Mississippi State Bulldogs College Football Preview 2021: What Will Happen, Season Prediction
Is it possible we’re all sleeping on Mississippi State?
After becoming the biggest story of Week 1 – at least the SEC’s Week 1 – the first season under Mike Leach quickly fizzled out and faded away from the national consciousness.
However, it all started with a win over the defending national champion LSU Tigers on the road, and it ended with a brawling bowl win over a Tulsa team that came within a field goal of beating Cincinnati in the AAC Championship – that’s not bad.
In between all of that, the program and coaching staff that had almost no time to get everything up and rolling like normal – at least offensively – ended up pushing through with the potential for the payoff to start to come this year.
As bad as the season was, the defense was solid, three of the losses were by a touchdown, and this might be a team that needs more of a tweak than a massive renovation.
Set The Mississippi State Bulldogs Regular Season Win Total At … 6.5
However, here’s the tough part with the 2021 Bulldogs: they’re still getting the offense working while just about everyone else on the slate who matters is helped by the experience of the super-senior season.
Mississippi State can’t still be figuring it all out deep into September, or there’s a problem.
If it can be a little sharper – okay, a lot sharper – on offense, and the defense makes the improvements it looks like it’s going to, there are at least six wins coming against Louisiana Tech, NC State, at Memphis, at Vanderbilt, Kentucky, at Arkansas, Tennessee State, and Ole Miss.
If the Bulldogs can’t go bowling in a year when they miss both Florida and Georgia, and with a not-that-awful non-conference slate, there’s an issue.
So what can they do beyond that? LSU and Alabama have to come to Starkville, but Texas A&M and Auburn are on the road. They’ll be the underdog in all four of those games, but will the Leach O start to become enough of a differentiating factor that it can win a few of the huge games on the right days?
It’s Mike Leach, so there’s going to be a defeat pulled out of the jaws of victory somewhere along the way, but again, there’s a shot that it all kicks in and there’s a 529-yard passing day against one of the big boys.
Or that might just happen every week.
Really, what if this is the most underestimated SEC team?
If that’s true and we get the offense we’re all waiting for, the season is going to be a whole lot more fun.