This isn’t going to be a typical recap. We’re a fan site, but I try to be as objective as possible. Tonight, I’m throwing all that out the window.
There is a silver lining, and for those who really need it, I’ll give it to you. There is only one team remaining on the schedule capable of completely shutting our run game down and making us one dimensional. There is also only one team remaining on our schedule with a dominant defensive line capable of neutralizing our pass rush which in turn will help our secondary. That team is Alabama.
The other six games are winnable. I’m not saying Mississippi State will win all of them, but they can. So if you needed something positive, there it is. And if you don’t like negativity, I suggest you close your web browser now.
If you’re still here, Dan Mullen should be embarrassed there is a gap as wide as the Pacific Ocean between Mississippi State in his 9th year and the top of the SEC. Because Georgia and Auburn are at the top, right under Alabama. Just like LSU didn’t deserve to be on the field with the Bulldogs two weeks ago, Mississippi State didn’t deserve to be on the field with either Georgia or Auburn.
There is a laundry list of problems the Bulldogs have, and I’m not sure which one is the worst. I can’t tell you if Fitzgerald is improved because his receivers can not catch the football. They have not given Fitzgerald any assistance at all to move the football down the field. And as much as Dan Mullen talks about being a developmental school, there hasn’t been any development by the receivers.
While we are on developing players, the offensive line had at least seven false starts tonight. Some of it can be attributed to an injury to Rankin, but the difference in the line once a player went down was astonishing. John Hevesy takes a lot of crap, but it was well deserved tonight.
There are plenty of other problems, but they are all rooted in the same issue. Mississippi State simply doesn’t recruit at a level to compete with the top of the SEC.
Sure there are times when Mississippi State can have a lot of things break right for them like they did in 2014, but those will be anomalies and not the norm. Until Mississippi State can recruit at least in the top 15 in the country consistently, they won’t be able to hang with the teams that do.
This leaves Mississippi State as a team that is going to win 6, 7, or 8 games a year. And that’s the reality. Mississippi State fans, myself included, have to accept that fact since Mullen has yet to recruit at an elite level. We can say stars don’t matter all we want, but it doesn't change the fact that elite recruiting schools are the ones that win the SEC and National Championships are those that recruit the best players in the country.
And as disappointed as I am in the play the last two weekends by the Bulldogs, I’m mostly disappointed in myself. I let myself foolishly believe Mississippi State had a chance at bigger and better things after they beat LSU. The Bulldogs should get to one of the middle tier bowls the SEC is tied into, and that’s the norm. It’s time I learn to accept it.