#WeBelieve seems like so long ago.
#11 Mississippi State walked into Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 27, 2012 as an undefeated team. At 7-0 the sky was the limit, and while beating #1 Alabama on their turf was a long shot, it still held the possibilities that would turn that season into a magical one for the Bulldogs. But we all know what happened. Those dreams were dashed rather quickly as the 38-7 beat-down ensued. Since then it’s been a rocky road for Mississippi State to say the least.
The Alabama game turned the tide (bad pun) for MSU. Rumors have it there was some team dissension after being humbled by Bama. #16 Texas A&M came to Starkville and delivered a similar beating on the Dawgs, 38-13. The following week State regrouped somewhat in Baton Rouge but it wasn’t enough and lost to #9 LSU, 37-17.
All wasn’t lost, of course, at 7-3. We still had a bad Arkansas team at home and then the rebuilding Rebels which Dan Mullen had never lost to. Couple those two with a bowl win and the prospects of a 10-win season were there. But after taking care of business against the Hogs, MSU ran into a buzz saw they weren’t ready for in Oxford, and they were upset literally and figuratively.
An 8-4 year was still solid despite the blow out losses and the end of the Egg Bowl winning streak. Then State played horribly in the Gator Bowl, allowing #21 Northwestern to win their first bowl game since 1947. The year finished at 8-5 with all five losses in the final six games. Alabama had sent MSU into a tailspin.
Enter the new life of 2013. To start things off was Oklahoma State, and with that game all the optimism and promise of the offseason vanished as State looked horrible once again in a 21-3 defeat. An easy win vs. Alcorn State did little to cure things, and a QB controversy erupted. Dak Prescott nearly lead State to a win at Auburn, but unlike the team who was undefeated in the first half of 2012, MSU snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and the drumbeat continued.
A Mississippi State team we hadn’t seen in a while showed up against Troy in Week 4, knocking them off in dominating fashion, 62-7. But after a bye week little seemed to change from before that when the Bulldogs collapsed in the 4th quarter vs. LSU. Then back-to-back mediocre performances, albeit wins, against Bowling Green and Kentucky. Finally a couple of losses – South Carolina and Texas A&M. Both on the road, both stamped with huge mistakes costing MSU dearly.
Since that game last year in Tuscaloosa, Mississippi State is 5-10. In the SEC, we are just 2-8 with wins over UK and Arkansas. From 7-0, ranked #11 in the BCS and gaining steam in the SEC West to a fanbase growing more and more apathetic by the day. It’s been a bumpy road over the last year plus. Alabama sent us down a road we didn’t want to go down, but this year they can also set us right back up to where we were before…it can change that quick. Here’s to hoping it does.