Is Mississippi State Close to Equaling the 2014 Season?


Oct 17, 2015; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs wide receiver Fred Brown (5) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown during the second half against Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at Davis Wade Stadium. Mississippi State Bulldogs won 45-20. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports

Recently, our former writer and now current writer for Jake Wimberly, recorded an episode of his show on Bulldogs Sports Radio about fan expectations entering the season. Here is the show if you want to listen.

Jake brings up a few good points. If you aren’t going to take the time to listen, his main point is many Mississippi State fans are really down on this year’s version of the Bulldogs. And much of why so many are down on Mississippi State as fans has to do with the 10 win season from 2014.

The overarching point needs to be hit home here. You can be optimistic and disappointed when the team doesn’t meet any lofty expectation you might have. But to lash out at the team and coaches and ask for people to be fired is nonsense. It’s especially nonsense when the 2015 team might come closer to equaling the 2014 squad than once thought possible.

Despite how great or how poor you might think this team has played so far, the reality of the situation is Mississippi State is going to be the favorite in the next two games they play. They have already been announced as a double digit favorite against Kentucky, and they will likely be the favorite as well against Missouri. They will probably be double digit underdogs to Alabama, and it still too early to tell who the favorite will be against Arkansas or Ole Miss. But as of right now, it isn’t too far fetched to think the Bulldogs won’t be favored in both of those games.

Of the five remaining games, the only one no one would pick Mississippi State to win is the Alabama game. Most will pick the Bulldogs against Kentucky and Missouri, and as of right now, the split would probably be 50/50 on the two games against Arkansas and Ole Miss.

If the Bulldogs managed to go 4-1 in the last five games of the season, Mississippi State would finish the season at 9-3 on the year and 5-3 in the SEC. That’s only one win off of the 2014 season for both the overall record and the team’s record in SEC play. Plus, if they were to finish the season with a 9-3 record in the regular season, a win in a bowl game would equal the team’s mark in wins overall from 2014.

And no one is assuming Mississippi State is going to go 4-1 in the last five games. Nothing is given even when you play teams you are the prohibitive favorite in. Kentucky always plays the Bulldogs close, and the Missouri Tigers have the experience of making it to the last two SEC Championship Games on their side. Mississippi State has historically played terrible football in the state of Arkansas, and the Egg Bowl is almost always contentious, despite the recent string of success for the home team in the series. But those games are winnable.

Next: SEC Power Rankings: Week 8

Before you fly off the handle about this team, try to remember what most people thought of them. Mississippi State was picked to finish last in the SEC West this season. 7 wins appears to be likely, 8 is a strong possibility, and 9 isn’t out of the question. Pretty darn good for a last place team if you ask me.