At the high school level, north Mississippi boasts teams like West Point, Noxubee County, Starkville and Oxford.
At the junior college level, this area of the state has East Mississippi Community College, which is ranked in the top five in the nation.
Go to the next level and Ole Miss and Mississippi State are the premier college programs in Mississippi in 2012.
No matter what level is looked at, north Mississippi is dominating on the football field this season. Mississippi is known for its athletes because players like former MSU defensive end Fletcher Cox are playing at the professional level today. No other region in the state can brag about the overall performance of its radius like this region.
On Friday night, fans got to see highly ranked Oxford come into West Point with a 9-0 record on the season. The Green Wave wanted to prove they were the best the northern portion of 5A ball has to offer, and they did a pretty good job of that beating Oxford 35-21.
Noxubee County, which beat West Point 6-0 earlier in the season is still unbeaten, and South Panola, which accounted for the Green Wave’s only other loss is in the top of the state’s rankings as well.
After Starkville lost to West Point in the early portion of the season, the Yellowjackets stepped it up, and that team is in the hunt for the state title as well.
West Point currently stands at 8-2 with one regular season game to go this Friday at New Hope.
To give an idea of how good the community college level is, No. 3 EMCC went into Itawamba for the Indians’ homecoming and were edged out by the home team 24-23 on a last minute field goal.
EMCC is currently 8-1, and ICC finished the season at 6-3.
Also on Saturday, Mississippi State, ranked No. 13 at the time in the AP Coach’s Poll, went up against No. 1 Alabama. State is 7-1 now after their 38-7 loss to the Crimson Tide, but there’s nothing to be ashamed about going into week nine with only one loss and three victories in the SEC.
Ole Miss has been the surprise team of the year for the entire state of Mississippi. The Rebels have rebounded from a disastrous 2-10 2011 season to start with a 5-3 record and two wins in the conference.
On Saturday, the Rebels edged out Arkansas 30-27 for their second SEC win in 2012. They are one game away from bowl eligibility, a place no one expected new coach Hugh Freeze to be at in 2012.
Jackson State has a 4-4 record coming into this week. Southern Miss has yet to win a game in eight tries, and Delta State University has just three wins in 2012.
DSU is coming off a strong Division II playoff run in back-to-back years, and USM won the Conference USA title in 2011. Both of those schools lost their head coaches to other jobs after the 2011 season.
There are many other factors that play into good seasons and bad seasons, but there’s no doubt that in 2012, football belongs to the northern half of the state. This region should be proud of all of these programs.