“Mississippi Queen…..” I don’t know the rest of that Lite beer commercial song. I’m not much for classic rock. But I do know the term certainly applies to Taylor Corley, also known as Taylor Stone the girl who gave up her MSU cheerleading scholarship to pose for Playboy and start a reality tv “career.” Click on her name to see more of her.
But there’s much more to the Mississippi State Bulldogs than a cheerleader posing nude. There’s CB Johnthan Banks (that’s not a typo, his name is Johnthan, not Johnathan) who could be among the first corners taken in the NFL Draft next April. And a defense that could help them make some noise in the SEC.
2011 was: rather mediocre, especially when you consider how bad their conference record was. The 7-6 was highlighted by a bowl win over Wake Forest, and an utter blowout of their arch rival Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl. They finished 94th in passing offense, which was atrocious, but also happened to be a very distinctive 16th in overall scoring defense.
2012 will go smoothly if: they get off to a fast start again, and they should. The schedule is favorable early on, and they have a big time playmaker on offense in QB Tyler Russell. He’s a first year starter so he’ll need help from the improved group they expect to see in the receiving game. This is the most talent and depth Dan Mullen has had during his tenure in Starkville, but MSU is also 0-12 against division rivals not named the Rebels, and they haven’t won the league since 1941.
2012 will be rough if: They don’t make a huge improvement on run defense and in the passing game. the defense figures to lean on the secondary, as CB Corey Broomfield complements Banks, although there are some depth concerns at safety. The OL is a complete mess though, will they give Russell enough time?
BMOC: Russell, Broomfield, Banks, DE Denico Autry DT Josh Boyd
All-name team: LB Beniquez Brown, MLB Ferlando Bohanna, Taveze Calhoun, Darius Slay
Bottom Line: They should be above okay. Maybe better that the just above .500 they were last year. 7-8 wins certainly looks likely, and the schedule does them some favors. They’re in such a strong conference and division, that they could be a much better team, but not have that much better a record. By the way, Mississippi State, not Michigan, is the first team to print a Twitter hash tag on their field. Just clearing that up.
Rankings Athlon- 47 Lindy’s- 46 Phil Steele- 28
All the 77s
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Fox Sports, MSN, Walter Football and Yardbarker
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too