Welcome to part two of in the series of why the Bulldogs should start scheduling (and probably should have already been scheduling) BCS opponents in out of conference matchups.
Before I begin, I feel that there are two misconceptions that should be addressed. First of all, while I believe the Bulldogs could win games against BCS out of conference foes right now, and I have been using them as examples, the truth is this could not happen until 2016 at the earliest. So, why address it now? Now is when those schedules will be created. Secondly, this is not an attack only on scheduling FCS schools. I think we look silly scheduling one (and a "transition" team) this year without a BCS foe, but that is what we did. If the Bulldogs are not going to have a BCS opponent or a strong non-BCS foe, they should not have FCS schools on the schedule.
Now onto today's reason: scheduling a BCS foe will provide benefits in the area of nationwide respect. Yes, winning a few more SEC games would do this, but if the Bulldogs can knock off foes from other conferences, it will boost their stock as well.
The biggest knock against Dan Mullen has been the fact that he has only beaten Ole Miss in the SEC West. Fair or unfair, I think the biggest stat that could cause lack of respect for our football program is the fact that out of Dan Mullen's 21 wins, only six have come against FBS teams with winning records at the end of the season. Only four of those wins have come against teams from BCS conferences: Kentucky and Ole Miss (2009), Florida and Michigan (2010).
If you take a look at the potential 7-0 start for Mississippi State, there is a great chance that only Troy and Middle Tennessee State will have winning records by October 27. How much does that run really mean?
If you do not want to read through all of the scheduling that follows, I will summarize it for you. Only two SEC schools do not play a BCS school this year-Texas A&M and Mississippi State. Only one school, Mississippi State, does not have a BCS opponent on their schedule through 2017. To make the argument that Mississippi State needs to keep a FCS school on the schedule (which I am fine with) because everyone else does it seems to support that Mississippi State should put a BCS team on the schedule because everyone else does it.
This gets even more embarrassing. Every ACC and Big East school faces a BCS out of conference opponent. In the Big 12, only Baylor, Kansas, and Texas Tech fail to do so. In the Big Ten, only Indiana failed to schedule a BCS foe. Michigan State and Purdue have Notre Dame on their schedules, and the Spartans also square off against Boise State. In the Pac 12, Colorado, Oregon, Utah, and Washington State did not schedule BCS foes this year, but the Utes and the Cougars do have BYU on their schedule. What this means is that Mississippi State is one of eight BCS schools that did not schedule an out of conference game against a BCS foe.
Again, I am not asking to put two on the schedule such as 2009. I'm just asking for one. I'm not asking for national powers. I only want to see some BCS OOC foe on the schedule each year.
Check out this rundown of SEC schools with BCS opponents in the future.
Alabama: Michigan in Arlington, Tex (2012), Virginia Tech at Atlanta (2013-2014) Michigan State (2016), at Michigan State (2017)
Arkansas: Rutgers (2012), at TCU (2016), TBD (2017)
Auburn: Clemson in Atlanta (2012), TBD (2016, 2017)
Florida: Florida State (2012-2017), USF (probable for 2017)
Georgia: Georgia Tech (2012-2017)
Kentucky: Louisville (2012-2015)
LSU: Washington (2012), TCU (2013), at TCU (2014), Arizona State (2015), at Arizona State (2016), North Carolina State (2017)
Mississippi State: NONE
Missouri: Arizona State, Syracuse (2012), at Indiana (2013), Indiana (2014) TBD (2016, 2017)
Ole Miss: Texas (2012), at Texas (2013), Boise State at Atlanta (2014), at Clemson (2015), Clemson (2016), none in 2017, at Georgia Tech (2018)
South Carolina: Clemson (2012-2017)
Tennessee: North Carolina State at Atlanta (2012), at Oregon (2013), at Oklahoma (2014), Oklahoma, at Connecticut (2015), Connecticut, at Nebraska (2016), Nebraska (2017)
Texas A&M: None (2012), TBD (2013-2014), at USC (2015), USC (2016), at Oregon (2018), Oregon (2019)
Vanderbilt: at Northwestern, at Wake Forest (2012), at Ohio State, Northwester, Wake Forest (2013), at Northwestern, Wake Forest (2014), at Wake Forest (2015), Georgia Tech (2016)
There is nothing that can be done about the schedule the next couple of years, but in the future, Mississippi State needs to do better.
I'm not talking about putting an Oklahoma, Southern California, or Oregon on the schedule. I'm talking about scheduling one BCS foe in the future. If the Bulldogs are taking care of business against teams in bowl games, they should be able to handle them in the regular season.
A season opener against Indiana would be much more exciting than on opener against Jackson State.