Second installment in the series takes us to lovely downtown StarkVegas.
Coach: Dan Mullen (46–31 in six season at MSU; 22-26 in SEC)
2014 record: 10-3 (6-2 in SEC, 2nd in West Division)
CB969 2014 Prediction: 8-4 - "After 5 seasons of Dan Mullen mediocrity, might quarterback drag the Bulldogs into respectability?"
Look back: Similar to their upstate rival, they started strong and finished with a whimper. The clanga-clangs ascended to the top-ranked team in the land for four magical weeks until they ran into the Crimson Tide behemoth in November. They then proceeded to lay an egg against Ole Miss (SWIDT?) and a crushing loss in the .
Key losses: LB Preston Smith (Redskins, Round 2), LB Benardrick McKinney (Texans, Round 2), OLB Matthew Wells (Patriots, Round 6), TE Malcolm Johnson (Browns, Round 6), RB Josh Robinson (Colts, Round 6), OG Ben Beckwith, OT Blaine Clausell, FS Justin Cox, WR Jameon Lewis.
Returning starters: 4 on offense, 3 on defense, kicker, and punter.
Top returnees: Have you heard of this guy Dak? Also, WR De'Runnya Wilson and not much else.
Top newcomers: S Jamal Peters, LB Leo Lewis, DE Fletcher Adams, WR Donald Gray (juco).
Strengths: Dak; weak non-conf schedule; experienced kickers.
Weaknesses: Overall depth; LBs, O-Line; Secondary; November schedule.
Outlook: Sorry to tell ya, State Hailers: last year was your year. As you can see above in the "Key losses" category, a ton of talent has left the building and Dak cannot do it all by himself. It is back to mediocrity with you... Will this O-Line be able to block anyone?... Expect a solid season from Prescott but all the Heisman talk will dissipate... Will rising junior DL Chris Jones finally break out? Alabama really wanted the former 5-star and it appears he has not developed in his time in Starkville. SMH.
Sept. 5 at Southern Miss - W - If Hughie Freeze ain't gotta play no Power 5, than neither do we!
Sept. 12 LSU - L - Leonard Fournette will have a field day but a close win for the Bayou Bengals.
Sept. 19 Northwestern State - W
Sept. 26 at Auburn - L
Oct. 3 at Texas A&M - L - Home team takes this one.
Oct. 10 Troy - W
Oct. 17 Louisiana Tech - W
Oct. 24 Kentucky - W
Oct. 31 bye
Nov. 5 at Missouri - L - At some point, we have to stop doubting Mizzou.
Nov. 14 Alabama - L
Nov. 21 at Arkansas - L - on the road in late November a week after playing Bama? Ain't gonna happen.
Nov. 28 Ole Miss - L - If the Rebs can stay healthy, they should be able to get past the MSU at this point in the season.
Let's go Bowling! Maybe. If they are lucky, some team will screw up and let one past the goalie and the Bullies can clang their way to Birmingham or Shreveport.
Honestly, when I started writing this article I had 7-5 stuck in my head. But just look at that SEC schedule! I just can't see them winning anything other than Kentucky. Can you?
After Jameis Winston and, there was a steeeep drop off at QBs in the . Add in the mass exodus of talent around him and I am a bit surprised that Dak Prescott returned to play behind a broken OL. Thus, he will be participating in one of the longest and most brutal combine tryouts ever, lasting three months. Similarly, Mullen probably should've skipped town while he was hot too.
* Fun Fact: All of the projected starters (so far) plus the punter and kicker are seniors and juniors.