So, State Beat Auburn….What's the Next Step


Finally, the Dawgs have exercised some demons and beaten Auburn. That win was needed in so many ways. And the way MSU did it was impressive. Yes, Auburn was mediocre at best last Saturday…but it was still great to pound them – as a good team would.

After the game, Dan Mullen was asked if it was nice to get the SEC West monkey off his back. He said there is now an even bigger monkey: making it to Atlanta. Whoa…hold on there, buddy.

It’s great to start the SEC season off 1-0. And I’m really happy that we’re not heading to Baton Rouge this week like we usually are. But there are several items on the docket to cross off before we can start thinking about Atlanta.

  1. Going undefeated in September. This hasn’t happened since 1999.
  2. Beating Tennessee – MSU hasn’t beaten the Vols since 1994, that’s  six straight losses, by an average margin of 24.5 points.
  3. Beat another SEC West team. Texas A&M and Arkansas (lost 12 of 13 to Hogs) come to Davis Wade this year. After Week 2 action, both look beatable.
  4. Beat Mississippi again. Folks in Oxford are on cloud nine after a 2-0 start. They will have likely come back to earth by Thanksgiving, but they are playing hard and the Egg Bowl will be another big game this year.
  5. Beat LSU and/or Alabama. State has a lot to prove before we can compete with them.

I think the biggest thing MSU fans want out of 2012 is continued success and taking the next step towards becoming a consistent winner in the SEC, and hopefully contending for the West in the near future. Beating Auburn is one of the biggest check-marks the Bulldogs can make to ensure this season is a success. Now that is done, so we can move on to more lofty goals.

The opportunity for 7-0 is there, but it will all start with Troy this weekend. A classic trap game – going on the road after a big win. Hopefully the Dawgs can handle business there, vs. USA and at Kentucky before another big, but winnable, matchup with Tennessee.

The opportunity to grab 3rd place in the West is there. With Arkansas falling to Louisiana Monroe, the common sentiment is they could lose their mental edge and fall by the wayside. The uncertain health of Tyler Wilson leaves them with little chance against Alabama this weekend. They could be subject to further losses including at Mississippi State.

There’s no doubt – MSU has a chance to make some waves this year. They have an opportunity to establish themselves in the powerful, well-respected SEC West. Beating Auburn, A&M, Arkansas and Ole Miss would establish an unquestionable 3rd place finish (assuming losses to LSU and Bama). If State could do this, they’d likely end up in the Cotton Bowl, with a chance to show the country Mississippi State is for real.

Yes, we’re only through Week 2. But instead of wondering where the season will go from here, at least we know the Bulldogs have passed one test and there is hope for a great season.