SEC

Preview 2016: Mississippi State Is Better Than You Think


The Mississippi State football outlook for 2016 season. Dak Prescott is gone, and now Dan Mullen has to try making the program even better without its star.


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It’s time to find life after Dak Prescott, but more than that, Dan Mullen has to do the nearly impossible and try to improve the program without one of the greatest players in the program’s history.

Mississippi State had a nice run of 34 wins from 1939 to 1942, and it came up with a good 1999 and 2000 with 18 victories, but the 19 wins over the last two seasons is the school’s best two-season stretch ever. And for Mullen, considering the program is in the same division as some of college football’s biggest superpowers, six straight seasons of seven wins or more and with four bowl victories is one of the most underappreciated coaching jobs going.

But for all the success, and all the positives over the last few years, the Bulldogs have only finished higher than fourth in the SEC West once in the Mullen era and has been fifth four of the last six years. It stinks to be in college football’s toughest division, but that’s the deal.

So, again, how can Mississippi State be better and do even more without Prescott at the helm?

Forget about rising up and shocking the world with an SEC West title. Even if MSU turns out to be fantastic, three of the road games are at LSU, Alabama, and Ole Miss – possibly the league’s three best teams. It’ll take two wins in those three games to pull it off, and to do that, it’ll need the veteran defense to do something historic.

Miss State is on its third defensive coordinator in three seasons with Peter Sirmon taking over, but and he’s got a good group of linemen to work with and a stronger back seven with a slew of strong hitters and decent depth. The D will do its part, and it’ll need to do even more to carry the Dakless O.

Prescott carried the team, but now the attack should be more balanced and should start to use the backs more. There’s just enough receiving talent to be okay, and there’s a good fight for the starting quarterback gig if Nick Fitzgerald doesn’t secure it this fall.

Can it all equate to a season that’s better than the 9-4 of 2015? No, but that doesn’t mean the nice niche Mullen has carved out can’t continue.