Nov 28, 2013; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs helmet during the game against the Mississippi Rebels at Davis Wade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports
One of my favorite things about sports is the way so many of the things we see on the field and court can often be debated. The college games are often up for more debate because there are so many schools and teams. So each week, I plan to debate the opposing sides of part of Mississippi State Athletics.
It’s the first of a new series I will be publishing each week called Great Debate. I want to examine the differing viewpoints around some of the things involving Mississippi State. Today I will tackle whether or not the 2014 season was the best ever for Mississippi State football.
Pros: I know what you’re thinking, how can it not be the best ever season for our football team? No other team has ever been ranked number 1 or won 10 games in a regular season. So let’s examine all the things many would consider the pros to this argument.
- First ever regular season with 10 wins
- First time ever ranked number 1 in the polls
- Dak Prescott was a legitimate Heisman Contender for most of the season
- Won three straight games over top 10 teams at the time we played them.
Cons: So what are the cons? Well, there are a couple of things one could argue against this. Here they are.
- Still did not match the 1941 team for an SEC Championship
- Still did not match the 1998 team for a division Championship
- Lost the Egg Bowl
My take: Judging the best season ever is very much like judging a beauty contest. What do you value more? Do you value team awards over national recognition? Do you value poll rankings over on the field accolades? It’s a tough call.
The best argument to be made against the 2014 season being Mississippi State’s best ever is that this team didn’t win any type of championship. And to some State fans, how can a year that is supposed to be considered our greatest ever not include a win over our most hated rival Ole Miss? That’s where the arguments against this season being our best ever hold their strength.
My stance is this is the best season ever for our football team. The 1941 team won the SEC Championship only played 5 SEC games and went 4-0-1. The 1998 team finished the season 8-5 and ended the year unranked after the season was over. The Bulldogs took full advantage of some teams not being at levels that they were accustomed to. The era in which the Bulldogs play now is simply unprecedented for our school. The SEC West is so much better than anything else in all of college football, that it gives the SEC the title of best conference while dragging the SEC East along. To go 6-2 in a stacked division is far more than what any other team has been able to accomplish wearing the Maroon and White. Evidence of that is our 5 week stay at the top of the AP, Coaches, and new College Football Playoff Poll. If the Bulldogs win the Orange Bowl against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, then there is a chance they could be ranked in the top 5. A loss might only knock them down to 10., which would be the highest ever the Bulldogs have finished in any final season poll.
The Egg Bowl argument will be one that sticks with some fans of Mississippi State. The fact that so many are calling this our best season ever shows that we are trending away from only having one game that matters. It means we are growing as a program. The reason the Egg Bowl has meant so much to Mississippi State fans in the past is it was all the Bulldogs had left to play for when the season was ending. If Mississippi State is able to continue to produce seasons like this one consistently, then one of the byproducts of such success would be the Egg Bowl’s decline in the definition of our season. While you may not like it now, it ultimately would be a good thing.
Agree or disagree? Put your thoughts and opinions in the comments section. This is a debate after all, and we can’t debate something without opinions.