This is Our Year
Published: Monday, October 1, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 1, 2012 22:10
Dan Mullen has had over three years to produce a championship contending football team at Mississippi State. With three full recruiting classes now on the field for the Dogs, Mullen and State fans are beginning to see his work pay off.
Bulldog fans have waited quite some time for an above-average football team. While the numerous SEC West losses in recent years have been tough to bear, I believe the wait is worth it.
MSU will have a record of 10-2 at the end of the regular season.
State’s next game is Saturday at Kentucky, and coming off a bye week, the Dogs should have little trouble with the Cats to move to 5-0.
But then the Volunteers of Tennessee come to town. Most people are chalking up this game as a win for MSU, but as Lee Corso would say, not so fast, my friends.
This season is do or die for UT head coach Derek Dooley. If he does not win a big game this year, I think Dooley will be headed out of Knoxville. After losing close games to Florida and Georgia, the chances for a key win are becoming more and more narrow.
The Vols know Alabama and South Carolina will be close to impossible wins, so the MSU game is a must-win for UT. Add that motivation to the fact UT will be coming off its bye week, and unfortunately, you get the perfect recipe for an upset in Starkville.
I’m counting State’s next game against MTSU as a homecoming win, moving the Dogs to 6-1.
Then it’s time to travel to Tuscaloosa. At this point, the Tide will be well on its way to another national championship, and I just don’t think State will be able to handle Alabama, moving the Dogs to 6-2.
Back home in Starkville, State will then host Texas A&M in the “Snow Bowl.” The combination of the Dogs new “Snow Bowl” jerseys and the fans’ welcome of the Aggies into the SEC will be just enough for State to slide by A&M with the win.
Week 11 will be the thriller for the Dogs as they travel to LSU. This is the year we will beat the Tigers. We already beat some Tigers, so might as well finish off the rest.
If you take a look at LSU’s schedule, you will see State’s game came at just the right time for the Dogs. The Tigers’ four games right before they face State are against Florida, South Carolina, Texas A&M and Alabama. Needless to say, LSU will be slightly worn out when Nov. 10 rolls around.
The Tigers’ bye week is the week before they play Alabama, so the Tide will consume LSU’s focus. If they beat Bama, the Tigers will be so excited they will overlook a hungry Bulldog team coming at them. If they lose to Bama -— which they will — the Tigers will be devastated and consider their season a failure.
Either way, State comes out on top in a close game where Mullen out-coaches Les Miles and Tyler Russell proves he is a big-time SEC quarterback.
Standing at 8-2 and second place in the West, State will then host Arkansas. Although the Razorbacks are in the midst of one of the greatest let downs by a preseason top-10 team in college football history, you know they will get a few solid wins at some point. I’m just hoping one of those wins is not in Starkville.
I think the Dogs will come out ready to play and take care of the Hogs. Home-field advantage will be a key in this game, which will be closer than expected.
At 9-2 on the season, MSU will work to prove the motto, “This is Our State.” The Egg Bowl will be a close one this year. I think the Rebels will need this win to become bowl eligible, but State will need it to reach double-digit wins.
In a hard-fought game in Oxford, Miss., which will feature four or five interceptions by Johnthan Banks, State will come out with the win and end the regular season 10-2.
Being the fourth best team in the SEC behind Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina, MSU will play in the Cotton Bowl against the second best team in the Big 12, Oklahoma (the tough start won’t stop the Sooners from making a big comeback in the Big 12.)
I’m tempted to say that after such a good season the Dogs may fall to the Sooners, but that would most definitely not be True Maroon — much like saying our record will be 8-4...
A record of 11-2 sounds amazing. Difficult but doable. With a determined coach and a hard-working group of players, this prediction may not be far from reality.