Mississippi State Football Has A Path To 9 Or More Wins in 2018


Certain Media Members Don’t Think Mississippi State Football Will Have Much Success In 2018, They’re Probably Wrong

Mississippi State football is poised for success in 2018. There are former Mississippi State beat writers that will try to convince that this simply isn’t true. Brandon Marcello, formerly covering Mississippi State athletics for the Clarion-Ledger, believes that the Bulldogs won’t win more than 8 games this season.

From the best that I could tell, Marcello never gave a reason for believing that the Bulldogs won’t win more than 8 games. The most he actually seemed to dive into the subject was by saying that Dan Mullen was a better coach than Joe Moorhead.

Which, that might be true. It might also not be. It’s pretty early to start venturing into that subject. I mean, Joe Moorhead hasn’t even coached a game in Starkville yet.

But, for some reason, Brandon Marcello doesn’t believe that the Bulldogs will win much in 2018. It should be noted that ESPN’s FPI is projecting Mississippi State football to win 8.4 games this fall. On top of that, it favors MSU in 10 of the Bulldogs’ 12 scheduled games.

But games aren’t won on paper.

And media, or fan, projections are ultimately meaningless in how the games will actually pan out. It really doesn’t matter how much those media members attempt to point out the bias in others and don’t acknowledge any of their own, it ultimately doesn’t matter much of what anyone says. Nobody can really dictate how a team will do outside of that team itself.

And, well, their opponents.

But, it’s extremely feasible for Mississippi State football to get to, well, more than 8 wins this upcoming season. Let’s start jumping into that.

How Does Mississippi State Football Get To More Than 8 Wins In 2018?

First, let’s look at the Bulldogs’ schedule. We’re going to look at ESPN’s FPI projections again and simply walk through that.

Games 75 percent and above in MSU’s favor we’ll count as certain wins. That means Mississippi State is beating Stephen F. Austin, Louisiana-Lafayette, Kentucky, Louisiana Tech, and the Arkansas Razorbacks. That’s 5 wins right there for MSU. And I don’t think anyone, outside of stubborn fans, would disagree with projecting those wins for Mississippi State.

Games that are below 50 percent in Mississippi State’s favor, we’re going to automatically count those as losses. And, right now, that’s fine with me. Let’s project that Mississippi State loses to Auburn and Alabama. That seems fair right now.

So, currently, we’ve got MSU at a 5-2 record.

The remaining games are as follows:

  • The Bulldogs going to Kansas State
  • Mississippi State hosting Florida
  • MSU traveling to LSU
  • The Bulldogs hosting Texas A&M
  • The Egg Bowl at Ole Miss

I, personally, feel confident enough in Mississippi State to predict that the Bulldogs go 4-1 in those games.

Right now, ESPN’s FPI has Kansas State winning 6.1 games. They were up and down in 2017, largely due to injuries, but they don’t appear to be the most impressive team ever. An early season road game could be difficult, but it’s not the most difficult game on the Bulldogs’ schedule.

The Bulldogs will have plenty of motivation when Dan Mullen brings Florida to town. That game is already circled in the minds of many Mississippi State fans and there’s plenty of reasons to believe that the MSU football team will be energized to play that game.

Normally, a trip to LSU should automatically be counted as a loss. But, with Ed Orgeron as the head coach and MSU having beat LSU 37-7 this year, it’s not a stretch to say that the Bulldogs will win.

Texas A&M hired Jimbo Fisher to come in and win championships. That does not mean that the Aggies will win one in 2018. That doesn’t even mean that they’ll have everything together this year. They’ll likely be a good team with a high ceiling, but they’re still trying to get their offense sorted after last year. And this game is in Starkville.

And, well, the Egg Bowl is always weird and could be a toss up. But, MSU should have the clearly better team in 2018. Assuming that Nick Fitzgerald doesn’t get injured, Mississippi State should win this game too.

There’s plenty of reasons to be optimistic in this stretch. And, well, Mississippi State can and should go 4-1 here.

What’s The Biggest Reason With Projecting Mississippi State Football To Win Next Year?

The Bulldogs are returning every major contributor from 2017. The Bulldogs’ offense will feature a veteran presence with a redshirt senior quarterback leading the way. Plus, surrounding Nick Fitzgerald will be an offensive line that returns 4 of its 5 starters, two dynamic runnings backs, and a loaded receiving corps.

Calling the plays for them is a guy named Joe Moorhead. He made Penn State’s offense into 2017’s 8th most efficient and 19th most explosive offense in the nation. Given that he has a group of experienced players to come in and work with, many should believe that this team will score in bunches.

Beyond just the offense, the Bulldogs are returning two All-SEC defensive linemen and just about every major contributor from the Mississippi State defense. There were a few departures, but MSU’s front is still loaded and the secondary still has plenty of experience.

So, it’s possible that Mississippi State football will only win 7 games. It’s also possible that the Bulldogs will surpass the expectations of a former MSU beat writer that is now covering Auburn for 247 Sports.