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11.26.2012 - Bowl Projections, Bowl Reps Talk, and More Monday News and Notes

A few news links and notes relating to MSU's projected bowl situation and what the bowl reps are saying this week.

Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE

As promised last week, our format here at FWtCT for News and Notes will shift from a post each weekday morning to sporadic posts as needed throughout the week. Under the new format, all the news-related posts and things that are not strictly opinion or our musings will be grouped together in a storystream, where you can easily find them all right there at the top of our homepage. Now, here are a few links for you this afternoon relating to MSU's bowl situation after a 41-24 dismantling in the Egg Bowl, as well as some assistant coaching questions and a little perspective from Mr. Carskadon:

  • After the smoke has cleared on the college football landscape, or more specifically, on the wreckage of MSU's football team left on the field at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium Saturday night, here are your updated bowl projections for the Bulldogs:

CBS - Gator Bowl vs. Wisconsin
ESPN - [Schlabach] Gator Bowl vs. Wisconsin, [Edwards] Compass Bowl vs. Toledo, [Aschoff] Music City (opponent not listed)
SBNation - Music City vs. Iowa State
College Football News - Gator Bowl vs. Northwestern

What should you take from the above projections? Above all else, take from them that no one really knows where State will end up at this point. There are so many different factors that go into the decision for bowl reps, and with the way things have gone for not only MSU but for the teams around us in the bowl race, the waters have become quite muddied over the last several weeks. State could still wind up in the Gator or fall as low as the BBVA Compass Bowl, and frankly right now no choice would surprise me. You have to factor in our season's end, along with Vanderbilt's year, Ole Miss' improbable bowl eligibility and their fan-base's willingness to travel, along with about 1,000 other factors. This thing is truly wide open. Not to mention the numerous teams that fall above us in the pecking order, and how their selections will trickle down and affect our placement as well.

  • A lot of good thoughts as well as some quotes from bowl reps here in Brandon Marcello's bowl blog entry. It discusses all of MSU's potential bowl destinations, the probability of each, and how Ole Miss' selection will impact ours. From that entry by Marcello, an interesting and telling quote from Gator Bowl president Rick Catlett:

"MSU has great fans, they travel really good and we have a special bond with the Mississippi State fans," Gator Bowl president Rick Catlett said Monday. "The flip side of that is losing four games at the end and losing to an in-state rival. There is some concern if they will really enjoy coming over here."

In all honesty, this is a concern of mine as well, and I'm not surprised that a man in his position is factoring that in completely to his bowl's decision. Think for a second how the 2010 season ended and the expectations of that year versus how this season ended and the expectations going into this year, or were the expectations were seven games in to the year. Throw on top of that your thoughts of how willing you are to travel this bowl season versus how willing you were to travel after the 2010 season for a bowl game. These are all factors that the bowl presidents and committee must take under consideration, and at least from my perspective, that excitement does not seem to be there as it was in 2010. I could be way wrong on that, but that is my view on it.

Wilson might require the most evaluation. Two seasons into his role as DC, and the defense appears to have gone backwards. Teams that run up-tempo offenses - namely Troy, Texas A&M and Ole Miss - have given State fits this season. Those three teams each went over 500 yards, gaining a combined total of 1,792 yards.

Could we see some changes made at the assistant coaching level this off-season? There certainly seems to be some warrant to that. The offense has struggled to protect Tyler Russell as well as run the ball consistently this season, while the defense has been torched badly not only in the four losses but against all of the high tempo offenses that we have faced in 2012. Those decisions ultimately fall to Dan Mullen, but it seems to me and I would imagine to a good many in the crowd that some change needs to take place to correct errors that have been quite evident this season.

  • Always some really good day-after perspective from my buddy Bob Carksadon in the Sunday ThingamaBob column. Make sure you read it, as Bob offers some good insight into the annual Egg Bowl, and how results are never permanent in the annual game between State and Ole Miss.