The Mississippi State football team will play an actual game of college football on Saturday, and the entire football season is the focus of The Wednesday Wrap.
Can you believe we made it? The 2023 Mississippi State football season kicks off THIS SATURDAY. It means we made it through yet another long offseason. Fans are excited. Media outside the people in Starkville? They seem less enthused about this team, and that is my focus today.
What I have been wondering…
The Mississippi State football team is returning a decent amount of production from the previous season which saw the Bulldogs go 9-4. They have one of the most prolific passers in SEC history returning at quarterback. The Bulldogs have had a really good to great defense ever since Zach Arnett came to Starkville. So where is most media picking the Mississippi State football team to finish in the SEC West in 2023?
Pretty much dead last.
Yes, there are some media out there who believe the 2023 version of Mississippi State football will be pretty good, but most of them have very little confidence in the Bulldogs. Usually, with the amount of production returning for Mississippi State, pundits would expect them to finish higher. So why is that not the case as we enter the 2023 season for Mississippi State football?
Part of it is simply because we are talking about the Mississippi State football team. It doesn’t matter what the Bulldogs did under Dan Mullen or what they have done since he departed, a lot of people expect the Bulldogs to be bad every year.
There is another, more complicated part to this though. The Mississippi State football team is entering the season in the wake of a tragedy. Legendary college football coach Mike Leach passed away at the end of 2022, and as tragic as it is, it has real life implications for the Bulldogs on the football field. And most people don’t know what to do with that.
Don’t believe me? Bill Connelly, who picked the 2023 Mississippi State football team to finish fifth in the west, of ESPN did a great job of addressing this in his SEC West preview. It’s locked behind a paywall, but let me give you this quote from it.
"I wasn’t looking forward to writing this section. This is a preview, and it’s time to talk about Mississippi State and how Zach Arnett might perform as a rookie head coach in the SEC. And no matter what, it’s going to feel terribly awkward."
Addressing whether or not the Mississippi State football team succeeds in 2023 will largely depend on how Zach Arnett makes the transition from defensive coordinator to SEC head coach. And simply talking about that feels wrong and messy to a lot of people because of the circumstances surrounding why he was hired.
Look, I think the guy will be a good head coach. I said as much during the Egg Bowl in 2022.
What I didn’t expect at the time is that he would be the coach of this Mississippi State football team this season. I tweeted that thinking it would be a Group of Five job or something along those lines. I never envisioned him going straight to the SEC fire.
So what should we expect from the Bulldogs in 2023? No clue.
If you tell me a team with a lot of experience returning from the previous season steps forward and wins nine or 10 games, I’d believe it. If you told me a team with a brand new head coach and changing offensive schemes with a relatively unproven coaching staff behind him falls down to just four or five wins, I could believe that too.
Whatever happens this season, Zach Arnett and his staff have an almost impossible task in from of them. 2023 will tell us a lot about what to expect in the coming years for the Mississippi State football team.
What I’ve been watching…
My recording partner Ryan Nelson and I recorded a little earlier this week on The Main Attraction Podcast due to some health concerns my wife had last week. Regardless of when we record, we always bring the heat when it comes to the shows and movies we watch.
Up first, there’s a new Star Wars show called Ahsoka out on Disney Plus. Despite the fact everyone tried to tell us we couldn’t like this show because we hadn’t seen Rebels, Ryan and I still found it enjoyable. Go listen to us talk about it here.
Next, we headed over to Peacock, yes there are people who watch Peacock, and checked out the newest video game to be adapted into a TV show. That show was Twisted Metal. It stars Anthony Mackie, and is full of dumb fun, four letter words, and gruesome deaths. Lots of fun to be had. You can also listen to us talk about that series right here.
What I’ve been whistling to…
So last week in this column, I told you about how I have been jamming to Billy Joel. I don’t remember how I came across this magnificent piece of writing, but it’s absolutely one of the best things I have read in quite some time.
It basically tells a fictional story of Billy Joel playing in the piano bar “Piano Man” is about after the song was released. It’s hysterical and we’re all better off for having it in our lives.
That is all for this week on The Wednesday Wrap. Check back next week when we can actually talk about an actual Mississippi State football game.