Most coaches like to use the old adage “one game at a time” when approaching a season. But for the 2014 Mississippi State Bulldogs, they should really break their schedule into four sets of three games each.
It’s nearly amazing how the schedule sets up for Dan Mullen and his team. The Bulldogs open the season against Southern Miss on Saturday, followed by a second straight home game, this one against UAB. The Bulldogs’ third game is at South Alabama. Those appear to be three wins for the Bulldogs.
Then, the schedule toughens considerably. MSU visits the LSU Tigers before hosting the Texas A&M Aggies and the Auburn Tigers. If the Bulldogs get one win in those three games, that would be good. If they could sneak a second win by upsetting LSU or Auburn, that would be great. Three wins would be phenomenal.
After that three-game stretch, MSU gets a week off before three easier games. The Bulldogs visit the young Kentucky Wildcats on October 25, and then host the Arkansas Razorbacks and Tennessee-Martin in Starkville. Again, this appears to be a set of three games that MSU could, and should, win.
However, the schedule then gets tougher again. And while this final stretch may not be as tough as the earlier tough stretch, it will still be daunting. It starts with MSU visiting the Alabama Crimson Tide. Next comes the home finale, against the Vanderbilt Commodores. The season ends with the annual Egg Bowl game against the Ole Miss Rebels in Oxford.
Mullen and his team will take it one game at time, but the schedule is laid out in front of them. If they can take care of the six games that they should win, and maybe sneak out another win or two from the tougher games, this could be a big year in Starkville.
Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for RantSports.com and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.