JOHN L. PITTS: What has happened at USM?



The No.1 question I’m getting these days isn’t about college or pro football, it’s about high school football:

“How good is Tupelo?”

The Golden Wave is 6-0 for the first time since 1991 – the year before the team won its only state championship.

This week, Tupelo has eased into the statewide Class 6A rankings for the first time this season. For several weeks, the Wave has been in the AP’s overall top 10.

It’s an impressive turnaround for a team that struggled to a 4-7 finish last year and made a coaching change in the offseason, with Trent Hammond taking the helm.

The team is getting it done on defense – just 27 points given up in five games since the opener – and demonstrated a lot of mental toughness by playing four games away from home in an early five-week stretch.

But the real answer to the question will have to come on the field. Tupelo has finished no better than fourth in its division since the transition to Class 6A in 2009, but 2013 looks like a golden opportunity for the Golden Wave.

There’s a gauntlet of five more division games in the regular season, including two against teams ranked ahead of the Wave – 6A kingpin South Panola (Oct. 18 in Batesville) and Olive Branch (Nov. 8 in Tupelo).

It’s sort of like having Alabama and LSU ahead on your schedule. And we’ll all learn the answer to the big question soon enough.

Random thoughts

• Tuscaloosa sports writer Cecil Hurt won the Internet with his tweet on Saturday, referring to the Missouri whipping of Vanderbilt: “Missouri continues its transformation from high school chemistry teacher to ruthless crime czar.” FYI: That’s a “Breaking Bad” joke.

• I agree with the idea that the Washington Redskins need a name change. “Maryland Redskins” would be much better, because everyone hates D.C.

• I’m old enough to be vaguely disappointed that our new vacuum is all made of plastic.

John L. Pitts ( is sports editor of the Daily Journal. He shares more of his random thoughts on Twitter at @JohnLPitts.

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