With nearly all regular season college football in the books and practically nothing but the conference championship games between us and bowl season, the bowl picture for Mississippi State seems to be getting clearer by the day.
Even though things could still shake up from top to bottom depending on how this weekend's championship games play out, at the lower level where 6-6 MSU will be bowling this year, most things are probably already worked out as to where teams are probably heading.
As of today, the updated bowl projections are as follows:
|ESPN (SEC)||BBVA Compass||not listed|
|ESPN (National)||BBVA Compass||Rutgers|
Overall, it looks like most prognosticators have MSU pegged for the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Alabama. That game will be played on January 4, 2014 at noon, and will be televised by ESPN. The Compass Bowl pits the SEC's #9 team vs the #5 team from the American Athletic Conference (formerly the Big East).
Honestly, I'd be thrilled with this bowl, given how MSU's season looked just two weeks ago. At 6-6 your options are obviously limited, and this one provides a good opportunity for the majority of the MSU fanbase to travel relatively easily for the game.
It's no third trip to the Gator in four years, sure, but it's still a bowl game in a season where several times it looked like we wouldn't reach bowl eligibility.
The darkhorse candidate for MSU's potential bowl destination in the 2013 season is the Liberty Bowl in Memphis. State fans are well acquainted with the Liberty Bowl, having been there just six seasons ago, and with the bowl game being just outside the state of Mississippi. I would honestly expect most State fans to prefer to go to the BBVA game in Birmingham if nothing else but just for the change of scenery, but Memphis still provides an easy travel for a game, and plenty of things to do if you plan to turn it into an after-Christmas vacation.
As for opponents, Rutgers seems to be the overwhelming choice to take on MSU in a bowl game this year. The Scarlet Knights have struggled this season, and quite a bit of late, losing five of their last six games. Rutgers still has to beat South Florida this upcoming weekend to reach bowl eligibility at 6-6. No game is a given by any stretch, but you have to feel good about that matchup in a bowl, if it does come to be.
We'll try to update everyone as things come in and the week progresses