Dec 31, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs quarterback Dak Prescott (15) throws a pass against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during the first quarter in the 2014 Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
The 2014 football season is over, and since this is the SEC, all we want to talk about is how next year’s football team is going to do. The most important, lingering question for this team is whether or not Dak Prescott will return to the team. Most seem to believe that Prescott will return and refine his passing game. Doing so would elevate his draft stock and possibly make him the centerpiece of an NFL franchise for the 2016 season. But just because that’s what we believe, it doesn’t mean it’s what will happen. Josh Robinson surprised us all and declared for the draft. So how different will it be if he goes and if he stays. Here is my earliest take on how the season would look with and without Dak.
|Likelihood to win with Dak
|Likelihood to win without Dak
|at Southern Miss
|Not as Easily, but still easily
|at Texas A&M
|Less than Ideal
|Not a chance
If Dak Prescott comes back for 2015, then the Bulldogs will have a fighting chance to win every game they play next season. I don’t think they win every game, but a repeat of 2014 wouldn’t be surprising. 9 to 10 wins would not be an unreasonable expectation.
Mississippi State Bulldogs
The flip side of this equation is a lot scarier. The Bulldogs would be turning to a junior in Damian Williams who hasn’t proven that he can be any type of weapon offensively in his limited playing time. Most fans and analysts believe that it would be a matter of time before Mullen turned to one of the two redshirt freshmen, Nick Fitzgerald and Elijah Staley. The amount of turmoil and inconsistency that the quarterback position would experience would derail the season. The freshmen need some game experience before they get thrown into the fire. They won’t have that opportunity if Dak decides to jump to the NFL. Without Dak, the Bulldogs should still win all of their nonconference games, but getting more than two or three games in SEC play would be a challenge.
Dak Prescott needs to do what is best for him and his family. We all know the pain and suffering the Prescott family has gone through, so that should be the only thing he focuses on. What is best for him remains to be seen and we will all know soon enough. Underclassmen entering the draft must file their paperwork by January 15th, and if they change their mind, they must withdraw their name by January 18th. So we basically have two more weeks that this could last. In that time, there is going to be a lot of anxious moments for fans of the Bulldogs.