Something is rotten in the state of Mississippi. Starkville, Mississippi to be more exact.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs haven’t won since January 5 – a string of 11 straight losses – and first-year head coach Rick Ray is captaining a sinking ship that is minus a few lifeboats, with players bailing right and left.
He recently suspended second-leading scorer Jalen Steele, who returned in Wednesday’s loss to Alabama, and cut ties with forward Roquez Johnson, who started eight games, for violating team rules.
Fading MSU during its 11-game skid would have made you a pretty penny, with the Bulldogs posting a 3-8 ATS mark in that span. However, like most trends in sports betting, that value only lasts so long.
But don’t worry. There are more teams with one foot out the door on this season – some that were expected to compete in their conference and make the cut for the NCAA. With only a few weeks left on the schedule, expect these four programs to pack it in early.
Minnesota Golden Gophers (18-9 SU, 13-11-1 ATS)
It wasn’t supposed to be this way for the Golden Gophers, who were a live underdog in the Big Ten entering the year. Things started off well enough, with Minnesota putting in a strong non-conference effort and opening Big Ten play with three straight wins.
Since then, the Gophs are just 3-7 SU and head coach Tubby Smith is beginning to feel the heat. An upcoming matchup versus No. 1 Indiana could be the straw that breaks the Gophers’ back.
Oregon State Beavers (13-13 SU, 12-10-0 ATS)
The most notable thing Craig Robinson has done in this past month is photobomb his brother in-law, President Barak Obama, during his inauguration. As for his day job, the Oregon State head coach is just plain bombing.
The Beavers have just three wins in their last 10 games and have suffered crushing defeats during that span, watching leads disappear late into games. Those types of losses weigh on a veteran squad that has seen the same things happen each year of Robinson’s four-year tenure.
Nevada Wolf Pack (12-13 SU, 9-13-2 ATS)
You can’t blame Nevada head coach David Carter for his recent outburst following the Wolf Pack’s fifth loss in the last six games – the MWC is beast this year. Carter lashed out at his team following a late-game collapse in an overtime loss to Fresno State saying, “Next year there’s going to be some changes. You had your chance.” He called the defeat the low point of his 14-year career in Reno.
Nevada was expected to run among the top teams in the Mountain West but even with a roster packed with upperclassmen, the Wolf Pack have fallen way short. Carter isn’t likely going to lose his job but he is in danger of losing his team. There’s also a good chance he’ll lose his remaining games, which all come against the who’s-who in the MWC.
Florida State Seminoles (14-12 SU, 9-14-1 ATS)
Florida State was another program with positive expectations entering the season. Some preview publications tabbed them as a Top-25 team despite the fact they lost four starters from last season. But with those starters went FSU’s toughness.
Leonard Hamilton teams aren’t used to getting pushed around. The Seminoles, usually among the elite in defending and rebounding, are allowing 68 points a night (218th) and are weak on the glass (316th), which has become the bane of their ACC existence. If FSU’s young bucks aren’t buying into Hamilton’s philosophies by now, they are never going to get it.