college – Daphne, Elise, Emma Kate, and Marion. We laughed until our stomachs just flat-out cramped, and by the time we got back to Daphne’s mama’s house late Friday night, I had a laughter headache – my cheeks hurt all the way up to my temples and across my forehead. It was so stinkin’ fun, and the older I get, the more I realize what a gift the Lord gave all of us when we were 18 and too busy teasing our bangs to even know to ask Him for forever friends. I didn’t have any way of knowing that those friendships would mean the absolute world to me through every bit of my adult life.

But oh my word. Have they ever. Do they ever.

Elise and Marion already had plans for Saturday morning, but Sister, Daph, EK and I woke up super early so that we could get to SEC Nation and Dawg Walk before everything got super-crowded. I decided to save some spots at Dawg Walk while they went to see Tim Tebow the SEC Nation set-up, and I so enjoyed being able to stand and watch and listen while most everybody else was screaming and ringing cowbells and finishing tailgate set-up. It was the most perfect fall morning on what I consider the most perfect college campus, and while football is what has Starkville and State all abuzz at the moment, I thought over and over again that the people there really are the very best part.


Sister & EK – just two of the people that make State so special

So. It’s exciting times for the ‘Dogs. And it was an exciting weekend. And it’s going to be an exciting week. But before I can soak in all the many levels of excitement, I need to sleep. Soundly. For as many hours as Hazel will allow.

Hope your weekend was a great one!

Hail State and Go ‘Dogs.

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  1. What a fun football weekend with your favorite people!
    I forgot about you been a coach Sherrill fan! I emailed about my family’s friendship with him a few years ago. He is in town this weekend with my husband at a charity golf event and I will tell him “Boomama says hello!”

  2. Happy birthday, Sophie! So glad your weekend was such a great one!

  3. We are #3 in the nation!!!! Aaaaaaaaaccccckkkkk!!!!!

    I’m so glad you were able to experience this on campus, on your birthday weekend, with friends and family. It can’t get much better than that!

  4. I was parked in my recliner from the start of Gameday til I went to bed about midnight Saturday. Such a fine, fun day of college football.

    Watching SEC Nation, I was so impressed by the atmosphere in Starkville, especially during the dog walk. So glad you got to be there, and with such good friends.

    And this week, y’all get Gameday. Tim Tebow one week and Kirk Herbstreit the next. Be still my heart!

  5. Happy birthday Sophie! This weekend was one of the best football weekends! While watching the State game I thought of you.

  6. Congratulations on your win against A&M. That makes the game against Auburn that more epic! And I’m going to be there! My hubby and I want to eventually make it to all the SEC venues and this is one of the few left on the list. So excited to get to experience this game! State and Auburn always play tough so it should be a great game but I am hoping my Tigers come away with the W! Love you Sophie! War Eagle! ;-)

  7. I have to agree with Melanie. My Aggies lost to a team that is the real deal this year. I can take a loss like that MUCH better than losing to a team that we clearly should have outplayed. Congrats to your beloved Bulldogs! Gig ’em!

  8. Sarah Stephens says:

    Hail State! As a fellow alum I can attest to the fact that the winning tastes so much sweeter when you’ve had a history like we have. I can’t wait to step on campus early Saturday morning.

  9. It was a great day for football throughout the SEC! I’ll be there this weekend with Scotty and his kids. We sure would love to see you. Our rivalry goes back many years, my friend. War Eagle!

  10. My MSU (Michigan State) is also in the top 10 (#8) and we survived upset weekend with a win over Nebraska. So exciting to be at the game even though our weather was more suited for a winter day. We had hot chili at our tailgate and were just fine. College football is the best!

  11. I was HAIL STATE all the way from Arkansas…mainly because Melanie’s team beat us by 1 touchdown in overtime the week before and I died a thousand deaths. I’m still not over it. (kidding) (not kidding) I love reading about your friendships, family, faith…and your love for football. And I will be all, like, GO DAWGS…until November 1.


  12. Samantha Fikes says:

    It was the most perfect weekend I can remember in a very long time! The cool, fall weather could not have been more delightful and DWS absolutely vibrated with excitement. The tribute to Jack Cristil had me in tears. (EK, I even pulled down my sunglasses and showed them to my kids to prove I can cry. *wink) We have new seats up in the chairback section and are surrounded by such nice people. I looked around Saturday to discover that I am probably the annoying fan. I danced, I clapped, I laughed, I sang along to Journey, I jumped at kick-off. It was SO MUCH FUN!!! Really, who knew? I could get used to this winning business. #HailState

  13. Julie in Michigan says:

    YEAH, we’re #8, Sparty On!!

    8 Michigan State
    Michigan State
    Big Ten
    Record: 4-1

  14. I just wanted to take a second to let you know that I am enjoying your blog and your book. As a child raised in the south, where most of my days were spent on the campus of a SEC land grant university ( in the ag school no less) and a graduate of Baylor, I must say that I am enjoying the AP poll this week as well. Too bad that old purple and gold didn’t show up on it though!

  15. Three things: 1. GIDDY UP for the land-grant schools!, 2. Can’t wait for your new book to come out!, and 3. WAR EAGLE! :)

  16. Kathleen G says:

    Happy Birthday Sophie! Long time friends are the best! Congratulations on your team win!

  17. I mean… WHAT A GAME!!! Can’t wait for Saturday. And to think, we almost took Avery last Saturday, but we decided to be responsible parents and keep her in with the weather change. So glad you were there to witness it!!!

  18. This. LOVE.EVERY.WORD. Happy belated birthday to you. Dak must have known it was your birthday and MAN did he shine. I’m with you on this strange feeling. But we must relish in it while we can!!!!!!!!!

  19. Happy birthday!! :-)
    I need help from a pro: I am going to the Arkansas/’Bama game this Saturday and the forecast, according to Siri, is “bad weather. Rain!” How does one ‘do’ a football game in the rain?? It doesn’t sound the least bit appealing…
    Thanks in advance for your expert planning advice!

  20. Kimberlee says:

    Sophie, anxiously awaiting a new post! I need you to help me put all if these emotions into words! What an unbelievable joy ride!