When head coach Joe Moorhead first stepped off of the plane as Mississippi State University’s head coach, he carried with him a swagger and the expectation that MSU's football team could be molded into a championship team.
Nearly two years removed from the day he was hired, Moorhead stood in front of the media and delivered a six minute opening statement where he held himself and the team accountable, and also asked the fans to continue to support the football team.
After losses to the University of Kentucky, University of Florida, Louisiana State University, University of Alabama and University of Iowa last season, Moorhead always placed the blame as to why the team did not win on himself. His drive to win a championship with MSU is there, as Moorhead said nothing would mean more to him than making MSU a consistently winning football program.
“Every waking moment of my life spent not with my family is utilized in an effort to making it happen,” Moorhead said. “Because of the investment, it is not just a loss. It crushes your soul.”
The failure to score more than 10 points against a sputtering University of Tennessee program that lost to Georgia State University is rock bottom for an offensive guru. A sluggish start on the road has become all too commonplace for MSU, but it is not just a Moorhead problem.
In 2018, the games against Alabama and LSU were slow starts, and in 2017, there were also slow starts against Louisiana Tech University, University of Georgia and University of Arkansas. All came on the road. Against Alabama and LSU in particular, wasted defensive performances made the losses sting more for the Bulldogs. In 2017, Mullen was the head coach, and he could not get his own team made up of his own players to get up and play consistently from the get go.
On Monday, Moorhead said he takes full responsibility for the program of 120 players and 40 staff members. The question remains: At what point is it no longer a coach's problem, but the players' for not showing up to play and executing?
For the people who want him gone, Moorhead said he was not a Bible thumper, but he felt that God had called him to MSU. Building a championship program at a University that has only made it to a bowl game 22 times in program history is a big undertaking.
“I remain steadfast in the belief that we are going to do it,” Moorhead said.
In his opening statement of his press conference, Moorhead struck the chord of the issues of society being too instantly gratified. In a league where you are competing with 13 other schools to come second to Alabama, it is easy to forget that it takes time to build a program like that. MSU just does not have the pedigree that Alabama has.
At LSU, it has taken two years for Ed Orgeron to completely revolutionize the Tigers who stalled out under Les Miles. In his third season there, Orgeron has the Tigers in the national title race, and it takes patience to do that.
Asking for a coach to be fired after he has been at a program for just one and a half seasons is just insane. Because MSU was nationally relevant for one season in 2014, the expectations have changed, but they are not consistent with a football program that has proven time and time again that it cannot win on a regular basis.
Maybe Moorhead is the man to lead MSU to an SEC and National Championship, maybe he is not. I am not asking for “Moor Patience” this time, but what I do implore the MSU family to do is support this football team. Give Moorhead a chance, and maybe rethink your expectations.