When last we left the Mississippi State Bulldogs, they were pounding the Michigan Wolverines 52-14 in the Gator Bowl. Well, maybe not the last we saw of them, if you watch spring football. I wish people where I come from would care much more about spring college football. But they don’t, not like you people in SEC Country do- God bless ya!
The Bulldogs helped to get Rich Rodriguez fired, capping off a 9-4 season where they went .500 in conference. They’ll face another rough slate in the rugged SEC West in 2011.
BMOCs: QB Chris Relf can run and throw, and look for both him and a veteran receiving corps (led by Chad Bumphis) to take a step forward this season. But this is a run-oriented team and LaDarius Perkins and Vick Ballard are the backs to keep an eye on. On D, the stars/leaders are S Nickoe Whitley, DL Fletcher Cox and Sean Ferguson
2011 will be fruitful if: they simply stay healthy. Their entire starting: WRs, offensive backfield, secondary, DL (minus one spot) all return. Plus they have a great PK. Don’t need to fix what’s not broken from a New Year’s Day bowl team. Getting 10+ wins requires everyone step it up a notch to meet Coach Dan Mullen’s stated goal of 42 ppg. Tall order, but that’s life in the SEC.
2011 will be awful if: the questions go unanswered, such as: the three new starters at LB, a new OL that lost it’s C and All-American OT an NFL first round pick Derrick Sherrod. Also Brett Favre’s nephew, backup QB Dylan Favre struggled in his holds on kicks.
Bottom Line: 8-10 wins. The schedule is tough, and I don’t see them getting higher than third in the SEC West, but this is still a team that should improve from last season. In 2010, the passing game was kind of weak, and Ballard set a school record for TDs (19 rushing, 1 receiving) in a season. The MSU staff would like to see more balance on O this year.
MSU Rankings: #27 Athlon, #21 Lindy’s, #44 Phil Steele
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
He does regular weekly radio spots in Chicago and Cleveland and has appeared on live shows all across the world from Houston to New Zealand. You can follow him on Twitter
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