Every year it is fun to look at the schedule for each four-year college and university, and see which are the best home games. This is also a great time to check out when each school hosts its homecoming.
If money and time were no object, these are the games I would take time to go see. All of them have to be home games, so no trips to Knoxville, Tenn., to watch the University of Southern Mississippi take on the University of Tennessee.
The only other rule is that every team has to land on the list at some point. One cannot live on SEC football alone in this wide world of college football. Some weeks can have more than one game but since you can only be in one place at same time, you have to make a choice as to which game you want to see more.
During week one, I am already going to cheat and put two games on the list that I would attend. Since Millsaps College at Belhaven is on Thursday, Aug. 31, it still leaves plenty of room to see the University of Kentucky at Southern Miss on Saturday, Sept. 2.
USM gets on the list for week two when it hosts Southern University. Golden Eagles head coach Jay Hopson will be pretty familiar with this foe since he once coached for Alcorn State University.
In week three, you could go to Louisiana State University and watch the Tigers play against Mississippi State University if you think the Bulldogs could be the sleeper team of the SEC, but for my money, I want to head to Alcorn State and see the Braves host McNeese State in a heavyweight FCS clash.
The SWAC takes center stage in week four with my pick, Mississippi Valley State University against defending conference champions Grambling State University. Alcorn State hosts Southern in a game of two of the top SWAC teams. See a closer-to-home game when Millsaps hosts Sewanee University.
My top choice for week five is Mississippi College against Delta State University, and those are one of only three teams playing in-state that week. The others are Belhaven versus Howard Payne University and USM versus the University of North Texas. Everyone else hits the road.
Delta State stays as the top choice in week six, but this time as host for its “Pig Pickin” event, which is a Memphis BBQ Network-sanctioned event this year. The Statesmen will play West Alabama on the field. Interesting fact, DSU is the only team at home this week as the rest of the state has a bye week or is on the road.
The season is half over as we move to week seven with a toss-up pick. Jackson State hosting Tuskegee University gets the slight edge over MSU hosting Brigham Young University.
In week eight, my top pick is when Gulf South Conference rivals Delta State and Valdosta State University clash. It that doesn’t get your motor running, the University of Mississippi hosts LSU on the same weekend.
Sure, you could go see the Rebels host the University of Arkansas in week nine, but I want to see USM host the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The Blazers return to football after the program was wrongly shut down in 2014.
A good choice for week 10 is Mississippi College hosting Shorter University in the final home game of the year, but I will go see the University of Massachusetts make the long road trip to play MSU.
Belhaven closes out its season at home against Sul Ross State University for a close-to-home game. In week 11, the game to be at is when Alcorn State hosts Mississippi Valley State.
It is easy to pick week 12’s game: Alcorn State makes the trip to the capital city to face Jackson State, which is always one of the top games to see each year.
Finally, I’ll close the season out on Thanksgiving night when the Bulldogs hosts the Rebels. This rivalry is a as hot as it ever been and being a neutral fan soaking in the atmosphere will be wonderful.
Most of the teams in our state have stacked homecoming on the same date as other teams.
Alcorn State (Prairie View A&M University), Southern Miss (University of Texas at El Paso) and UM (Vanderbilt University) all play their homecoming games on Oct. 14.
Mississippi Valley State (Virginia University of Lynchburg), MSU (Kentucky), and Mississippi College (West Georgia) are playing their homecoming games on Oct. 21.
Belhaven (Louisiana College) and Millsaps (Centre University) are having homecoming on the same day: Oct. 28.
Jackson State hosts Alabama State University for homecoming on Nov. 4. Delta State plays the latest homecoming game in the season finale against Florida Tech on Nov. 11.
Plan your season accordingly.