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Poor man’s SEC preview: Mississippi State

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How to teach your QB to not throw wounded ducks…the Sly Croom way

State of the Program: Depends on who you ask. Some might see State’s five SEC wins in five seasons as an indicator that all is undoubtedly not well. Others, well, maybe you can find someone who thinks otherwise. With my allegience to Kentucky, it’s not necessarily my place to kick a team when they’re down; we’ve been that team for most of my cognitive life. If anyone can empathize with the dreadful ‘Dogs, it’s us. Attempting to compete in the SEC while on strict probation is virtually impossible, but then again, is it possible for State to compete if they don’t cheat? Head coach Sly Croom (whose favorite pie is Huckleberry) doesn’t have much to sell to recruits, except for the fact that the Student Center just opened a Chick-Fil-A. Perhaps the most telling aspect of the “state of the program,” is a team’s relevance outside of the campus walls. Excluding alumni and Starkvillians, have you ever met a Miss St. fan? If everyone was a genius, there wouldn’t be anyone to pick up our trash or screw up our order at Wendy’s. Similarly, there has to be a gimme in every conference, and unfortunately for State and their luckless head coach, it’s them. It’s only a matter of time before fans swap their famed cowbells for slide whistles.

So you’re saying there’s a chance: No, not really, but it’s not as if State is the worst team in D1. They did win at Tuscaloosa last season and nearly pulled off a couple of conference wins at home, so there is a speck of hope, you just have to look into a microscope to see it. This team is not completely devoid of talent. Safety Derek Pegus is one of the SEC’s best ball hawks and KRs, and brutish So. RB Anthony Dixon will make a name for himself before his career finished.

Hey, what was all that one and a million talk: Despite a Kentucky defense that begged QB Michael Henig to beat them last season, which he nearly did, the Billy Jack-esque Jr. is far from stellar. There are some talented starters on defense, but not much quality depth. Factor in an abysmal kicking game last season, and well, good luck.

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Don’t tell me he was holding! I’m Jackie f-in Sherrill!

Schedule: Only three weeks left until the first kick-off! Oh, it’s agaisnt LSU…yikes. Things won’t get much better from there, with a handfull of impossible SEC road games (a lot of potential Lincoln Financials here) and a mid-season sacrificial trip to Morgantown to take on a silky West Virginia club. Why, oh why, would this team agree to play WVU? Is the SEC too soft for ya or something? On the bright side, Jacksonville St. comes to town on 9/22, and the Egg Bowl is in Starkville to close the season.

What’s in a name? Comedy: Jr. WR Co-Eric Riley is not a twin…which sort of makes you scratch your head.

In conclusion: Scowering the MSU message boards, it seems as though some feel this is Croom’s swan song, while others think he’s simply in an impossible spot. Either way, it would be hard to imagine a coach sticking around after such abysmal results, but as Ol’ Pappy Brooks attested last season, sometimes it can pay off. Yet without a consistent QB, lack of all around depth, and favorless schedule, I would be shocked if they can squeeze four wins out of this season. It’ll certainly take more than the football equivalent of a Sheray Thomas lane violation. Maybe Chris Walken has the solution:

Article written by John Dubya

The Twitter: @Johnawilk