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Reevaluating Realistic Goals for Mississippi State Football After Three Games

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Are you less excited about this football season after the LSU loss? Well you shouldn't be.

Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Dak Prescott passed up the draft and came back to Mississippi State for one reason: to win a championship.

Most pundits gave him very little chance of doing so as his team was projected to finish dead last in the loaded SEC West. But three weeks into the season it's blatantly obvious the division isn't what it was cracked out to be.

Auburn -- the division favorite before the season started (lol) -- squeaked by a FCS team before getting blasted in their first conference game at LSU. Alabama, who doesn't look like the typical Alabama and can't even decide on a quarterback, lost to Ole Miss for the second straight year. Arkansas, well they lost to Toledo and Texas Tech, I'll just leave that one there.

So what does all this mean for MSU? Well, it means they still have a heck of a lot to play for, even after dropping a 21-19 decision to LSU in the home opener.

It all starts this Saturday at Auburn. If State can pull out a victory on the plains -- where the last two trips ended in heartbreak -- then the momentum from a 3-1 start could carry them a long way.

Another road trip to Texas A&M the following week is followed by three easily winnable games at home against Troy, Louisiana Tech, and Kentucky. A 6-2 record after that stretch is being pretty realistic.

Then comes November, which looked like a daunting task before the season but now offers a lot more promise. After traveling to Columbia to take on Missouri, MSU has Arkansas on the road sandwiched between two revenge games in Starkville against Alabama and Ole Miss.

There's not a game left on that schedule MSU isn't capable of winning. Bama and Ole Miss -- the only teams MSU lost to in the 2014 regular season -- present the toughest challenge. But, call it a gut feeling or me being a homer, something tells me this is the year Mullen takes down Saban. And sure -- Ole Miss has more star power and top-end talent -- but we all know how much home field advantage means in that rivalry.

But before any of those games matter, they have to take care of business on Saturday. If they lose to Auburn, a 6-6 season is coming so get ready. But if they find a way to avoid that last-second defeat that seems to always happen on the plains, nine wins is still within reach for this team.

That wouldn't be the championship type season Prescott came back for, but it would put Mississippi State on the college football map for the second year in a row, and most importantly, prove the doubters wrong all over again.