Well, we’re 5 weeks into the season and this Mississippi State team has run the gamut of possibilities. We ran through a couple of cupcakes, completely obliterated a talented but young LSU team, and were absent without leave against an incredibly talented and experienced Georgia team. To be honest, I have no idea how good our team is. This could really shake out to be a team very similar to 2012’s, when we beat every team worse than ~60th and lost to every team better than ~20th. That was also the season when we crushed Auburn early on and thought we were awesome.... only for Auburn to finish 0-8 in the SEC.
Speaking of Auburn’s worst season since 1952, that’s who we’re playing this week! Ya know, that team that is always a quarterback away from challenging Bama? That one that hasn’t had a decent quarterback since a transfer cornerback (previously kicked off of Georgia’s squad) played for them? That SEC program that has a new shiny QB with a rocket arm and mechanical legs ready to take them to the promised land every July*? That blue and orange behemoth that has a knack for finishing 8-4 every season they don’t have miracle plays at the end of (several) regulation(s)?
Yeah, that Auburn.
Anyway, we head to “The Plains” to contend with the other cow school this week, despite the fact that Auburn actually lies within “the piedmont” according to this handy-dandy physiographic map. HA, GEOLOGISTED. Okay, so maybe it’s sort of on the line with “the plains” but whatever. Enough trash talk, let’s make some predictions.
BEST case scenario:
Mississippi State wins. Apparently I may have pounded the 10-2 Kool Aid a little too hard last week when I was hoping for a blowout of Georgia. And for that, I apologize. Before the season, I was hoping to go 2-1 in this stretch against LSU, UGA, and Auburn, and that is still in play. It’s just weird to have won 37-7 and lost 31-3 in the first two. Let’s not try to get cute here, let’s just win regardless of score.
We play mistake free football. Dan Mullen: Quarterback Whisperer is always preaching to our quarterbacks to take the mistake-free, small play. Maybe our entire team needs to have that mindset. Do your job, don’t be a hero, and we will always have a chance to win the game. If we just stay on schedule and don’t find ourselves facing third and longs all night, we will score enough points to win the game.
We keep up the good work with our offensive line. Yeah, it’d be nice to have more running lanes, but our offensive line has given up one (count ‘em, one) sack this year. That’s 10 less than one SEC team** gave up in a single game earlier this year!
More points to less points, State wins.
WORST case scenario:
We get steamrolled. Let’s be real, this was an intense way to start SEC play. You don’t see many teams starting their conference play against the 3 of the best defenses they could possibly play. If we come out of the gate as rough as we did in Athens this could be a rough night. Also, read my worst case from last week. It reads like a game recap now.
Especially after the way I was talking in the intro to this piece, and the way I talk about Auburn just in general, it would be a major worst case scenario if Jarrett Stidham threw the ball all over us. I expect the Auburn offensive gameplan to mirror that of Georgia’s: run the ball with their great backs and take a shot here and there to try to keep MSU honest. If they can do that and keep Stidham off the turf, we’re gonna give up a lot of points.
Jeffrey Simmons gets shut down. We need Simmons to cause disruptions and free up our other linemen and linebackers to make plays. If Simmons is made insignificant, we won’t be able to keep Auburn out of the end zone.
We lose 30-13.
Sissy bold: Nick Fitzgerald doesn’t throw an interception in this game.
Cheating just weeks after being punished for cheating by the NCAA, only this time getting caught by the FBI bold: NCAA basketball is going the way of the dodo. YOU HEARD ME. Sure, there will still be college basketball, but if you can’t get paid by a shoe company, why not get paid by a European basketball team for a year? Being a State fan, I love college baseball, but aren’t a vast majority of high school baseball stars going straight to the minor leagues so they can be paid? That hurts the product on the college field. I’m calling it right now that most star high school basketball players will choose to be paid over choosing to risk injury while taking 12 hours of underwater basket weaving classes. And the NCAA won’t be able to sustain itself in college basketball.
JK’S TOTALLY COMPUTER GENERATED ADVANCED STATS NOT MADE UP ON A WHIM ACTUAL SCORE PREDICTION: Auburn wins 21-7.
*Weird how the season isn’t played in July...
**Yeah, it was Auburn