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Making the Grade

Over the offseason, MSU fans heard all sorts of preseason predictions regarding this football season. Making the Grade is a weekly article focused on assessing the various comments from highly respected and very intelligent media members.

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The 3 criteria that our analysts will be graded off of are as follows: 1) first and most important to the grading will be the accuracy of their comments to how MSU played; 2) how noteworthy and controversial their comments are; 3) Because I'm a fan and totally 100% objective, the final criteria will be based on how positively their comments reflect MSU.

This week, I am focusing on various preseason predictions and grading them against the MSU-Southern Miss game.

This week, our analysts are:

Barrett Sallee:

Many MSU fans became incredibly frustrated with Bleacher Report’s Barrett Sallee. And given many of his comments, it’s completely understandable for many MSU fans to be upset. However, as we witnessed in our game against Southern Miss, it seems Barrett may have been right in some of his comments. One of his most notable statements about MSU was in an article where he predicted a trap game for each SEC team. Many MSU fans were incensed over the fact that Sallee chose Southern Miss.

Well, as it turns out, our secondary was suspect against passes over the middle and USM’s offense was much more productive than last year. The Golden Eagles also took more risks and played much more aggressively, giving MSU a very close game for 3 quarters. Many MSU fans and sports bloggers gave Barrett a hard time. I myself was shocked and scoffed at his remarks. But, I’ll give credit where it is due. Hats off to Mr. Sallee for being right about the trap game. However, it wasn’t a prediction anybody really wanted to be correct. So, Barrett’s grade shakes out like this:

Accuracy: A -His USM comments seem fairly on point right now

Noteworthy/Controversy: A+ -There were blog posts and podcast/radio discussions seemingly everywhere for a while.

MSU Fan Grade: F -I’d say because of how controversial his comments were, and how seemingly negative they were to MSU, most fans who read his article before the game weren’t happy.

Alex Scarbrough:

ESPN’s Alex Scarbrough’s name doesn’t seem to come up often amongst Mississippi State fans. And that’s unfortunate. Mr. Scarbrough has a lot of great insight with very level headed and objective predictions and analysis. In the offseason, Alex released a 2015 season preview for Mississippi State saying that State could potentially win 10 wins again this season and he wrote highly of the potential State had. But like any good analyst, he also noted some of the shortcomings and faults MSU had.

MSU fans didn’t seem to be as incensed over Mr. Scarbrough’s remarks and his questioning that MSU might not make 6-6 in a worst case scenario prediction for the season. However, because of his objectivity and balanced look at the season for MSU, as well as his look at the upcoming LSU game as the most important game of the season, Scarbrough’s grade shakes out like this:

Accuracy: To be determined. He did mention a week 1 win over USM but didn’t focus heavily on that in his article. We’ll see at the end of the season if his 8-4 prediction for MSU is right or not

Noteworthy/Controversy: B -Alex’s comments aren’t really controversial. For many, an 8-4 season would be satisfactory and does seem very likely in the loaded SEC West.

MSU Fan Grade: A -I thought his comments were fair and balanced.

Grading the Polls/Bowl Predictions:

Yes, I know. Preseason polls and bowl predictions aren’t from single analysts. But they were a huge point of discussion for the MSU family the past few weeks. These are always ridiculous. Don’t pay them any attention. Auburn was predicted to win the SEC at SEC media days but Alabama was predicted to win the West. That’s not possible. And predicting Bowls before any games are played is just goofy. So, this grade will shake out to be:

Accuracy: F -See above comments on the Iron Bowl SEC Champ debacle

Noteworthy/Controversy: A+++++++ -These things spark a ton of conversation amongst fanbases everywhere.

MSU Fan Grade: B+ -Many were upset with MSU not making the top 25.

So who did I miss? Leave a comment or send me a tweet. I'm sure there'll be all sorts of interesting comments heading into our first home game of the season.