After a rough start to the 2023 Mississippi State football season, can we expect the Bulldogs to bounce back and make it to a bowl game?
Zach Arnett’s first season as the head coach of the Mississippi State football program isn’t exactly off to the start that either he or Miss. State football fans were hoping for. Instead, the Bulldogs have struggled and are sitting at 3-3 on the season so far.
The Bulldogs are 0-3 in SEC play and haven’t exactly looked all that thrilling throughout the season up to this point. Even in MSU’s wins, the Bulldogs have shown flaws and appeared underwhelming.
So, what will the rest of the season hold? Can the Bulldogs get back on track?
Updated ESPN FPI game-by-game projections for 2023 Mississippi State football schedule
Let’s start looking ahead through the rest of the 2023 Mississippi State football schedule and start examining where the Bulldogs might get some wins. According to updated ESPN FPI projections, there won’t be many up ahead.
ESPN’s FPI projects that the Bulldogs will finish with a record of 5.3-6.7. The Bulldogs have just a 41.7 percent shot at getting to six wins, according to the FPI projections.
That’s not exactly the sort of season that is seen as a success in Starkville. Especially when you consider that Mississippi State football has a 13-year bowl streak and is fresh off of a nine-win campaign.
So, what will the rest of the schedule hold for MSU?
Games ESPN FPI definitely favors Mississippi State football in:
- MSU 90.8 percent vs. USM
And that’s it. There is only one game where ESPN’s FPI is really all that confident the Bulldogs will win. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Mississippi State football team will only win one more game in 2023, but the Bulldogs won’t be favored by ESPN’s FPI for any game other than this (as it stands right now).
Mississippi State football games the Bulldogs are clear underdogs in:
- MSU 34.7 percent vs. Arkansas
- MSU 29.8 percent vs. Auburn
- MSU 14.1 percent vs. A&M
- MSU 17.8 percent vs. Ole Miss
I guess you could technically argue the Arkansas game is a toss up? I don’t feel comfortable doing that at all, but if that’s something you’d like to argue when looking at those numbers, then have at it.
In all of these games, Miss. State football is considered to lose the vast majority of the simulations that are computed. The vast majority. The Bulldogs only win 34.7 percent of the simulations against Arkansas, 29.8 percent against Auburn, 14.1 percent against Texas A&M, and 17.8 percent against Ole Miss.
That does not bode well for MSU right now.
Games MSU is an underdog in, but could currently be considered a toss up:
- MSU 46.7 percent vs. Kentucky
And that’s it. ESPN’s FPI thinks the Bulldogs might have something of a shot against the Kentucky Wildcats. This game could conceivably go either way, per the computers and simulations and math magic.
But it’s not ideal that, halfway through this season, there’s only one sort of “toss up” game remaining on the Bulldogs’ schedule.
That’s not good at all.
But hey, when you consider that Mississippi State football is near the very bottom of the SEC in ESPN FPI rankings after week six, it makes some sense.