Well, it’s that time of year again where we have to play the best team over the last decade: the Alabama Crimson Tide. I want to make jokes at the University of Alabama’s expense, like how Tuscaloosa isn’t even remotely close to the ocean so why name the team the tide, but I’m just not feeling it this week. It just doesn’t feel appropriate to poke the bear. I mean, yeah, I could mention how their tertiary color scheme of houndstooth is based on a farce, but why insult a team you haven’t beat in almost a decade? Plus, we’ve all heard these insults year in and year out. I’ll just stick to football.
I mentioned just a moment ago that we haven’t beaten the Tide in almost a decade. Really the closest we’ve come was in 2014 when we lost by 5 points (after spotting UA 19 points to begin the game). It reminds me a little of another game in 2014, when Mississippi State played LSU. We hadn’t won in Baton Rouge since practically forever, and we came out and stomped them in 2014. Can Mississippi State do the same to the Tide, but in Davis Wade?
The biggest difference seems to be the attitude State fans have going into this game. It probably stems from the sheer dominance Alabama has shown since 2009, but it seems like NO ONE expects us to win. Folks have been saying 9 wins is the absolute ceiling for this team, and chalking this game as a loss since it was announced. Back in 2014, a lot of people actually expected us to end our losing streak against LSU, but that seems to be a sentiment lost in time somewhere. It seems like Mississippi State is destined to lose this game every year. Even our best team ever lost to Nick Saban, so how can we beat him this year?
BEST case scenario:
State absolutely can win this game. Any of you who say otherwise need to fix your ‘tude.
- We have to take advantage of the injuries Alabama has suffered on the defensive side of the ball. Christian Miller and Terrell Lewis were lost in the Tide’s game against Florida State, and Shaun Dion Hamilton and Mack Wilson were lost last week against LSU. All four were linebackers, meaning Nick Saban has to dig deeper into his depth chart than usual. Additionally, Minkah Fitzpatrick sustained a hamstring injury in week 10 which may linger into this week.
- Each individual player on our team must play the game of their lives tomorrow. Everyone seems to be pegging this game on Nick Fitzgerald or Aeris Williams, but the truth is, we need the best from EVERY. SINGLE. PLAYER. If we can get everyone’s best tomorrow, we will have the opportunity to win.
- MSU has to play mistake free - and take advantage of any mistake the Tide makes. Nick Saban coached teams don’t make mistakes, but if they do, we have to get points from them.
- Mississippi State finally breaks through, winning 24-14.
WORST case scenario:
- We get trounced. I mean, I feel like I don’t even have to go into detail here. We can all imagine getting our butt kicked, because Alabama has kicked everyone’s butt this year. Bama really hasn't played anybody (our 18% chance to win according to ESPN’s FPI metric is the highest chance anyone has had all year - yikes), but they haven’t left much doubt either way.
- Good guys lose: 52-10
- Sissy bold: Aeris Williams has a rush of over 30 yards in this game.
- Predicting a win against the most dominant team in any sport in modern history after you’ve lost the previous NINE tries bold: I’m calling my shot right now: not only do we win against the Tide tomorrow, but Auburn wins against Georgia AND wins the Iron Bowl. You know what that would mean? A tie for first place in the SEC West for our Bulldogs. You know what that means? Finishing ahead of Alabama after tie-breakers. Which would be pretty gnarly iyam.
JK’S TOTALLY COMPUTER GENERATED ADVANCED STATS NOT MADE UP ON A WHIM ACTUAL SCORE PREDICTION: Bulldogs surf the Tide, 21-20 and Davis Wade is ROCKIN’
*sorry for the lack of footnotes this week fam. I’ll get back to my old tricks next week