Some teams can surprise you throughout the season, for better or for worse
Published 6:27 pm Tuesday, October 14, 2014
I never thought I’d see the day when Mississippi State moved from unranked (where they’ve most often been in my 23 years) to the No. 1 team in the nation. It’s not some fluke, either. They have two incredibly convincing wins in a row over Texas A&M and former SEC West Champion Auburn.
My brain is still reeling from the job the Bulldogs did at Davis Wade Stadium against the once No. 2 Tigers this weekend. It’s easily the biggest win in Mississippi State history, launching them over an undefeated Florida State in the AP Poll to sit in that coveted throne as the best team in the country. I can hear those dang cowbells ringing here in Bainbridge.
Though if I were Bulldog coach Dan Mullen, I’d urge my team not to get too comfy. Beating Auburn 38-23 in your own stadium is nice. But…
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The question that remains is whether the Bulldogs are capable of winning a game in a hostile environment against a proven team without the CLANGA CLANGA. They traveled to Baton Rouge and defeated LSU, but since then we’ve learned Les Miles’ Tigers aren’t as competitive as we thought they were. They were obliterated by Auburn two weekends ago and struggled down to the wire against Florida for a sneaky 30-27 win in The Swamp last Saturday.
Even Texas A&M is being ousted as an over-ranked memory of the Johnny Football days after a whoopin’ at home from Ole Miss (who is dang good in their own right).
Will quarterback Dak Prescott and the Bulldogs waltz into Arkansas, Alabama or Ole Miss in the annual Egg Bowl and bark their way to a few more wins? My gut tells me no.
This is a very new experience for the Bulldogs. They’ve never been on top like this—ever. Sometimes the pressure can get to a team like that, no matter how good they are. As much as I hate to remind myself, the 2008 Georgia season comes to mind.
I’m thinking Mississippi State loses to a team they aren’t supposed to. Somebody less obvious than the Crimson Tide or Ole Miss. Maybe it’ll be to their Bulldog brethren over in the SEC East during the conference championship.
Mississippi State’s win against Auburn is the biggest statement any team has made all season. You’ve got to give the Bulldogs some credit. They aren’t the pee-wees of the SEC any more. All the land has their eyes on Starkville.