No. 5: First and foremost, let's be patient with this new coaching staff
I've said it before and I'll say it once more: the Mississippi State Bulldogs desperately need to find something that resembles stability for the Mississippi State football program.
And that'll require a bit of patience on the part of MSU fans.
Jeff Lebby is a first time head coach who is taking over after another first time head coach was fired within his first season leading things in Starkville. On top of that, it really wasn't that long ago that another first time head coach was fired after just two seasons in Starkville.
Yes, it's a nuanced situation with both of those instances, but the outside optics don't look great for folks who don't want to pay attention to the nuanced and tricky context that makes this situation as odd as it is.
A lot of folks outside Starkville didn't understand that 2018 to 2019 was a disastrous mess filled with an overabundance of penalties, a little bit of NCAA chaos (that resulted in vacated wins), and an underwhelming offense that never consistently delivered. It was just a bunch of poor execution and mistakes happening left and right with this bunch.
But people don't really know about (or care to acknowledge) that sort of context.
They also don't really pay attention to how 2023 lacked cohesive offensive vision and was full of inconsistent direction. After the very haphazard movement away from the Air Raid coaching staff, Zach Arnett hired some position coaches before even picking up his offensive coordinator. So, while folks might be irrationally made at Kevin Barbay for the offense, things almost certainly run deeper than that.
The whole program was in a weird spot after Mike Leach died and things got weirder because of the way the program progressed with Arnett hiring Brad Peterson and then Chad Bumphis and then Will Friend before Barbay even got to campus.
There wasn't really any sort of consistent offensive vision and that's not even getting into the way Arnett seemed to influence the offense on top of everything else.
So, the program is in a bit of a mess. It will likely take some time to get that mess fixed. Mississippi State can't afford to quickly churn through yet another young coach in hopes that maybe the next one will work better. The Bulldogs will need to be patient here and, barring something concerning or bizarre, they'll need to give Jeff Lebby plenty of opportunity to prove himself here.
Because this program can't afford to become a revolving door for head coaches.