5 Thoughts: Mississippi State vs. Vanderbilt, 2017 SEC Championship? No, but how good are they?
After impressive 3-0 starts, just how good are Vanderbilt and Mississippi State?
Week 3 Five Thoughts: 1) Mississippi State and Vanderbilt: Are They For Real?
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Alright, let’s do this. Let’s do what coaches hate more than anything besides no tackling practices …
Dealing in hypotheticals.
What if Mississippi State is for real?
In Derrius Guice, LSU has the best running back in the 2018 NFL Draft – or second-best behind Penn State’s Saquon Barkley – and, as always, it’s loaded with next-level defensive talent.
None of that mattered as MSU rolled at will in a dominant 37-7 blowout that was every bit as strong as the final score.
The Bulldog offensive line has been fantastic, the defense – for the first time in what seems like forever – is a positive thanks to defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, and star QB Nick Fitzgerald doesn’t have to do absolutely everything to carry the offense.
The program gets to enjoy the spotlight and attention for about 30 more seconds, because now it has to get ready for a trip to Georgia. And then a date at Auburn.
Beating LSU was great, but now the pressure is on to keep playing at that same high level. Let’s say it can, and let’s say it comes back from the road dates and into an off week at 5-0.
Top five Mississippi State? Absolutely, if not top three.
To really get crazy, cowbell gets four home games in five weeks starting October 14th, including Alabama.
Speaking of the Crimson Tide …
What if Vanderbilt is for real?
The defense has been special, even by the Commodores’ high standards, allowing just 13 points in the first three games.
QB Kyle Shurmur has yet to throw a pick, the offensive line is giving him time to work, and after a 14-7 win over Kansas State, all of a sudden, there’s an outside chance that the Commodores just might do something crazy.
The last time Vandy beat Bama? 1984. The time before that? 1969.
There was a run of ties for a while, but the time before that? Since coming up with a 32-7 win in 1956, Vanderbilt has beaten Alabama twice. And this week it gets the No. 1 team in the nation in its house.
And then it’s on to Florida, and then a date with Georgia in a tough run, but the back half of the schedule eases up in a big, big way. If the Commodores can somehow win just one of the next three games – especially if its against Georgia …
No. Don’t even think about it.
But wouldn’t it be fantastic if the 2017 SEC Championship – the first in the shiny new Mercedes-Benz palace in Atlanta – was Vanderbilt vs. Mississippi State?
At the very least, the two perennial SEC also-rans have been good enough to think it just might be possible to pull off a miracle or two.
Week 3 Roundup
Week 3 Bowl Projections
ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | IND | MAC | MW | Sun Belt
– Hesiman Race | Top 20 Coaches On Hot Seat
3 Things That Matter: USC-Texas | Miss St-LSU
Clemson-Louisville | Nebraska-NIU