Mississippi State has played in six straight bowl games under the leadership of Dan Mullen. The obvious question: Can the Bulldogs make it a lucky seven in 2016?
We won’t get the definitive answer to that question this Saturday when Auburn plays at Starkville, but we will get a strong hint.
It’s difficult to see any way State gets to the required six victories for bowl eligibility without beating Auburn in Saturday’s 11 a.m. game. State is 2-2, coming off a bye week. Auburn, 3-2, is coming off back-to-back home victories over LSU and Louisiana-Monroe.
After Auburn, the Bulldogs play at 2-3 BYU (iffy), at 2-3 Kentucky (State should be favored), Samford (a homecoming victory), 5-0 Texas A & M (underdog), at 5-0 Alabama (heavy underdog), 4-1 Arkansas (underdog), and at 3-2 Ole Miss (underdog).
So, even if the Bulldogs defeat narrowly favored Auburn, six victories isn’t a sure thing by any stretch. Lose to Auburn, and six victories is more or less a pipe dream.
Coaches and players famously play them one game at a time. The rest of us can look ahead. Those last four games are like the famous Murderer’s Row State always used to play.
Bottom line: If State wants to go to a bowl, the Bulldogs better beat Auburn.
And, yes, the South Alabama game continues to haunt.
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