Growing up, I always loved this season. It meant that my birthday was coming up, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas. If you were fortunate enough to receive gifts for any holiday in your life, you might have been the type to snoop about the house, looking for any evidence that that gift of your dreams was in your future.
One might look in closets, random cabinets, trunks of cars, hidden compartments in the garage, the basement where they kept that “other” sibling. You know, great hiding places. But more times than not, you found everything but what you were looking for. This year, however, the Aggies got a peek in the secret gift hiding spot and have discovered that the College Football Playoff might be in their future. This number four ranking is that gift sitting in your parent’s trunk that you weren’t supposed to find.
The flip side to that coin is that those gifts can always go back. I know that was the threat around my house. If I even let on that I knew what was coming it would be “YOU KNOW THINGS CAN GO BACK WHERE THEY CAME FROM” and I would snap out of whatever cocky and attitudinal mood I was in and go back to “good boy” status.
It’s at this moment that I would like to remind the Aggie faithful to maintain that “good kid” status, and not fuck this up. First week playoff rankings mean dick if you drop a game. Strap it on, take care of business, and just win. MSU may be 3-5 with a loss to directional Alabama, but don’t go playing with your food. Put foot to ass and beat the hell outta CLANGA.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
The Mississippi native will play his final road game as an Aggie in his home state. If Watts is still dinged up, we'll need a big play or two or three or four or however many he feels like from #14.
The sophomore got off to a blazing start in 2016, but is 50% since Auburn. Time to chase that jinx away and go 3/3 from 45+ since we'll be scoring on all our red zone trips.
#11 has been quietly climbing the Aggie receiving record books. He recently passed EZ and is one big game away from leapfrogging Mike Evans in the 4th spot for career receiving yards. MSU is ranked 104th in passing yards allowed. Yes, that's behind New Mexico State.
Had a monster game against Stanford, amassing 400+ passing yards and 100+ rushing yards, something only Archie Manning and Johnny Manziel had ever accomplished in the SEC. [covers mic while someone whispers in ear] Oh. That's SAMford. Disregard.
You may remember the Bulldogs' leading tackler from that time he got three picks in 2014 oh god why, that game was madness and should be purged from the collective memories and burned in a pyre and buried in shards of obsidian, never to see the light of day again.
Leads the SEC in receiving touchdowns. Also holds the school record for career receptions. Has twice as many catches as the second-leading receiver. They might try to throw the ball to him.
Been a while since the NCAA outlawed hashtags in the Davis-Wade endzones. That means it's time for Mississippi State to try to sneak their message back in somehow on the grass fringes of everyone's collective consciousness (sort of like where they stand in the SECW tbh). The following are possible hidden messages that rescramble to spell out their iconic catchphrase:
"#EatShaltI" just a fancy olde way of saying "diiiinnnneeee"
"#ThatsALie" 2016 hopefulness
"#HaaTitles" more of the same
"#HeatsAlit" baby it's burnin'
"#ALateHits" SEC REFS AMIRITE LULZ
"#AStaleHit" SRSLY THEY NEVER THROW TEH FLAGZ
"#AShaltTie" if this were pre-1996, guarantee the Bulldogs would have a tie somehow
"#LatteHasI" yeah we get it, Mullen, you wear hip shoes and imagine you are cool
"#IHaltEast" loss to Kentucky says otherwise, guys
"#AlitSatHe" Trevor Knight's going to catch fire Saturday? Agree.
"#ItsAleHat" good idea
"#LesHatTIA" pretty ambitious coach wish list
"#IHateSalt" product is pretty bland after Dak left
"#EatShitAL" roll damn tide
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
It's a crossroads moment for the nation with a major decision looming throughout November... is a potential one-loss non-blue blood outsider Texas A&M worthy to be elected to the College Football Playoff? We go to one of the key influencers of our time...
"Folks, isn't the SEC beautiful? Two teams in the Playoff? Classy. I'm thinking gold goalposts. Pylons made out of actual minks. I have many dear, dear friends on the College Football Playoff committee. We've each conjured ways to profit in a big way on the backs of low wage labor. Shrewd business people, OK? Do I like Texas A&M in the Playoff? Folks, I love Texas A&M in the Playoff. When I take the oval football shaped office, only the SEC will remain. We'll have a 14 team playoff of only SEC establishments and we'll make the Big Ten pay for it, OK? HAIL united STATEs!"
Yes, gang - we're getting a big helping of America on the final Saturday before the election. Hell, Mississippi State is wearing TROOP INSPIRED uniforms that look like a Kid Rock concert dragged through an Oakland Raiders game. I have to assume that any school that doesn't go out of its way to don its players in Old Glory hates America (I'm looking at you, Pac). I'd like to introduce you to the OG soldier that gave you this land for gridiron glory and stuffing your gullet with salty/sweet trash and booze:
But that's not all. No, we're at Mississippi State where failed lobbying, botched politicking, and cash payments gone awry are the norm. This place knows all about two-term leaders that check the boxes of "eh, I guess he doesn't totally suck" and "we're doomed in the West so we'll take the lesser of some evils"...
ELSEWHERE IN THE SEC
Hooo boy. There's only one other worthwhile show this week. The un-fun Kill Machine from Tuscaloosa is rolling the tanks into Baton Rouge. Until proven otherwise, we must concede that Alabama is - by far - the best team in all the land. Saban is taking his Freshwater and his Freshman QB into his old digs at Death Valley. At night. Against a super athletic team led by a hyper-lovable crazy ass Cajun playing with nothing to lose. Think this one has the faintest chance to get a little drunk and chaotic? Saban always has his hands full when he goes back to LSU. If the Tigers hang around in this one, buckle up for some football that could flip the SEC and the college football world upside down.
LET'S HAVE A STATGASM
PLACE YOUR BETS
BEST CASE / WORST CASE
Get out of this with points, injury free, and don't even think about Ole Miss until after that game. MSU's final third of the schedule looks like the script for Ow My Balls. They lost to directional Alabama. Ags get in there, do work, score points, rack up stats on D, and win big.
Oh goddammit. The Aggies looked at the rankings and started thinking about Ole Miss too early. Offensive inconsistency rears its ugly head and the Defense is left on the field too damn long. Ags get a win, but look sloppy doing it.