#ABC Mailbag 1-29: O-line, pitching rotation, football hire, southern rock and more

Each week on The B&B Show (a radio show I co-host on Bulldog Sports Radio; you can listen to today’s episode here) we have a segment we call ABC, which you’ve seen me mention if you follow on Twitter.

It stands for Ask Bob Carskadon and is, basically, a radio mailbag of some serious and many non-serious questions sometimes but not always relating to Mississippi State sports.

Brandon WoodruffEvery Tuesday, we ask for questions on Twitter (tweet them to @bobcarskadon) and now, every Wednesday, I’ll pick some good ones to answer here on the HailState Beat. (PSA on those tweets: if a twitter profile is locked, people who don’t follow it can’t see its tweets, even if they are mentioned in the tweet.)

Keep in mind, as always, opinions and views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of MSU, though sometimes they very well may.

Dionne Williams @dwill225: Lotsa talk about defense in ’14. What is the state of the offensive line?

Bob: Obviously, All-American left guard Gabe Jackson is out, but MSU returns four offensive linemen who started in 2013. Blaine Clausell at left tackle and Dillon Day at center are givens, while Justin Malone (back from injury), Ben Beckwith (2013 starting right guard) and rising sophomore Jamaal Clayborn will battle it out for the two guard spots, meaning MSU will have two good starters and one very good backup no matter the outcome.

The only question is who starts at right tackle in the place of graduated Charles Siddoway. Damien Robinson and Justin Senior were the backup tackles in ’13, and JUCO signee Jocquell Johnson is on campus and figures to be in that battle. The depth on the line should be as good as it’s been since Dan Mullen got to Starkville.

Brandon Vanderford @bvanderford129: Who has more depth: Butch Thompson or David Turner?

Bob: Heckuva question. I’d lean to Thompson and his pitching staff, which has All-Americans plural and a couple potential high-round MLB Draft picks. That said, Turner’s depth on the defensive line is as good as any in the country, with a good five guys each at both end and tackle they feel comfortable starting, if need be.

To your point, those may be the deepest position groups of any sport on campus.

Brandon Vanderford @bvanderford129: Rank the best ‘60s/’70s rock bands: Zeppelin, The Stones, The Who, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Cream.

LedZeppelin1973_GruenBob: For my listening pleasure (among those listed), I go 1. The Who 2. Led Zeppelin 3. Pink Floyd 4. Rolling Stones 5. The Beatles 6. Cream.

But to compare any of those bands to each other is unfair, as is each is fairly unique to the rest. But I do love The Who.

Cooter Davenport @HazzardCoGarage: Rank these Mississippi songs: Bob Dylan-Mississippi, Mountain-Mississippi Queen, Ray Stevens-Mississippi Squirrel Revival.

Bob: I’m enjoying these rankings. In this list, I’ll go 1. Mississippi Queen 2. Mississippi 3. Mississippi Squirrel Revival.

Though, if we’re talking songs that sing about our fine state (even if it doesn’t show up in the name), I’d take Black Water by the Doobie Brothers over anything.

Cliff Thames @cliffthames: What’s your projected starting lineup and rotation in baseball?

Bob: You don’t ask much, do you? I’ll start by saying I expect the heaviest competition at catcher, shortstop, corner outfielders and in the 2-5 pitching slots. That said, my best guess at a starting lineup is as follows:

Wes Rea at first, Brett Pirtle at second, Matthew Britton at shortstop, Alex Detz at third, Daniel Garner at catcher and Derrick Armstrong, CT Bradford and Demarcus Henderson in the outfield. In that scenario, I’d peg Reid Humphreys as the designated hitter.

On the mound, I think the starters will go something like Brandon Woodruff as the No. 1, Trevor Fitts and Ben Bracewell up next in either order, followed by Dakota Hudson, Austin Sexton and perhaps John Marc Shelly. Once healthy, Paul Young becomes part of that conversation.

Matt Saracen @MattSaracen: How would you compare Fletcher Cox and Chris Jones at similar points of their DL career?

Bob: I like this question, Matt. I’d say, right now, Jones is ahead of where Cox was at the end of his freshman year. Playing both inside and out his first year, Cox had 29 tackles, 3.5 for loss, one sack, two quarterback hurries and a blocked kick. Jones racked up 32 tackles, seven for loss, three sacks, three pass break-ups and 10 quarterback hurries in his freshman year.

As you may recall, Cox actually arrived on campus a [relatively] skinny dude, for his position. Jones got to Starkville at a muscly and athletic 300 pounds. Freshman edge goes to Jones. It’ll be fun to see how their careers compare.

Greg Preuss @gpreuss87: If you had an endless supply of money, what is something you still wouldn’t buy?

Bob: Pickles.

Freakhog @freakhog: How much time a day do you spend on the internet?

Bob: All of it. All the time. Except when sleeping.

Whit Macknally @Whitmack: Peanut butter and banana sandwich?

elvisBob: Yes, please! Heaven on bread. Add a little honey to take yourself to Elvis’ sandwich paradise.

Sam Krusee @sam_krusee: Heard anything about the coaching search?

Bob: Not a ton. Mullen is taking time and finding the right guy to fit the staff. Because he has the flexibility to hire an offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach or special teams coach, he can interview a lot of candidates and find who he believes to be the best person/coach/recruiter regardless of position.

@msubulldawgman: Bob will you have a date for the baseball game February 14th?

Bob: Unlikely, unless the Diamond Girls let me sit down by the dugout with them. Can you believe ladies don’t find a baseball press box to be a good spot for a Valentine’s date? I’ve tried to explain that baseball is “The Romantic Game,” but to no avail. Better luck next year, I suppose.

jckdawg @jckdawg: Who are you favorite and least favorite Hogwarts professors?

Bob: My very clear favorites are Dumbledore, Lupin, McGonagall and Hagrid. Easily my least favorite are Snape (despite his redeeming character arc), Umbridge and Lockhart.

Art Smith @Arthur2478: I haven’t seen Trent Simpson’s name mentioned in any baseball notes. Is the plan for him to play both sports?

Bob: I haven’t seen the freshman defensive lineman at baseball scrimmages. He was a two-sport standout in high school, but to my knowledge, Simpson will remain solely with football, at least for now.

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