We took a minute to exchange pleasantries and answer some questions with our SBN Mississippi State brethren at For Whom The Cowbell Tolls. Thanks to eertel904 for taking the time to chat with us. You can find our answers to their questions here.
GOOD BULL HUNTING: This has been by all accounts a disappointing season for the Bulldogs. However, a closer examination reveals that three of State's losses were by 3 points or less, and another was a double-OT slugfest with BYU. Here at GBH we discuss fan expectations a great deal. What is the feeling from the fans about the direction of the program and do the fans feel that Dan Mullen is spending too much time on his shoe game?
FOR WHOM THE COWBELL TOLLS: Mississippi State fans have pretty much divided into two camps, as is the American tradition. One one side you have the apathetic crowd that has spent many years in the pre-Dan Mullen years and sees this as just another down year of football in the books for the ol' Maroons, making it seem like down years are as inevitable as climate change. These are the same people that see Mullen as untouchable because of the 2014 season and it's successes, therefore he is allowed to run the program and "fix" whatever for the rest of eternity.
On the other side, you have fans that are much more "what have you done for me lately" type of individuals, which is where I often find myself. These are the fans that understand State's lackluster football history, but also understand that we're not that program anymore. Mullen should receive the credit that he earned for the 2014 season, but a large part of being the head coach of a football program is being able to sustain your program and develop the players you have to fill the holes left by the players you had. I think Mullen is a great guy and no doubt has a solid football mind, but I'm starting to question whether he's the one that's going to take State to where it needs to go in the long run.
GBH: Last weekend MSU and Samford together racked up 1,296 total yards. I have no question, I just want to put that number out there and ponder it and our significance in the universe.OK if I had to ask a question it would be what positive things did you see out of that explosive Bulldog offensive performance that you hope they will build on this weekend?
FWtCT: The simple fact that we were able to move the ball to the point of accumulating 56 points is surprising enough for me. Nick Fitzgerald is not a bad QB by any means, the kid is huge and run the ball all over the field, as we saw in the South Carolina game. He also has a decent arm, however consistent it may be.
Let's also keep this in the perspective of that it was actually versus an FCS opponent. Don't get too riled up.
GBH: Mississippi State current sits at 3-5 with a remaining schedule of Texas A&M, on the road at Alabama, Arkansas, and then to Oxford for the Egg Bowl. Describe the most likely path to bowl eligibility in your mind, and for bonus points please include MSU beating Bama twice somehow to get the Aggies into the SEC championship game.
First, are you on drugs, sir? The fact that you even think I can somehow formulate some nonsense scenario to get us three more wins is grounds for me to request that you be Baker Acted.
But the road to .500 will have to start this weekend with a big home win against *slightly overrated* A&M. Go ahead and chalk up the Alabama game as a loss, I can't even say we beat them in an alternate universe. I think we can end our home slate strong with a wild comeback win against Arkansas and carry Uncle Mo into the Egg Bowl. Hopefully Ole Miss will be at 5-6 as well, making this the most exciting game between two sub-.500 teams that the SEC West has seen in a long time. State wins on the road and goes to a bowl game that shouldn't exist and all is well in Starkville?
Yeah that sounds about as stupid I imagined it.
GBH: We enjoyed getting to watch Dak Prescott's work up close while he was in the SEC, and now our many Cowboy fans are loving the Dak Attack. How much of the Bulldogs' recent success rode on Dak's shoulders, and how is the team compensating for his absence this season?
FWtCT: I'd be willing to say that it was about 62% of it can be attributed to Dak Prescott and they're compensating for it extremely very not well. The most glaring absence that I have noticed so far is the complete lack of senior leadership on the team. Dak Prescott was the type of player in the locker room that every coach probably wishes they had. He was the kind of guy that would run out into the huddle down two TDs and would say "get behind me, we're going to go win this game." But, he was so much of that guy that no was else needed to be, so now we have seniors that aren't really sure how to be the guy that rallies the troops. It's kind of sad in a way, but so is being 3-5 so yeah, that's where we're at right now.
GBH: Predicition time: will the Dawgs beat the 13.5 point spread?
FWtCT: Absolutely not. Somehow the line fell a few points from the beginning of the week so unless Vegas knows something I don't, there's no way I think we beat 13.5. Dawgs lose at home 38-13.
GBH: BONUS: I'll keep this just between us, and I promise almost no one reads this website. Do you, in the deepest, darkest part of your heart, every once in a blue moon feel that maybe just maybe the cowbells really are a little annoying?
FWtCT: I'll give you the same answer that I gave an Auburn blogger earlier this season: Yes and no. The pure, piercing sound of a single cowbell in a noise-less area will never fail to make me flinch. But, there's a special calming aspect to hearing a sea of cowbells ringing in unison. It's beautiful. Think about it this way: one kid standing at the front of church singing probably isn't the most beautifully sounding thing, but add 15 more kids singing with them, they're an angel choir. Make Sense?