AUG 22, 2016
QOUTE OF THE WEEK
“Gentlemen it is better to have died a small boy than to fumble the football.” John Heisman
IT’S FOOTBALL TIME DOWN SOUTH
Mississippi State’s 2016 Bulldogs will be better than the pundits are predicting, but then they are predicting the Dawg’s to be swept by the rest of the SEC West. Those six losses, coupled with a loss to Independent BYU, would make 5–7 the best record possible. The Bullies would have to beat the rest of their non-conference foes and both of their SEC East opponents to do this. Sounds like a tall order.
What makes me think State will be better than that? Good coaching and solid material. Dan Mullen has consistently recruited solid athletes with size, speed, and agility, but more importantly, he has coached them up to SEC standards. Yes, State lost Dak Prescott to the NFL, but I think Nick Fitzgerald will be the surprise quarterback in the conference. Fitzgerald is 6’5” and 227 pounds, and has a decent arm. He’ll have a pretty talented group of receivers led by senior, Fred Ross.
On the offensive line, Justin Senior will move to left tackle, and last year’s number one junior college tackle will be on the right. I believe the offense will be able to move the ball on most of State’s opponents.
On defense, new coordinator Peter Sirmon, formerly of USC, will build an effective 3–4 type scheme around returning end, A.J. Jefferson, and linebacker, Ricky Brown. Talented D backs, Tolando Cleveland and Kivon Corman, should fill the graduation losses in the secondary.
All across the team there are solid performers, many with SEC experience. These guys will beat at least two of State’s SEC West opponents, and run the table on the SEC East and the non-conference. I’m predicting an 8–4 season and a decent bowl game.
I might as well address the question of Ole Miss, since I’ll be hammered to do so. I believe that as long as the NCAA and the SEC allow the Ole Miss recruiting machine to run unchecked then beating the Rebel’s will be a tall order. At this point in the season they look like a championship team, but all of that can change with a couple of losses. They have a prima donna quarter back, with NFL glory in his eyes. What happens if he has a bad game or two? I think the wheels will come off the Red and Blue juggernaut, and they could easily be one of State’s SEC West wins. Stranger things have happened in SEC football.