SEC Breakdown Day 1: Mississippi State Bulldogs

The first team on my “12 Teams in 12 Days” segment is the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

This is a team that was better last year than the year before and will be better this year than last year. You can see where I’m going with this can’t you?

The Mississippi State Bulldogs are coming off an impressive 9-4 season in 2010 under head coach Dan Mullen. The last time we saw the Bulldogs they demolished the Michigan Wolverines 52-14 in the Gator Bowl—a sign that this once-depleted SEC West team is on the rise. With veteran QB Chris Relf returning for his senior season, the Bulldogs will be in good shape to make some noise in the SEC West. Relf has earned valuable experience, and because of his dual threat ability, it will be tough to stop him.

The Bulldogs had impressive wins over Georgia and Florida last season, but they couldn’t beat the top teams in the SEC West. If they want 2011 to be a better season they’ll have to find a way to beat Auburn, Alabama, and LSU.

In an interview, Head Coach Dan Mullen told the USA Today that, “We are getting very close to how we want it to be. As a coach, you ideally would like to have seniors fill your roster and when they leave you replace each senior at each position with a new recruit and that is closer to what we are getting toward.”

That’s a good sign for the Bulldogs, but I wonder just how long Mullen plans to stay at Mississippi State? They’re headed in the right direction, however it’s still going to take them a lot of time to knock off Alabama and LSU who are both poised to make National Title runs this year.

Another good year at Mississippi State and Mullen could head to a school with much better tradition and facilities, which would make recruiting much easier for him. Let’s be honest, most kids aren’t going to want to go to Starkville when they could go to Tuscaloosa, Auburn, Gainesville, or Athens.

Mullen is in good shape for 2011 as The Bulldogs bring back seven starters on both sides of the ball. Leading rusher Vick Ballard also returns for his senior season, and I have a strong feeling he will rush for over 1,000 yards this year. But a key loss for MSU is the departure of Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz, who left for Texas.

I predict the Bulldogs will have a slightly better year under Mullen, going 10-3. But the West is just too tough this year for the Bulldogs to have a chance at an SEC Championship.

Grade: A-

7 thoughts on “SEC Breakdown Day 1: Mississippi State Bulldogs

  1. They are def going to be a tough team for sure, but I am still lost on people talking about Alabama. They are a great team, but they lost some serious heft that literally got them to where they were this past year, am I crazy in thinking this???

  2. Mississippi State is a better team but so is everybody else. I say they’ll drop to 8-5 , but only because the West is SO loaded. Good stuff Joey.

  3. Great article man I can tell you will be loved around here. Dan Mullen is a brilliant coach that I wish the best for, that being said I see 4 losses for this team and one of those losses will be at the hands of Boom and the boys.

  4. Great article man I can tell you will be loved around here. Dan Mullen is a brilliant coach that I wish the best for, that being said I see 4 losses for this team and one of those losses will be at the hands of Boom and the boys.

  5. You’re implying that MSU and and UF will play each other in the SEC Championship game right? Because that is the only way they will meet.

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