Quote of the Day:
“Wait til next year.” –mantra of thousands of Mississippi State fans for the last 70 years.
This has been the absolutely longest, most agonizing off season ever. But finally, tomorrow, college football is back! Thursday Pickin’ is back! Baby got Back! Ok, that one doesn’t EXACTLY fit, but I like to work in threes.
As many of you know TB enters every season with optimism. I always think Mississippi State is going to be better than last year, that they have a good chance to pull some upsets, that with a break here, a break there……well, you never know……
Only this year…….let me just say……you never know. I cannot recall a season with more justified optimism in my four decades as a fan.
Most of that optimism is based on the potential for greatness in our starting Quarterback, Dak Prescott. Not only does he have the size to take hits, the arm to make tough throws and the feet to turn potential disaster into crowd bending touchdown madness, but he’s got the charisma and the back story to make him the face of MSU football for many years to come. They are already calling him The Dak Knight and if/when he takes down LSU in Death Valley, you’re going to be seeing our version of the Caped Crusader featured in the bright lights of Gotham. I can’t hold it back any longer. Prescott is going to lead State to a 10-2 regular season and the biggest bowl game in our history. You heard it here first.
But it’s not just Dak. The Bullies are three deep at tailback–good’uns. We’ve got at least two future first round draft picks on defense and a slew of future pros. Nineteen of our top twenty-two are back on that side. The receiving corps is the best we’ve seen in Starkville. Our punter is good, our stadium is legit and….um….have you ever had MSU cheese?
Disclaimer number 1. We might drop a few games due to abysmal placekicking. I’m really worried about this.
Disclaimer number 2. If we lose an offensive lineman or two, things get dicey.
Disclaimer number 3. If Dak gets hurt, we drop back to form–possibly as low as 5-7 or 6-6.
All of these things, if history is any indication, are more than mere irrational fears, if not quite expectations.
Counter Disclaimer number 1. I really think we have a chance to go 11-1 in my head, I just don’t have the guts to predict it.
Counter Disclaimer number 2. I don’t count us out of any game on the schedule, even against mighty Alabama.
Counter Disclaimer number 3. This is the fewest number of disclaimers I’ve ever been able to come up with regarding the jalopy that is Mississippi State football.
Yep, I’ve got preseason exuberance. Premature jocularity. Um…errrr….excitedness. Stop it. Sometimes that third in a sequence is really hard to think of.
If MSU is home to the SEC’s Batman, somewhere there’s gotta be a Bane, and Bane is Ole Miss. Rebel fans are every bit as giddy as we Bullies, except when they laugh it sounds evil. The Rebs return Dr. Bo, a pretty good quarterback in his own right, purportedly healthier this year and with a decently villainous moniker. They’ve got studs on the D-Line, in the defensive backfield and several offensive playmakers. I look for Ole Miss to win nine games, possibly ten. As confident as I am in State this year, I have to admit I see us as no more than a slight favorite to keep the Egg for the fifth time in Dan Mullen’s six seasons as head coach. It is indoctrinated in Ole Miss mythology to such an extent I think many Reb fans actually believe it, that State is not their main rival. Save your patronizing, Johnnies. I lived in Oxford for three years. I visit regularly. I know how batshit crazy you are about losing to us. Your team will be ready for that game and you fans will be frothing at your treacherous mouths. The one thing Ole Miss has to worry about is the offensive line. It’s thin and untested. Like State, a key injury there, or to Bo, or to Robert Nkemdiche could easily torpedo the Land Sharks out of the water. Wait, what? Whatever.
Southern is bound to get better. They can’t get any worse. My prediction for the Buzzards is SMTTM. Southern Miss to the Middle. Of CUSA, or whatever they are calling it these days. Monken has a good rep, Southern has a proud history and….um….for some undisclosed third reason you will get five wins this year.
Alabama and LSU lose three games this season. Auburn does too.
Wait, did I just raise the stakes on my prediction?
Why yes, I think I did.
Why the hell not?
After all, this is Next Year.