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Predicting the 2016 SEC Football Season: Mississippi State Bulldogs

With less than 25 days until the college football season begins, it's never too early to look at the 2015 football schedules and make wild blind predictions.

Soon, Fitzy...
Soon, Fitzy...
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Second installment in the series takes us to lovely downtown StarkVegas.

mississippi state logo 150x100

Coach: Dan Mullen (55–35 in eight seasons at MSU; 26-30 in SEC)
2015 record: 9-4 (4-4 in SEC, 5th in West Division)
CB969 2014 Prediction: 5-7 "as you can see 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... "
Looking back: Clearly I underestimated how far Dak Prescott could carry this team. But who knew that Auburn and Mizzou would turn into the absolute dumpster fires they became? Admittedly, the come-from-behind win at Arkansas in November was inspiring.

Key losses: DT Chris Jones (Chiefs, Round 2), CB Will Redmond (49ers, Round 3), QB Dak Prescott (Cowboys, Round 4), OLB Beniquez Brown, DE Ryan Brown, CB Taveze Calhoun, WR De'Runnya Wilson, S Deontay Evans (grad-transfer), three starting offensive linemen.
Returning starters: 5 on offense, 6 on defense, kicker, and punter.
Top returnees:
WR Fred Ross, RB Brandon Holloway, RB Ashton Shumpert, LB Richie Brown, DL A.J. Jefferson, S Brandon Bryant, S Kivon Coman.
Top newcomers:
Controversial DE Jeffery Simmons (Macon, MS), DT Kobe Jones (Starkville, MS), ATH Jamal Couch (Phenix City, AL), OG Stewart Reese (Fort Pierce, FL), Defensive Coordinator Peter Sirmon, Secondary Coach/Recruiting Coordinator Terrell Buckley.

Strengths: safety; experienced kickers; wide receivers; avoiding UGA, Fla, Tenn in the East.
Weaknesses: The departure of Dak Prescott; O-Line; overall depth; November schedule.

Outlook: Returning on offense are a plethora of seniors: the Freds - Ross and Brown - at wide receiver, RBs Brandon Holloway and Ashton Shumper, TE Gus Walley, OT Justin Senior, OG Devon Desper, and Jamaal Clayborn who takes over at center. Despite the loss of the greatest Bulldogs quarterback ever, sophomore Nick Fitzgerald should be a serviceable field general. The defense projects eight starting seniors but depth is a serious issue.

2016 Schedule
Sep 3, South Alabama - W - Sorry, Jags fans.
Sep 10, South Carolina - W - The Gamecocks are going to have a rough year.
Sep 17, at LSU - L - no chance.
Sep 24, at UMass - W - Played in Foxboro. Why in the heck did Mullen agree to a road trip here?
Oct 1, off week
Oct 8, Auburn - W - This is a tough one to call but I'm going with the home team.
Oct 14, at BYU - W - You never know with those crazy Mormons but the Cougs are working under a rookie head coach after Bronco Mendenhall oddly skipped town for the underwhelming program at UVa.
Oct 22, at Kentucky - W - This will be no cakewalk but Lexington real estate agents are circling Mark Stoops' house.
Oct 29, Samford - W - Sorry, Dogs fans.
Nov 5, Texas A&M - W - This could go either way but take the cowbell factor.
Nov 12, at Alabama - L - The Tide is 80-17-3 vs. MSU.
Nov 19, Arkansas - L - Another tight one but the Hogs might be a smigde better.
Nov 25, at Ole Miss - L - Anything can happen in the Egg Bowl but the Rebs should prevail.

Let's go Bowling! Yep, it's back to 7 or 8 wins for this program. Perhaps a trip to Memphis.


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