Mississippi State is worth a long look

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Author: [College Football] Topic: Mississippi State is worth a long look
Josh_Nagel PM Josh_Nagel
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Posted: 7/4/2011 11:25:10 PM
If you’re looking for this year’s Auburn, you might want to keep your eye on Mississippi State.

I know I will. With odds at around 60/1 to win the BCS title at most betting parlors, the experience –heavy Bulldogs are worth a shot.
They have the makings of a club that could duplicate Auburn’s feat, which earned savvy futures bettors as high as 100/1 odds last year.

They return 16 starters, including 9 on offense, from a club that went 9-4 last year, obliterated Michigan in a bowl game, and was only really blown out of one contest, a 29-7 loss to LSU.

Miss St. was competitive against Alabama before fading late, lost on a late TD to Arkansas and, coincidentally, succumbed by just three points to eventual BCS champ Auburn.

Quarterback Chris Relf looks more and more like a poor man’s Cam Newton, and coach Dan Mullen might qualify as a poor man’s Urban Meyer.  A 6-foot-4, 245-pound dual threat in Newton’s mold, Relf didn’t put up great passing numbers last year but steadily improved as the season wore on and his confidence seemed to grow each time he took the field.

He finished with 1,789 passing yards with 13 TDs, and ran for 713 yards and 5 scores.

Most of the Bulldogs’ top position players also return, including running back Vick Ballard, who went for nearly 1,000 yards and scored 19 times. They also come back with the core of a solid defense that allowed just 20 points per game last season ranking No. 21 nationally.

Mullen is a former protégé of Meyer, working under him while both were at Florida. He’ll be in his third year of the rebuilding process he took on at Mississippi State, and he’ll be in position to give Bulldogs fans the return to prominence they have long coveted.

The timing looks good on several fronts. Auburn, decimated by early departures, looks to have a down season – at least compared to last year – while Arkansas and Alabama will both be breaking in new quarterbacks.

Naturally, the SEC schedule is a murderer’s row, but there’s some benefit in that as well. Not only did Auburn prove that an undefeated season can be accomplished in the nation’s toughest conference, but history also shows that BCS voters are more forgiving of SEC teams. LSU proved this a few years back when a two-loss Tigers club claimed the national title.

The Bulldogs are fortunate to have dates with Alabama and LSU at home, though tough dates with Georgia and Arkansas loom on the road. Even so, this club showed the makings of a special team late last year, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the Bulldogs contend for a BCS bowl.

At the very least, they should be a team that’s on your radar as a potential point-spread cash cow. Already, most books have moved them from a 3-point underdog to a 1-point favorite at Auburn in Week 2. I think the wiseguys have this one right.
Corley1011 PM Corley1011
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Posted: 7/4/2011 11:42:44 PM
Lucan PM Lucan
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Posted: 7/5/2011 3:27:10 AM

Good write up on Miss St they should become the better Mississippi football program. Which will give Mullen some good recruits in the future to keep trying to win the west.

 

Corley1011 PM Corley1011
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Posted: 7/5/2011 3:37:23 AM
That's what we are hoping... things are looking very good in Starkville
Alexjr28 PM Alexjr28
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Posted: 7/5/2011 6:04:27 AM
Honestly I think you guys(Miss St) will get more attention this season. Before, I think opposing teams would just go through the motions when preparing against State. I think this year you will get everyones complete attention. They are gonna play run and blitz a lot against Reif. I think the lack of vertical threat will hurt the offense and lack of depth on defense will hurt the D. Not to mention the SEC West is the toughest division in CFB. IMO a 9 win season is a very respectable accomplishment.
canovsp PM canovsp
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Posted: 7/5/2011 10:52:46 AM
State does scare me. As an LSU fan we have owned them in recent memory (15-1 in the last 16 meetings). That has to give sooner or later. Two years ago was a battle that went down to a goal line stand. Last year wouldn't have been that bad either except State had so many turnovers. If they play like they are capable they can go 10-2.
SatNightFever05 PM SatNightFever05
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Posted: 7/5/2011 11:15:44 AM
If Relf could throw it consistently, they would be very good on offense..
Corley1011 PM Corley1011
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Posted: 7/5/2011 12:08:30 PM
Relf has been working on his pass game all year and coaches expect it to be better... MSU is very deep at WR... the WR's the past 2 years were young really didn't have a full grasp of the offense, but now they are in their 3rd year and don't be surprised to see MSU take more shots down the field... The D is very deep except at LB... Brandon Maye helps but he's the only one with experience
GroveCity PM GroveCity
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Posted: 7/6/2011 6:22:06 PM

Corley,

What's the general consensus around starkville concerning the offensive line, mainly the open left tackle postion?

Corley1011 PM Corley1011
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Posted: 7/6/2011 7:04:11 PM
The O-line will have some big shoes to fill... However most believe they will be fine...
Posted using a mobile device.
jwheels86 PM jwheels86
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Posted: 7/6/2011 7:25:27 PM
The passing game is going to be a must for MSU to get to the next level of Championship competition, that is for sure. I like the defense though
MikeMoodySays PM MikeMoodySays
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Posted: 7/7/2011 6:09:46 AM
Great value at +3000 to win conference
chino1922 PM chino1922
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Posted: 7/10/2011 6:55:20 PM
atl4tigerfan PM atl4tigerfan
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Posted: 7/10/2011 8:06:15 PM
I agree with the poster that said MSU will get more attention during preparation this year.  No doubt they will be taken more seriously.

That said, I see a couple of potential pitfalls.  Playing Auburn and LSU back to back early in the season and Arkansas and Alabama back to back late in the season is going to result in some losses.

They catch Georgia and South Carolina from the east, and the gamecocks are the team to beat in my opinion.

Potential trap game at Kentucky after hosting South Carolina.

MSU just doesn't have the quality depth to make a run through the entire season.
mwhit82 PM mwhit82
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Posted: 7/12/2011 6:48:34 AM
Another clean program....All you fuckin cheats will have to deal w/ the NCAA assuming they care
Corley1011 PM Corley1011
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Posted: 7/12/2011 12:22:58 PM
solid post... 
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