Once again, Mississippi State finished higher than picked in the preseason

Once again, the SEC media were wrong about Mississippi State.

Here is the order of finish the SEC media picked in July:

  1. Alabama
  2. LSU
  3. Ole Miss
  4. Texas A&M
  5. Arkansas
  6. Auburn
  7. Mississippi State

Here is the order of finish from the final SEC West standings:

  1. Alabama
  2. Auburn
  3. LSU
  4. Texas A&M
  5. Arkansas
  6. Mississippi State
  7. Ole Miss

Technically, MSU was tied for 5th, but we lose to the tiebreaker to Arkansas at equal 3-5 conference records.

This was the third time in the Dan Mullen era that MSU was picked to finish last in the West. Not once have they done that.

In six of Mullen’s eight years the Bulldogs have finished ahead of expectations. Only once has the media gotten it right, and once they’ve oversold MSU.

Here’s how the media has picked MSU and where they’ve ultimately finished each year under Coach Mullen:

2009:

  • Picked to finish 6th (last)
  • Finished tied with Arkansas & Auburn for 4th

2010:

  • Picked to finish 5th
  • Finished 5th

2011:

  • Picked to finish 4th
  • Finished 5th

2012:

  • Picked to finish 6th
  • Finished 4th

2013:

  • Picked to finish 6th
  • Finished tied for 5th with Ole Miss, alone in 5th place via tiebreaker

2014:

  • Picked to finish 5th
  • Finished 2nd

2015:

  • Picked to finish 7th (last)
  • Finished tied for 5th, but 6th place via tiebreaker

2016:

  • Picked to finish 7th (last)
  • Finished tied for 5th, but 6th via tiebreaker

The media had it right for the most part in Mullen’s first two years, the in 2011 MSU was overvalued (remember that was a 6-6 team that started the year ranked), but every year since 2012 the media has undervalued Mullen’s teams.

At no point in Coach Mullen’s tenure have the Bulldogs been picked with more than two teams below them. That is, when they were picked 4th in 2011 there were only six teams in the West; whereas in 2014 there were seven teams when they were picked 5th.

But I guess in fairness, only the 2014 team finished the year with more than two teams behind them. So while the media generally undervalues MSU, we haven’t given them much reason to start picking us higher.

Nevertheless, it is true that the media perennially picks us lower than they should.

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