There are still four games left in the football season. Never have I typed those words with a sense of dread. We still have to get through these last four games with our insanity intact.
But despite the continual despair of the fan base, some people still have questions they want to ask. So lets jump into the mailbag and see what’s on everyone’s minds.
@JStrawnFWtCT will the UN consider my petition to cancel November?— Ethan Lee (@leeethanj) October 31, 2016
I hate to break it to you Ethan, but you can’t just go canceling months. Yes, it will be tough to watch from a Mississippi St. Bulldogs football fan perspective, but canceling months has a wide range of complications. One of those is I get a week off work for Thanksgiving. I need my week off, so we’re going to have to do what every Mississippi State fan did before the 2009 football season. Suck it up.
I’m all for doing whatever it takes to make this season seem bearable. If you need to pretend the season hasn’t started yet, do it. If you need to drink copious amounts of alcohol at any given point during a game, do it. If it means doing something else besides watching the game, do that as well. We just have to find a way to get through these last four games.
@JStrawnFWtCT what is the over/under on average attendance for these next two home games?— Ethan Lee (@leeethanj) October 31, 2016
I’m assuming you mean actual bodies in seats. The announced attendance will be around 60,000 because the announced attendance is based on tickets sold, not the number of people who actually walked through the gates.
But to answer the question from a perspective of how many people are in the stadium, I’d put the number at 40,000. There probably wasn’t 30,000 people in the stands against Samford, but it should be a little higher for Texas A&M and Arkansas.
Texas A&M is a good team, and people will want to come see them play a good team, even if it means we get the brakes beat off us. I think there is a case to be made for beating Arkansas, so people might want to come watch the team possibly get a win. So lets go with 40,000 and see what happens.
Here’s the weird thing about both these questions: there is no way to predict what is going to happen in this year’s Egg Bowl. And before people from either side of the rivalry scoff, let me explain.
From a simple X’s and O’s perspective, the Bulldogs won’t have a chance against the Ole Miss Rebels. Ole Miss has more talent and appears to be a bad match-up for the Bulldogs. But there are a ton of other things that are going to affect it. But we’ll get to those in a moment. The biggest reason we can’t predict anything about this game is we truly don’t know what Ole Miss is.
Ole Miss has lost to every good team they have played, and beaten every bad one. The one exception to this could be Arkansas, but we’ll get to them in a moment. Is Ole Miss a good team that just has played a really tough schedule, or are they a bad team that is competing against good teams for longer than they should? The truth is, I don’t know.
If you want to know how Mississippi State can win the Egg Bowl as of right now, they have the running game to give Ole Miss problems. Ole Miss has been pounded by teams with strong running games, and State has a good one. If the Bulldogs decide they are going to keep the ball on the ground and do their best to keep Chad Kelly and all of his offensive toys off the field, they have a puncher’s chance. But that’s it.
I said Arkansas is the exception, and that is where there is some hope for Mississippi State. Arkansas isn’t really that good. They might need their win against us to get bowl eligible, but they beat Ole Miss simply because they lined it up against the awful Ole Miss run defense and ran right at them.
The most likely scenario is State scores some points, but can’t keep up with an offense that could torch the Bulldogs awful secondary. But there are all these other factors I can’t figure out.
Ole Miss will likely enter the Egg Bowl needing a win to get bowl eligible. They probably lose to Texas A&M and beat Georgia Southern and Vanderbilt. Is getting bowl eligible for a team that had national championship aspirations going to be sufficient motivation? I don’t know that it will be.
The first quarter will tell us a lot about how the Egg Bowl will be. If Ole Miss scores three or four touchdowns and the Bulldogs can’t answer, then turn the TV off and find something else to do. But if State can stay within striking distance until the 1st half is over, they’ll have an opportunity. Ole Miss scores 24 points on average in the first half, but has struggled to score in the second half with just 12 points in it all season.
I don’t think it is a foregone conclusion that State will get their butts handed to them in Oxford. Is it highly more likely that will happen than State winning the game? Sure it is, but if you want to at least think there is some hope, I think you can at least have that.
That’s it for this week’s mailbag. If you ever want your questions answered, hit me up on Twitter @JStrawnFWtCT.