Sideline Report: How the ‘Magnolia State’ has changed college football

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The landscape of college football has been shaken up over the past seven weeks of the season. Top teams are falling left and right, whether it be a major upset, or just an intense match up of top teams. The Southeastern Conference has shown plenty of talent with six teams in the latest AP Top 25 Poll. However, two teams from the SEC, who are not normally there, are in two of the top three positions. These of course being No. 3 Ole Miss and No. 1 Mississippi State.

This is the first time in school history that the Mississippi State University Bulldogs have been ranked No. 1 in any poll. Quarterback Dak Prescott is one person to thank for this. The Heisman contender’s statistics speak for themselves. Prescott has thrown for 1,478 yards and totaled 14 touchdowns already this season. He is the leader of the Bulldogs and looks to guide his team to the playoffs, and himself to New York. The mastermind behind the Bulldogs is head coach Dan Mullen and this has resulted in already taking down former No. 8 Louisiana State University, former No. 6 Texas A&M and former o. 2 Auburn. Mullen and his entire coaching staff should be extremely proud of this amazing play as of late. The Bulldogs have shown that they can hang with anyone, and will continue to get opportunities to prove themselves as match ups against No. 7 Alabama and No. 3 Ole Miss loom.

Now for that other team in the state of Mississippi. No. 3 Ole Miss has had their own impressive record led by quarterback Bo Wallace and head coach Hugh Freeze. This is a team that has already beaten the likes of Alabama and Texas A&M and has an impressive 6-0 record. The Rebels are also tied for the SEC West lead with undefeated Mississippi State. Outside of their record, the Rebels host a talented defense lead by former No. 1 overall recruit defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, and a quarterback in Wallace who has thrown for 1700 yards and 15 touchdowns. Both of these teams have shown this year that they are forces to be reckoned with.

As the season has progressed, these teams from the great state of Mississippi have shown me at least one thing: hey are here to stay. Even though they both can’t be undefeated (a meeting on Saturday, Nov. 29 in Oxford, Mississippi prevents this), these are still contenders for one of the highly coveted spots in the college football playoffs. Also, both the Rebels and Bulldogs look to end the reign of those teams from Alabama and their dominance since 2009, with 5 national championship appearances in that span. The tide has turned in the SEC and in college football.

As Mississippi State and Ole Miss continue their run, we can all assume the SEC will have a team from the Magnolia State in the SEC championship game. I believe that both of these teams can run the table, and have already improved college football. Also, neither of these teams have been traditional powerhouses. Ole Miss hasn’t even made it to the SEC championship game. Ever. College football needs this change of scenery for not only the SEC, but the game itself. The conference, even though it is overrated, over-hyped and loved by ESPN, has something to be proud of. The state of Mississippi is looking to make some noise this season, with or without cowbells.

 

 

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