Coach Dan Mullen of Mississippi State...
On SEC Kickoff:
"Good to see y'all. I know this means college football is officially kicking off. We're happy to get going. We're excited for a great year this year. We have thing going in the right direction with our program. It's great for us right now as a University. Both the University administration and the athletic administration are headed in the right direction."
On measuring success in the SEC West:
"Our comparison, to me, is the West. That's what we live off of. If you win the West, there's a good chance you're going to be a national champion or playing for a national championship. You're comparing your program that way; that's who we're held to comparison against. That's how we judge ourselves and what our success is...how we continue to climb the ladder within the SEC West."
"I think it's great. They're two quality teams. I think what makes this league so special is that week in and week out, you're playing against a quality level team."
On the strengths of the MSU football team:
"When you look defensively, the strength has to be the secondary and the linebackers, although I do feel good about our defensive line; they're just young players that need experience first. We don't have a huge senior class, but we have a great deal of experience and some good leaders in that senior class. That's what can be our strength. As these young players develop, they're looking at these experienced guys as leaders.
On tangible ways the MSU program has gained ground:
"The mentality - of our players, our fan base, our student body, our administration. We walk on that field and we expect to win regardless of who we're playing in the league; and if we don't, we're at least in a position to win that game. I think that mentality is the biggest difference that I've seen. We've been able to instill in our players and our student body the expectation that we're going to win."
On scheduling conflicts in the SEC:
"I like playing all of the different teams in the SEC. I liked playing Georgia last year, even though we lost; that was the only stadium I'd never coached in as a coach in the SEC. The schedule in the SEC is a difficult thing because you don't know which team it's going to be [leading from year to year]. There's no perfect way to schedule 14 teams. There will always be discussion about who you didn't play."
On competing in the SEC:
"YOu have to play for 60 minutes...and sometimes beyond. It's not just one Saturday, but every single week. The margin for error in this league is so small. There can be one play in a game that swings the outcome of the game. Unfortunately, of ore than 70 or so plays that happens throughout the course of the game, you don't know which one it's going to be."