As Zach Arnett and the Mississippi State football team try to become eligible for a bowl game, they need two more wins. Where can they get them?
The Mississippi State football team currently sits at 4-3 on the season and 1-3 overall. Things haven’t exactly gone the way the MSU Bulldogs were hoping for, but this season isn’t done just yet.
There are still some chances for Zach Arnett to get his first year as a head coach to be something worth being proud of. Relatively speaking, that is. If the Bulldogs can get this season turned around, then maybe we look back on it a little different (depending on how far turned around this season actually gets, that is).
First things first. Let’s talk about making it back to a bowl game. Because MSU is fresh off of a nine win campaign, a bowl game shouldn’t be a question at all. What is MSU’s most likely path to getting a bowl invite?
Here’s what ESPN’s Football Power Index says:
Mississippi State football: Zach Arnett and the Bulldogs’ path to bowl eligibility in 2023
According to ESPN’s FPI, the Bulldogs should be favored in two of their remaining games this season. That’s against the Kentucky Wildcats (56.2 percent) and the Southern Miss Golden Eagles (94.5 percent).
Win those two games and that’s it. Bowl eligibility.
Obviously Mississippi State football fans want more than that. But that’s as straightforward as it gets right now. That said, there’s no guarantee that the Bulldogs will beat Kentucky because dumb things happen all the time in this sport.
And there’s also no guarantee that MSU can’t pick up another game elsewhere on the schedule. So, what does FPI say are the Bulldogs’ chances to win against Auburn, Texas A&M, and Ole Miss? Well, 37.1 percent, 17.4 percent, and 21 percent respectively.
The Bulldogs aren’t exactly given a great chance to win any of those contests. Theoretically anything could happen, but if we’re talking about MSU’s most likely path to bowl eligibility, this weekend isn’t counted in there.
Next weekend in Starkville matters a lot. That upcoming game against Southern Miss matters a lot.
Of course, if you (like me) previously had higher hopes for this team as opposed to just attaining bowl eligibility, then 6-6 isn’t the ideal sort of record that you’d like to see Arnett reach. So maybe pulling off one of those unlikely upsets (such as this weekend’s game against Auburn) would be a good idea.