MWN Mailbag: Show Me State Edition


Oct 25, 2014; Lexington, KY, USA Mississippi State Bulldogs cheerleader before the game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Commonwealth Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

You’re in for a treat this week. The MWN Mailbag publishes on Gameday! And you guys sent in questions that ran the gamut from uniforms to basketball to a heart on Twitter now. So let’s not waste any time and jump right in!

To the questions!

To answer the question, we can wear them any time we want. I don’t anticipate us wearing them again though until some time next season. People are funny about uniforms, and whether they look good or not isn’t important.

Oct 24, 2015; Starkville, MS, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs quarterback Dak Prescott (15) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the fourth quarter of the game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Davis Wade Stadium. Mississippi State won 42-16 Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

These uniforms looked nice in my opinion, but like I said earlier, that is irrelevant. People get bent out of shape because our school colors are maroon and white, and therefore we should only wear maroon and white. So why do we wear other uniforms?

Because the recruits like it.

And the standard response to this is a better recruiting tool than 8,000 uniform combinations is winning. And I agree. But unless we start winning SEC and National Championships, we need to use anything we can to help get kids on campus.

And don’t tell me you don’t want a kid to come to Mississippi State if he makes his decision based on a uniform. If he can run a 4.3 40 and is 6’5″ and a physical beast, you won’t care why he chooses Mississippi State. So enough of that.

I purposely waited until after Tuesday’s College Football Playoff Poll was released to answer this question. I needed to see how the Committee evaluated each team before I tried to determine it. So here is what I see happening.

I think Mississippi State can beat Alabama. Dak Prescott has the tools necessary to burn their secondary and put enough points on the board to win that game. But the odds aren’t in Mississippi State’s favor, so I will go with the greater likelihood of Alabama winning out.

If that happens, LSU would have to win their last three games of the season to have any chance and hope for a three way tie that goes in their favor. I think they lose to Ole Miss, though it wouldn’t surprise me if they forced Kelly into some bad decisions.

So that means the Egg Bowl becomes really important. I don’t anticipate Mississippi State losing to Missouri or Arkansas, so the Bulldogs enter the Egg Bowl at 8-3. Ole Miss will come into it at 9-2, and a chance to go to Atlanta. And until I see a decent to good home team lose the Egg Bowl, I’m not going to believe it is possible. State wins and spoils the chance for Ole Miss to make their first appearance in the SEC Championship Game.

Alabama will beat Florida handily and be the number 1 seed in the Playoff again. Florida will head to the Sugar Bowl. And LSU will go to one of the other New Year’s 6 bowls. And by virtue of the Bulldogs win over Ole Miss, Mississippi State will go to the Citrus and Ole Miss to either the Outback or Music City.

Now watch almost none of that happen.

Not necessarily. But any two loss team from the SEC or any conference is going to need help. Would Alabama have the best chance of a two loss team? Probably, but others could make it. Alabama benefits so much from the eye test, and from the simple fact people believe Alabama is the best football team in the country, even if they don’t play like it every game.

More from Maroon and White Nation

In the SEC, LSU would struggle to make it to the Playoff with two losses because they would be faltering down the stretch. That would most likely mean a loss to Alabama and Ole Miss, and if they did, they would be sent to the back of the top 10 if not outside it. It would also mean someone besides LSU winning the West, so they definitely can’t have two losses.

For Mississippi State to do it, they need Alabama to suffer only one more loss and that loss to come to the Bulldogs. The same would be true of Ole Miss. If it played out that way, State would go to Atlanta and play hopefully a one loss Florida team. It would be a compelling argument especially if there was only one or no unbeaten teams. But some of the one loss teams would need to get to two losses, and the unbeaten teams would need a loss or two as well.

Florida won’t. Florida isn’t passing the eye test. They have a similar resume to Alabama and were slotted 10th in the rankings.

I’ve said ever since Ole Miss beat Texas A&M that the Rebels are the most fascinating case in college football. People keep saying the dooms day scenario for the SEC is Ole Miss winning out. That’s really only true if Ole Miss, Alabama, and Memphis all three win out.  And it could happen, even though I think it likely won’t.

If all three win out, what does the Committee do with those three teams? They have Alabama as one of the best teams in the country, and I think they will move Alabama to number 1 if they beat LSU this weekend. But the #1 ranked team by the Committee would not have won their division. So do they drop them out and put Ole Miss in if Ole Miss ran the table and won the SEC Championship? Or would they keep both teams in? I honestly don’t know?

The problem with putting either team in at that point is Memphis would hold the trump card over both of them, Memphis beat Ole Miss. And it wasn’t a flukey win. Memphis outplayed Ole Miss from the moment Ole Miss took that 14-0 lead. From that point on, Justin Fuente put on a clinic. And while Memphis winning out enhances the resume of Ole Miss, it also might keep the Rebels from getting in the playoff if Ole Miss won the rest of their games. I don’t know how the Committee will process all of that.

I don’t want to give an exact number, at least not yet. We’re still so focused on football right now, I haven’t had a chance to really sit down and look at the other teams.

But with a basic knowledge of what every team is bringing in and what every team is bringing back, I’ll say the minimum the Bulldogs should win is 18 and at most 23. In the conference, Mississippi State should win at least 9 games, and probably no more than 12.

I’ve looked at quite a few previews, and it has become apparent no one is really sure what Mississippi State is capable of this year. Some see a team that had a number of close losses last season. And that team is getting two top 100 freshmen and a substantial upgrade in the coaching department, so an NCAA tournament appearance is well with in reach.

Others see a roster with little to no talent among its seniors. And while the addition of Malik Newman along with new coach Ben Howland will help, it won’t be enough to help get this team out of the bottom half of the SEC.

I’m excited to see how the season unfolds. The Bulldogs will be better in 2015-16, and I am ready to see how much better they will be.

It’s an interesting title, I will say that. Here is the piece to which the title is referring to. Before I comment on the title or the piece itself, let me make my opinion of Chad Kelly very clear.

Chad Kelly is a gifted passer. He has a strong arm, and with him commanding the offense, the Rebels are far more capable of winning games than they were with Bo Wallace in command. But Chad Kelly has a little Jay Cutler in him. For all of the spectacular throws he is capable of making, he’s going to leave you scratching your head at times trying to figure out what he was thinking. And it can absolutely cost Ole Miss some games down the stretch.

The piece itself does make a good point about Chad Kelly if you didn’t read it. Some of his interceptions, mainly four or five of them, have been the result of tipped passes or balls that bounced off the receiver’s hands. That’s not a bogus point. And Mr. Gray even points out most quarterbacks are the recipient of such things. But there is one problem to this view. For every bad break Kelly has suffered, he’s had moments where he should have been picked off and wasn’t. My point is these things tend to even out in the long run. Remember this?

Look, I was so hoping the whole insufferable Dak vs. Bo debate we endured last season wouldn’t carry over into Dak vs. Chad this season, but it has. It took a while to really get going full swing, but I can’t get on Twitter without seeing a Mississippi State fan and an Ole Miss fan arguing over which one is better. Just be happy with the quarterback you have and not worry about the other guy.

I hate that stupid heart. The stars for favoriting were fine. Now they have a stupid heart for liking tweets. I am not a fan.

This one is easy. The Women’s team was picked to finish third in the conference. The Men’s team was picked to finish 8th. While most people think the Bulldogs men’s team will be much better, you won’t find many picking them to do better than an NIT bid. There are some who think Mississippi State is capable of doing more, but they are few and far between.

Because I’m a Mississippi State fan. Hail State.