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Bulldogs can turn loss against South Alabama into a positive starting with LSU

The loss to South Alabama looked like it might be a program killer, but Dan Mullen has an opportunity to flip the script.

South Carolina v Mississippi State Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Mississippi St. Bulldogs enter their game with the LSU Tigers as heavy underdogs. Finding a consistent spread hasn’t been easy, but it looks like the Bulldogs are going to be given 14 points for betting purposes in this game.

Despite the status of MSU as such a heavy underdog, if the Bulldogs win this game, it won’t be a story of a team rebounding after a terrible setback to South Alabama. It will be all about just how bad LSU is going to be this season.

And it will continue this way all throughout the season. If Mississippi State can pull off the upset in Baton Rouge, they’re back on track and likely favored for every game from here until the team travels to Tuscaloosa to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide. The only game they might not be favored in is the game against the winner of this weekend’s contest between the Texas A&M Aggies and the Auburn Tigers.

But if they should rebound and win this weekend, there will be very little talk about what this Bulldog team is. People will point out the weaknesses of the opponents on the schedule.

I’m okay with this.

I truly believe the Bulldogs can travel to Baton Rouge this weekend and win. I don’t know that they will, but I firmly believe they can. But the loss to South Alabama at the beginning of the season is going to keep people from singing too many praises about this team.

And I say this might be a good thing because this team has always played its best when they felt disrespected. It always plays its best when they have the proverbial chip on their shoulder. If the Bulldogs can rebound and win this weekend and then find a way to get to Tuscaloosa on November 12th with just the one loss and a ranking only somewhere in the teens, then you know the players would feel as disrespected as ever.

During their weekly tradition of Ask Bob Carskadon on the B&B show on Bulldog Sports Radio, I sent a question asking Bob how we would view the South Alabama loss at the end of the season. He said annoying but necessary.

And I think that might be the best way to put it. The loss to South Alabama is going to leave a sting and always make the season have a slightly bitter taste. But if Dan Mullen can find a way to use that loss to make his young players grow and hungrier as a result, then what looked like a long season after Labor Day weekend might turn into one of the best in recent memory.