SEC West Prediction #1: Mississippi State


Dec 31, 2014; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs wide receiver Joe Morrow (16) and wide receiver Fred Ross (8) and offensive lineman Justin Senior (58) and wide receiver De

The Junior College Players have signed and enrolled. The 2015 signing class have all inked their Letters of Intent. Most teams have started or are about to start Spring Practice. Once the 2015 signing class sets foot on campus, we will know what each team will bring to the table for the 2015 season. That means it’s time for me to make my Spring Practice Predictions for the 2015 season.

2015 SEC East Prediction #7: Kentucky
2015 SEC East Prediction #6: Vanderbilt
2015 SEC East Prediction #5: South Carolina
2015 SEC East Prediction #4: Florida
2015 SEC East Prediction #3: Tennessee
2015 SEC East Prediction #2: Georgia
2015 SEC East Prediction #1: Missouri
2015 SEC West Prediction #7: Texas A&M
2015 SEC West Prediction #6: Ole Miss
2015 SEC West Prediction #5: Arkansas
2015 SEC West Prediction #4: LSU
2015 SEC West Prediction #3: Alabama
2015 SEC West Prediction #2: Auburn

I know people will label me a homer because I am calling for Mississippi State to win the West. I will explain why I feel this way in a moment. Here is my game by game prediction for the Bulldogs season.

OpponentHome or AwayPredicted OutcomeWinsLossesSEC WinsSEC Losses
Southern MissAwayWin1
LSUHome Win21
Northwestern StateHome Win3
Texas A&M AwayWin53
TroyHome Win6
Louisiana TechHomeWin7
KentuckyHome Win84
MissouriHome Win95
Ole MissHome Win117
11-1 Overall; 7-1 SEC

The schedule sets up favorably for the Bulldogs ot make a run. Their most difficult games will be at home. LSU, Alabama, and Ole Miss are all in Starkville. I wrote earlier that Mississippi State has not been able to do much in odd numbered years since Mullen arrived. A big part of that is because the Bulldogs have always had two teams they simply couldn’t beat, Bama and LSU, at home. They can win those games this year. The window is there.

The pivotal game will come early like it did this year. That would be the LSU game. Mississippi State finally broke through against the Tigers last season in Baton Rouge, and they will need to prove it wasn’t a fluke. If they do so, watch the Bulldogs go on a run like they did last year.

Most people are going to pick the Bulldogs to finish 6th or 7th in the SEC West. The one constant everyone is pointing to is the number of starters Mississippi State is losing. I counter that argument with most of those starters they lost were on the defensive side of the ball. I honestly don’t see the defense being any worse than they were last year, despite losing the starters. And the offense has the potential to be better than it was in 2014.

The obvious reason for this is Dak Prescott. He finished 8th in the Heisman voting last season and should only improve. Many are suggesting that the Bulldogs will struggle because they are losing three starters on the offensive line. If the Bulldogs hadn’t signed Martinas Rankin, I’d be worried about it too. Losing Josh Robinson hurt, but there are whispers that he left early because his touches were going to go down in 2015. Ashton Shumpert showed flashes of brilliance in the Egg Bowl and Orange Bowl, and arguably the most talented back on the team, Aeris Williams, will no longer be redshirted.

I’m sure my maroon tinted glasses are playing a role in this prediction, but there is a case to be made and it starts with Prescott. in his first full year as a starter, Prescott elevated the play of all the players around him. He will do it again in 2015, except with an extra year of experience under his belt. There is a window of opportunity for the Bulldogs to win the West, and they need to take advantage of it.