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Homecoming Weekend Review

Oct. 26, 2011

Congratulations to our 6-1 Golden Eagle football team for their terrific homecoming win over SMU. It was the best homecoming I have personally experienced in my 13 years at Southern Miss. The campus was really alive, the festivities were outstanding and it was the highest attended C-USA game ever at Carlisle-Faulkner Field at Roberts Stadium. It was great to see all of our alumni come back home. We started a new tradition by hosting over 45 former football captains for lunch. They joined the team in the Eagle Walk and served as honorary captains for the game.

In addition, we inducted the late Bubba Phillips, as well as Bucky McElroy and Hugh Laurin Pepper into the Legends Club prior to our 27-3 victory over SMU.

In other athletic happenings over the weekend, our volleyball team swept two conference foes. The baseball team enjoyed a victory over William Carey in a fall exhibition game and will host their final Black and Gold scrimmage this Sunday at Pete Taylor Park beginning at 1 p.m. During the SMU game, we recognized our women's track and field program for their national rankings last season and our women's soccer team topped off the weekend by defeating UAB, 2-1, in overtime.

Coach Larry Eustachy and our men's basketball team gets the exhibition part of their 2011-12 schedule underway Thursday evening with an exhibition game against Loyola at 7 p.m. The Eagles have a good nucleus of returning student-athletes and some outstanding new players. They expect to build on their last two consecutive 20-game winning seasons and will vie for postseason play. They have an exciting early season home schedule which includes New Mexico State (12/4); Louisiana Tech (12/10); Ole Miss (12/17) and South Florida (12/22).

Our football team will be on the road the next two weekends at UTEP and East Carolina. We will then host UCF on Nov. 12 and it will be Military Appreciation and Student Recruitment Day. We are asking our fans to show their Golden Eagle Pride by wearing Black if they sit in the East side of the stadium, White in the South end zone, and Gold on the West side of the stadium.

On a final note, conference realignment continues to be the No. 1 topic in college athletics. Rumors and speculation continue to spark much controversy and many different scenarios. As stated often, it is being driven by television and revenue. Where it all ends up, who really knows.

C-USA and the Mountain West Conference continue to work on its alliance plan and have also had discussions with the Big East. If the rumors are true that West Virginia is leaving for the Big 12, of the original eight football members of the Big East in 1991, only Rutgers remains. The Bowl Championship Series will begin a year-long process to decide the criteria for the next cycle of postseason games (2014-15-16-17) and it's our continued goal to provide our student-athletes the opportunity to play at the highest level of postseason football.

Thank you for the great fan support you provided the Golden Eagles for the 2011 homecoming weekend, and we look forward to you duplicating the experience on Sat., Nov. 12 as we host UCF. Our fans are truly the 12th man on the playing field and you certainly are making a difference!

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