Monday, May 31, 2010

Headed to the Plains

Jacksonville State is in a regional with Auburn, Southern Miss and Clemson. predicts the Gamecocks to advance.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


No detail yet, but JSU has won the OVC Baseball Championship. JSU 02 reports that the likely opponent is either Auburn or Georgia Tech.

Here is the all tournament team:

2010 All-Tournament Team
Daniel Adamson, Jacksonville State
Jordan Beistline, Jacksonville State
Andrew Edge, Jacksonville State
Steven Leach, Jacksonville State
Bert Smith, Jacksonville State (MVP)
Ben Burgess, Tennessee Tech
Chad Oberacker, Tennessee Tech
Lee Henry, Tennessee Tech
AJ Kirby-Jones, Tennessee Tech
Frankie Beech, Tennessee Tech
Bryan Propst, Murray State
Alex Love, Murray State
Wes Cunningham, Murray State


*Baseball is one win away from clinching the OVC tournament title and advancing to the NCAA regionals. If they can do it, that gives JSU titles in baseball, Football (on the field champion), softball, tennis (womens' regular season) and volleyball.

*TJ Heath is rated the #3 FCS DB. Insiders say AJ Davis should be on the list as well. Here's a name to watch for this year in the secondary: Robert Gray from Collinsville.

*Usually, this time of year we get some transfer news in football. Anybody hearing anything?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Baseball Heads to the Tournament

The has an excellent overview of JSU Baseball as they head in to the OVC tournament as the #2 seed. Here is an excerpt, but check out the full article by going to

Jacksonville State is riding high after a three-game sweep last weekend as it prepares to begin play Thursday in the Ohio Valley Conference Baseball Championship in Jackson, Tenn.

Steve Latham | Jacksonville State | File

The Gamecocks traveled to Morehead, Ky., last weekend, where they picked up three wins against Morehead State. The sweep improved Jacksonville State to 29-24 overall and gave the Gamecocks a final 15-8 record in OVC play.

The 15-8 mark was good enough to net the Gamecocks the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament, which begins today with a pair of games. Jacksonville State and Tennessee Tech, the tournament’s No. 1 seed, each received first-round byes and will begin play Thursday.

Jacksonville State’s opponent Thursday will be the highest remaining seed from the winners of today’s games, while Tennessee Tech will face the lowest seed of today’s winners. No. 4 Southeast Missouri and No. 5 Eastern Illinios will battle in the opening game and will be followed by No. 3 Murray State and No. 6 Eastern Kentucky.

The Gamecocks know they will not face Eastern Kentucky, leaving the other three teams as possible opponents. Jacksonville State will be looking for its third conference championship since joining the OVC. The Gamcocks won the tournament title in 2004 and 2006.

Jacksonville State boasts a .313 team batting average entering the tournament. Coach Jim Case’s squad is led at the plate by Bert Smith, who has a .362 average and is the OVC’s career hits leader.

Todd Cunningham is second on the team with a .353 average and has 10 home runs on the season, one of five Gamecocks with at least 10 dingers. Sam Eberle leads the squad with 16 homers, while Daniel Adamson has 13 and Kyle Bluestein 12.

Former Gadsden High standout Andrew Edge also has 10 homers to go with a .327 average. His 59 RBI are tops on the club.

Adamson is the reigning OVC player of the week after slugging four home runs and driving in 13 runs in four games, including the sweep of Morehead State and a 9-7 loss to Auburn.

On the mound, relief pitcher Alex Jones is the squad’s ERA leader with a 3.72 mark in 46 innings of work. Austin Lucas has a 4.83 ERA, which is best among Gamecock starters, and a 5-0 record. The five wins tie him with Tanner Freshour for the team lead in that category.

Jacksonville State’s opener Thursday will be a 3 p.m. first pitch. All games will be played at Pringles Park, the home of the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx, the Class AA minor league affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Monday Night Lights

There were bright lights and some activity at Paul Snow Stadium on Monday night. Filming for a tv ad began on Monday evening, for a promotional piece for the upcoming football season. Football players, Marching Southerners, and more were in attendance for the shoot. I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product, which will be on TV soon. Watch for it...I believe you'll like it.

Monday, May 24, 2010

JSU Receives APR Award

Here is a link to a nice write-up in the Sand Mountain Reporter on an award JSU received for improving its APR score.

Sand Mountain Reporter

Friday, May 21, 2010

Anniston Star - Medley McGinnis built JSU program

A GREAT article by Joe Medley on Coach McGinnis.

Anniston Star - Medley McGinnis built JSU program

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Softball Team Heads to Atlanta

Dr. Meehan addressed the team before the trip to Atlanta.

Coach McGinnis tells the crowd, "We're looking forward to playing Ga Tech. We plan to win the game. We want to play with class, play hard, and represent Jacksonville State University well."

The softball team leads the fans in singing the Jax State fight song.

Finishing the song and then getting on the bus. Next stop - GA Tech!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Keeping an eye on our football opponents

This article was found in the Atlanta Journal Constitution today about a possible transfer from Alabama to Ga State (our opponent on Sept. 18th in the Georgia Dome)

From national champion Alabama to Georgia State? QB considering it
By Larry Hartstein

A University of Alabama quarterback is considering a transfer to Georgia State, the Tuscaloosa News is reporting.

If he does, sophomore Star Jackson would go from a program with 13 national titles to one that hasn't played a game.

A 6-3, 209-pounder with a strong arm and good speed, Jackson played in five games for the Crimson Tide last year but by midseason he had lost the No. 2 spot behind starter Greg McElroy to a true freshman.

Jackson is considering Georgia State because of secondary coach Anthony Midget, who was an assistant at Jackson's Florida high school, Lake Worth.

"When I learned that Star was interested in moving on, I knew Anthony was someone that he knew, someone who could help him get through any distractions," Lake Worth coach Errick Lowe told the newspaper. "They had a great relationship [at Lake Worth]."

The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported Jackson missed several spring practices due to academic issues and was in danger of falling to No. 4 on the depth chart.

Georgia State "is definitely one of his options," Lowe told The Tuscaloosa News.

Georgia State launches its football program Sept. 2 against Shorter University in the Georgia Dome.

Coached by Bill Curry, the Panthers will compete in the Colonial Athletic Association of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS, formerly known as I-AA). The inaugural schedule includes a daunting Nov. 20 visit to Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa to face Alabama.

In Georgia State's spring practices, quarterbacks Kelton Hill, Drew Little and Bo Schlechter shared snaps.

"All three quarterbacks have played very well at times, but all three have been inconsistent as well," Curry said. "We will not announce a starter until we are ready to play."

Jackson would not have to sit out a year if he transfers, because Georgia State isn't an FBS (Divison I-A) program.

Last season for the national champs, Jackson completed 13 of 18 passes for 116 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.

Sporting News Article on Todd Cunningham

Psyche 101 Jacksonville State's Todd Cunningham
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Posted By Michael Huang 9:37 AM
It is nearly 9 p.m. In the distance, even from a cell phone, the rythmic ping of an aluminum bat gives away where Jacksonville State outfielder Todd Cunningham is doing this interview.

"Yeah, [Kyle] Bluestein's in the cage," Cunningham says. "We do this a lot. He'll pitch BP to me and I'll do the same for him. He works hard. We've kind of become cage buddies; it helps to have someone who works with you so we can get more reps."

The late-night BP underscores Cunningham's work ethic. He understands that when compared to other elite college baseball players, Cunningham will have to outwork them. It hasn't stopped the preseason All-American from putting up big numbers is 2010. Through today, Cunningham was hitting .355 with eight homers and 30 RBI, going 18-of-20 in stolen bases.

"Coming from a smaller school like Jacksonville State, there's an underdog approach that makes you work harder in order to succeed," Cunningham said.

But Cunningham admittedly does it with his brain more than brawn. An enthusiastic psychology major, his dad is a children's counselor and psychology major, too. Naturally, Cunningham enjoys taking a cerebral angle to baseball. No he's not out in centerfield imagining Rorschach blots, but he is acutely aware of the little things that help a player be successful, something he observed while in the wood bat Cape Cod League last year. Cunningham led the Cape in hitting at a .378 clip playing for Falmouth and was named to the league's all-star team.

"Being at the Cape allowed me to play with all these great players from all over the country, so it was an eye opener," Cunningham said. "But the difference I saw between the guys who were successful and unsuccessful was not the tools. It was the mental toughness."

And to that end, the psyche major believes that is his greatest strength. As a high school senior pro scouts did not even give Cunningham a sniff.

"If they were there, it's news to me," Cunningham laughed. "The did a good job of hiding, I'll tell you that. But I don't consider myself toolsy at all. I have to work at it. I'm not able to go out there without practicing and just drop bombs, run a 6.2 60 [yard dash] or throw 95 from the outfield. I'm just not good enough to do that. But the ability to put it all together and work through struggles, to put together good at-bats or move runners over, that's my strength."

As for the draft, Cunningham is on a lot of teams' short lists. Sporting News' fourth mock draft has him going to Colorado at No. 25. One NL West scout said he considered Cunningham signable in a draft where signability is curiously growing into more and more of a concern.

"Look, I'm not even really thinking about the draft. Considering it career possibility isn't something I planned. It just sort of happened after I had the good showing in the Cape. I owe a lot of my success to other people I've worked with....It's about surrounding yourself with good players and good people."

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Who's Next

Don't call it a comeback, but after being down a little early in the season the JSU softball team has returned to dominance. A little revenge was served at the crossroads known as Martin, Tennessee this weekend as the Gamecocks knocked UTM out of the tournament they were hosting and won the OVC tournament in dominant fashion.

Now, the Gamecocks advance to the Regionals riding a 7 game winning streak and winning 15 of their last 17. Who's next? We find out Sunday night on ESPN.

Way to go Gamecocks!

Friday, May 14, 2010

More talk on the potential major conference realignment

Still more discussion on conference shake-ups. Does this open up a door for JSU somewhere?

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

Big Ten Expansion and Georgia Tech
11:00 pm May 12, 2010, by Chris Boggs

Blogs and message boards have been lit up this past week with reports that the Big Ten was going to invite Notre Dame, Nebraska, Missouri, and Rutgers. Most of the interest and debate on the GT boards has revolved around a couple of topics…

The Potential Impact on the ACC

The general concensus seems to be that the SEC will not stand by idly while the Big Ten expands and becomes a new super conference complete with its own television network. While the SEC will always have a strangle hold on southern football, an expanded Big Ten, with its own TV outlet, would very likely eclipse the SEC on the national level…especially when you consider the available TV and print media markets involved.

So who would the SEC grab in order to get to 16 teams and compete?

Many people throw out Texas, TAMU, Clemson, and Florida State. The problem there is that its very unlikely that the Longhorns would be willing to leave the pro-rated revenue sharing of the Big 12 in order to get an even cut in the SEC while also increasing their schedule difficulty. The SEC, quite honestly, just doesn’t offer enough to a program like Texas. And without Texas, you don’t get TAMU.

That leaves Clemson and FSU…plus two more. So who else do you look at?

What about FSU, Clemson, Virginia Tech, and Georgia Tech?

FSU still has some cachet left from their run of success in the ’90s and Jimbo Fisher has SEC roots. Clemson is readily acknowledged as the most SEC-like program in the ACC and has old rivalry ties to UGA. Virginia Tech is a quality program that plays physical defense and national exposure. And Georgia Tech was a charter member of the SEC with southern roots and old rivalries that could be renewed with teams like Alabama, Auburn, and Tennessee…not to mention UGA.

This would effectively castrate the ACC from a football perspective…

The Best Result for GT

Many people on the message boards seem to think that the Jackets would be included in the list of programs the SEC would want. The problem is that its not a given. There is no guarantee that the SEC wouldn’t go after a list like FSU, Miami, WVU, and VT. That would lock down the state of Florida while adding a more northern presence with solid programs like WVU and VT. The SEC could pass on teams like Clemson and Georgia Tech with the rationale that they already have enough presence in GA and SC by way of UGA and the Gamecocks. (GT fans have to admit that Atlanta is an SEC town most days of the week, with alumns from MANY SEC schools already in place…)

This is where the really interesting wrinkle enters the equation…

There are actually eleven teams in the Big Ten and their reported list of invitees makes Notre Dame the wild card.

If ND declines conference affiliation then the Big Ten can still take Nebraska, Missouri, and Rutgers to get to 14 teams. That would allow two seven team divisions. They’d be done.

But if ND accepted the invitation then the Big Ten would be sitting at 15…which might result in the need for one more team in order to get to 16.

And…bear with me here…Georgia Tech would be a very good candidate for that 16th slot for a couple of reasons.

1) Georgia Tech just joined the American Association of Universities. The AAU is an exclusive list of research institutes and membership is by invite only. There are only 63 AAU members unless I am mistaken. All are serious academic schools with real research functions.

2) Every team in the Big Ten is an AAU member. Membership appears to be predicated by inclusion in the AAU. Rutgers, Nebraska, and Missouri are AAU members and Notre Dame has an unassailable academic reputation as well. GT would be a exceptional academic fit for the Big Ten.

3) Georgia Tech would provide an “in” to the Atlanta television market, which would be very attractive to the Big Ten television network.

4) Georgia Tech just won the ACC title and played in a BCS bowl, providing football credentials that could be sold during a bid to pull the Jackets into the Big Ten as a competitor. (The Jackets would also contribute mightily in basketball and baseball as well…)

Its All Very Interesting…

Its obvious that there are strong arguments to support Tech’s inclusion in either an expanded SEC or Big Ten.

Its great debate fodder and I’ve read some really fun message board threads the past few days as Tech fans lobby for one direction or the other.

And at the end of the day there is one central factor that everyone agrees on…

If the Big Ten and SEC expand, GT needs to be involved with one or the other. We cannot sit idly by while the ACC gets left in the dust and relegated to a basketball conference with a few football leftovers playing a diminished schedule.

I personally think the Big Ten is the best fit for Georgia Tech academically and financially but the allure of a return to our SEC roots is a huge factor as well.

Should be an interesting Summer!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Trickle Down

It has now been reported that the Big Ten will offer bids to join to Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, and Rutgers. There was plenty of talk about it last night on ESPN. How many teams does the Big Ten want? Rumor is that if Notre Dame accepts, the conference would extend yet another bid to try to get to 16. If Notre Dame rejects the bid (which I suspect would happen), the Big 10 would want to have 14.

If Rutgers leaves the Big East to join the Big Ten, the Big East will be looking to add another member to remain at 8. The Big 12 would also need to either downsize, or add new members. Do these conferences start looking at the Sunbelt and Conference USA teams for bids? Memphis, East Carolina, and Southern Miss could make sense for the Big East. Memphis would make sense for the Big East because of basketball. I’m sure the conference would consider the market size in their equation. UCF would make a lot of sense, taking them out of C-USA.

If all the dominos fall, there could be openings in the Sunbelt or C-USA. Could JSU benefit from this potential realignment? The Sunbelt could be a good fit. Troy and Ga State are great natural rivals. Throw in Middle TN State too. It would be great to end up in the same conference with them, but that would seemingly require alignment of all the planets at just the right time.

A lot of "ifs" have to be sorted out. Just dreaming right now. We’ll have to wait to see what happens with the Big Ten first.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Interview with the softball team outfielders

The softball team has really come on strong over the last month of the season. They’ve gone 14-3 since April 1st, and go into the OVC tournament as the 2nd seed. Today, we spoke with the outfielders for the softball team; Seniors Chrissy O’Neal, Mary Beth Ledbetter, Hillary Downs, and Freshman Krystal Ruth. We’ve seen and heard about their play on the field. We wanted to take a few moments and get to know them a little better.

We’ll cover the big story first…
Q: What do you do when you’re not playing softball?

Mary Beth: Chrissy got a job.

Q: Chrissy, you got a job?

Chrissy: Yes. I accepted a job offer. I’ll start as a probation officer in Americus, GA. (Congratulations to Chrissy. She was a criminal justice major and has already graduated. She’s been taking graduate classes this semester.)

Q: Besides Chrissy finding a job, what do you do when you’re not playing softball?

Hillary: Softball takes a lot of time. When we’re not playing, we eat, sleep, and rest.

Q: What kinds of music do you like?

Mary Beth: I like country. That’s about all I listen to.

Chrissy, Hillary, and Krystal: we listen to everything, all kinds of music.

Q: Do you all get to pick the song they play when you come to bat?

All: Yes, we get to pick the song.

Q: Tell me a little about your teammates. Who is the funniest person on the team?

Hillary and Chrissy: Probably Sallie (Beth Burch).

Mary Beth: I was going to say Ashley (Eliasson).

All: It would have to be Sallie or Ashley.

Q: Who is the most competitive?

All: We can’t say there is just one person. We are all extremely competitive.

Q: Which teammate is the neatest and has to have everything in it’s place?

Chrissy: I will say Amanda (Crow). (Everyone agreed)

Q: Who has the highest GPA?

Mary Beth: Not me.

Hillary: It’s probably Chrissy.

Q: For any of you, what is the most memorable moment so far this season?

Krystal: For me, it was my first homerun.

Q: Krystal you’re a freshman. Where are you from and how did you select JSU?

Krystal: I’m from Texas. Jacksonville State showed an interest in me and I came for a visit. When I got here, it just felt right.

Q: Krystal, you’ve made a successful transition from high school to college softball. What helped the most?

Krystal: As an outfielder, I’ve gotten a lot of help from my teammates. These three seniors have been the biggest help to me. They’ve made it easy for me.

Q: We know Chrissy will be beginning her career next month. Mary Beth and Hillary, what do you plan to do after your senior season?

Mary Beth: I’ll graduate next year, then hopefully get a job and get married.

Hillary: I plan to get my masters degree at JSU.

Q: Krystal, how are you doing in your classes?

Krystal: I made all A’s this semester.

Q: What’s the biggest difference in this team from the first week of the season until now?

Hillary: We’re not even the same team.

Chrissy: We’re hitting, fielding, doing things like we are supposed to now. We’re playing like Gamecocks.

Q: You had two consecutive weekends of travel and rain-outs. No softball games for two weeks. What did you expect this weekend after all of the down time?
Chrissy: Nothing different.

Hillary: We expected to play just the way we did.

Mary Beth: We expected to win.

Q: What did you do with your time when you were on the road and all of the games got rained out?

Chrissy: We played a lot of ping pong.

Hillary: We played baseball in the hotel.

Mary Beth: While playing baseball, we thought we set off an alarm in the hotel. We later found out we didn’t do it.

Chrissy: We did get to see some of the flooding off to the side of the interstate while we were in Tennessee.

Hillary: We were wondering if we were going to be able to get back to Jacksonville.

Q: For the seniors, 10 years from now, and not counting what happens for the rest of this season, what will you remember the most from your time at JSU?

All: It would definitely be winning the regionals last year.

Hillary: Also, it’s just been so much fun being on this team. I’ll always remember how much fun it was.

Q: Do you know who you play yet in the OVC tournament?

All: No, we have to see who wins the first round game.

Q: Does it matter to you who you play?

All: No. We’ll play any team. We want to win, so we want to beat every team we play, no matter who it is.

Good luck the rest of the way ladies.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Big Weekend

What a difference a good weekend can make. While the guys were sweeping EIU in a doubleheader on Saturday, the ladies were busy doing the same at University Field with a sweep of Tennessee State. With another win on Sunday, and with Morehead State running into some tough competition, the Jacksonville State Softball team goes into the tournament with the #2 seed.

After a couple weeks of travel with no games, thanks to lots of rain, the ladies came on strong this weekend with good pitching and strong hitting. We'll wait to see who they play in the tournament. We know they get a bye in the first round. They seem to be peaking at the right time. Look out OVC, we want the tournament championship this year.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Sotfball Standings

Here are the current OVC Womens' Softball Standings as tournament time draws near:

UT Martin 19-3
Morehead State 14-6
Jacksonville State 10-6
Eastern Illinois
Murray State 9-10
Tennessee Tech 9-11
Austin Peay 7-12
Eastern Kentucky 7-13
Tennessee State 6-13
Southeast Missouri State 5-15

JSU seems likely to have a #3 seed going into the tournament. UT Martin appears to be a juggernaut and will get to host the tournament, but don't count the Gamecocks out of the hunt. Last year,JSU was upset in the conference tournament, but then got an at large bid and took out Tennessee and Nebraska before falling to Bama in the playoffs.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Good Job JSU

Its much easier to keep a great coach than find a new one. Congrats to JSU for signing softball coach Jana McGinnis to a new five year deal. Here is an excerpt from an article about the signing from the Anniston Star:

“I’m very pleased and appreciative of what they’ve done,” McGinnis said.

“When I signed the contract, I felt like (JSU president) Dr. (Bill) Meehan and (athletics director) Oval (Jaynes) had really appreciated me and there was a respect there.”

McGinnis said she had never worried about a contract in the past, but recent changes in the landscape of college athletics had her thinking about security.

“I think the university was very fair,” she said. “I feel like I’ve been loyal to this university and never used it as a stepping stone.

“It was my home. I invested a lot of my life in the university, and when I sat with Dr. Meehan I sensed he felt the same way. He wanted me there.”

Monday, May 3, 2010

An Early Look At Ole Miss

A lot of Jacksonville State fans are planning to attend the season opener against Ole Miss. Here is a preview of them by Parish Alford which was part of an article on


Quarterback status: Nathan Stanley is the starter. He has scant game experience but has shown a nice touch with deep balls. His decision-making improved, and he won the job on his own merit, not based solely on the fact that his chief competitor, redshirt freshman Raymond Cotton, missed a handful of practices with shoulder soreness and may need surgery.

Injuries: Cotton has a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder, but the tear is in the back of the labrum, not the front. That makes the pain tolerable. Surgery is likely, but it's not clear at this point whether that will be in the summer or after the season.

Spring strengths: Defensive line. Rebels are two deep with four senior tackles. Kentrell Lockett is a senior playmaker at one defensive end. Junior college transfer Wayne Dorsey is capable at the other end, but like all newcomers, he'll have a period of acclimation.

Spring weaknesses: Offensive line. Left tackle Bradley Sowell developed into a pretty good pass blocker as the season went on last year. Right tackle Bobby Massie started only four games. Three new starters from guard to guard, and depth is thin. Key is guard Rishaw Johnson. He has a physical streak that the tackles haven't shown. Johnson was expected to be a starter last year but struggled with off-field problems, and was eventually suspended.

Player who will make a splash: Receiver Jesse Grandy. Returned a couple of kicks for touchdowns last year but was used sparingly in the passing game. Very fast and showed dependable hands in the spring. He'll make catches downfield, but there was great emphasis in the spring in getting the ball in his hands quickly with short passing.

Player who will be missed most: Dexter McCluster. Perhaps the top athlete among football players in the SEC last season. Rushed for 1,000 yards in roughly five games. First player in SEC history to rush for more than 1,000 yards and have more than 500 receiving yards in the same season. Replacing him will be done by committee. The top three backs - Brandon Bolden, Enrique Davis and Rodney Scott.

-- Parrish Alford