Have you ever heard the phrase “can’t see the forest for the trees”?
That’s sort of the way it is for me as the Daily Journal’s Mississippi State beat writer.
Sometimes I get so caught up in the day-to-day grind and busy looking at what’s next that I don’t take enough time to appreciate the present and the success that the teams I’m covering are currently enjoying.
I finally had an opportunity to reflect on the past year during my 13-hour drive home from Omaha on Friday.
As I unsuccessfully attempted to dodge torrential downpours, it started to dawn on me that the 2018-19 sports year was likely the most successful that I’ve covered during my decade-plus on the MSU beat.
It very well could have been the most successful the school has ever had.
The Bulldogs made the postseason in all four major sports that I cover – football, baseball and men’s and women’s basketball. When you take into account that two of those sports – football and baseball – had first-year coaches, that makes it even more impressive.
Those sports saw the Bulldogs go 116-34 this past year along with a gaudy 73-10 mark at home. No matter how Vanderbilt closes at the College World Series, Mississippi State will finish with the top overall win-loss record and win percentage (77.3) in the Southeastern Conference and the highest home win percentage (88.0) and home record in those four spots as well during the 2018-19 sports calendar.
MSU and Auburn were the only schools in the SEC to send teams to the postseason in football, baseball and men’s and women’s basketball during that span. Auburn went 98-53 across those sports.
The Bulldogs’ success led me to log more miles on the road and time in a flying tube than ever before. My travels took me to 18 states outside of Mississippi this year – literally from one end of the country to the other.
One five-day stretch during the basketball postseason had me covering a game in San Jose, California, on Friday, flying back to work a women’s game in Starkville on Sunday and then leaving out for Portland, Oregon, on Wednesday.
I was the only reporter to do so and had the jet lag to prove it.
With summer finally here, it’s time for me to catch my breath a little because I don’t see any signs of Mississippi State slowing down during the 2019-20 year. The Bulldogs have plenty of talent to build around in all four sports and could even surpass the success they had this past year.