Similar to the Kentucky Wildcats, the Mississippi State Bulldogs lose a ton of talent. Meanwhile, they just went 8-5, not 10-3, and they lost their bowl game to the Iowa Hawkeyes, 27-22. As a result, you could make a strong case that UK should be ahead of them on this list. But offseason results were enough to vault MSU.
Despite losing Nick Fitzgerald, the Bulldogs get a plus by entering their second year in Joe Moorhead’s offense and Bob Shoop’s defense. You have to assume they’ll take a step forward, even with some attrition, due to players having experience in the systems now. On top of that, MSU did have a slightly better recruiting class than the Kentucky Wildcats.
As a result, there are prospects for improvement that don’t exist in Lexington, and it’s why Mississippi State comes in at No. 8 in these SEC Power Rankings. Now, we have no idea what to make of the Bulldogs this year.
That’s part of the reason this team is in the middle of the pack. Moorhead was benefitting from Dan Mullen’s players last year, and despite him being an offensive guru, this will be the year we find out if his system works with his players in this league.