What’s up with the disrespect towards Mississippi State?
Whether it is in the media, Vegas odds, or outside fans, the Bulldogs are doubted year in and year out.
A new college football season means new Vegas predictions, and being underrated is a feeling that Bulldog fans know all too well. One Reddit user calculated MSU to finish the season with a 2–10 record. They don’t expect our Bulldogs to win a single SEC match-up. Vegas has Mississippi State’s over/under set at 5.
Today, the media predicted Mississippi State to finish sixth in the SEC West. What else is new?
Now, let’s break down why this is so unlikely.
Even though losing Fred Ross and Justin Senior has potential to hurt the Bulldogs, it is likely the offense will be far more explosive than last year. It all starts with Donald Gray.
Gray replacing Ross as the leading receiver could be huge. Against Samford last season, Gray caught two touchdown passes that were 70+ yards. Although the opponent wasn’t SEC quality, the game showed how deadly quarterback Nick Fitzgerald and Gray have the potential to be. Gray’s explosiveness and open field abilities — combined with his strong hands — will give the Bulldogs’ offense more scoring opportunities in 2017.
As much as I hate to say it, the loss of Brandon Holloway has potential to help the Bulldogs out in 2017. Let’s face it, Holloway up the middle never worked.
With Aeris Williams carrying the rock, State’s backfield is much more dynamic. Having an athletic playmaker like Williams in the backfield could be a major key to an explosive offense in 2017.
Last, but certainly not least, is Nick Fitzgerald. When you’re a quarterback under Dan Mullen, there is nothing that you can do but get better, and that is exactly what Bulldog fans expect of Fitzgerald in the upcoming season. If Fitz’s throwing accuracy has improved, a Heisman dark-horse campaign could be upon us.
The loss of Richie Brown stings, but with Willie Gay stepping in, J.T. Gray coming back, and Leo Lewis looking to have a huge sophomore season, the Bulldogs should be able to fill in the absence with ease.
With Tolando Cleveland returning from injury, Jamal Peters on the field, and Cameron Dantzler looking to have a great first year, the corners aren’t something to worry about either. Todd Grantham is also a great addition at defensive coordinator. He is known for his aggressive play calling, and could bring out the best in stars like Brandon Bryant, JUCO transfer Johnathan Abram and star defensive lineman Jeffrey Simmons.
While receiving an upgrade at defensive coordinator and gaining talent across the defense, it isn’t difficult to see that State will be much stronger on the defensive side of the ball than they were in the previous year.
With an offense led by star quarterback Nick Fitzgerald and a defense that has gained significant talent, how is it possible for the Bulldogs to win less games than they did last season? I guess there is only one answer to that question: the media.
But, it’s okay. Just sit back and watch.