Like Ice Cube in his prime, Mississippi State’s band of misfit three-star players have had an unprecedented run of good days recently, but here comes Nick Saban.
It feels like a paradox, but it deserves to be asked. Can the No. 1 team in the nation pull off an upset? Historically, losing to Alabama has always felt like manifest destiny for Mississippi State.
The Bulldogs of Mississippi State last triumphed over Alabama the year before Saban filled the Alabama coaching vacancy. Suffice to say, they have not had much luck. In the seven years since Saban took the wheel of the Bama Death Star, the Crimson Tide lasers have eviscerated Mississippi State by a combined score of 175 to 42. In their last six meetings, Alabama has held Mississippi State to 6.8 ppg, the Crimson Tide are Vegas’ favorite to win the title and their defense has allowed an FBS-low 11 touchdowns.
The two schools have played on 98 previous occasions, but the game doesn’t have a nickname because it’s never been a rivalry. Alabama’s slaughtered Mississippi State 78 times, lost 17 and tied three times. Kentucky is more of a natural historical rival for Mississippi State than Bama.
Two years ago the 7-0 Bulldogs were heading into an Oct. 28 clash with Bama that was being billed as the biggest matchup in school history. Bama bashed ‘em 38-7.
Conversely, 6-2 Mississippi State's goal line stand to preserve a win over 6-2 Alabama in 1980 is hailed as the biggest win in school history. The latter is the game, Dan Mullen would like to emulate.
Mississippi State’s pass defense is susceptible and while the offense features a Heisman Trophy frontrunner at quarterback, he’s also relatively new to the national stage which leaves us wondering when or if he and Hail State faithful will regress back to the mean. We’ve seen mini-regressions against Kentucky and UT-Martin, especially from Prescott. He has to return to hero mode if he’s going to derail the Crimson Tide’s freight train.
If Mississippi State is going to overpower Alabama, they’ll have to overcome the same odds Craig did against Debo.
Dak Prescott is the wild card.
Prescott is the ultimate archetype for the type of player Alabama has struggled mightily with in recent years.
He’s already done work in Death Valley where Ole Miss failed and Alabama nearly faltered. The Dak Knight will bring his A-Game.
Craig Beat Debo, Mississippi State beats Alabama.