Playing teams of that caliber every season can result in lots of losses and an almost perennial “second division” status. That had been Mississippi State’s fate for a good part of the past century. But, “the worm has turned.”
Under sixth year Head Coach Dan Mullen, the once easy-to-beat Bulldogs have gone from patsy to predator. In last year’s 2014 season, the squad from the Deep South compiled an impressive Won-Loss record of 10-3. Their conference record was also good. The team won six out of nine games against traditional foes.
Their superior in-season performance earned this tough and improving team a coveted invitation to the nationally-televised Orange Bowl. The Bulldogs performed well, but ended up losing the game to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.
Nevertheless, this team appears to have “turned the corner” and is now a recognized force in college football. Mississippi State proved that 2015 will be much like 2014 when it dominated its first opponent, the University of Southern Mississippi in an on-the-road contest last week. The visitors won easily by a score of 34-16.
This team’s 2015 schedule includes twelve games, seven of which will be played on its home field. In fact, the Bulldogs will play their first home game this Saturday, September 12th, against rugged and dangerous Louisiana State University (LSU).
There will be non-conference contests on September 19th against Northwestern State University, October 10th against Troy University and October 17th against La Tech University. Conference foes scheduled to visit Mississippi State include the University of Kentucky on October 14th, second ranked Alabama on November 14th and the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) on November 28th. This arch rival is ranked seventeenth.
The road will be filled with peril for Mississippi State. This squad will face four nationally ranked teams away from home. For instance, the Bulldogs will travel to the state of Alabama on September 26th to compete against sixth-ranked Auburn University. They’ll face off against 16th ranked Texas A&M on October 3rd, against the 21st ranked University of Missouri on November 5th and the Arkansas Razorbacks on November 21st. They are ranked #18 nationally.
Coach Mullen’s squad obviously has a tough schedule this season. Half of its games are against nationally-ranked “Top 25” teams. The truth is that the Bulldogs probably have one of the toughest schedules in all of college football.
They are not backing away from the challenge because this squad still has something to prove. It did well in 2014 and is determined to repeat last year’s success on the gridiron this season.
There is every reason to believe that this tough-minded group is “up to the task.”
Courtesy of Wcbi.com