After losing to the Kentucky Wildcats in a game where the offense managed just 225 yards and 10 points, the Mississippi State Bulldogs still have a 5-2 record somehow and a very excellent chance at a winning season—something we really did not think was possible at the start of the season. So, the time has come to face an ugly truth: Were we wrong about Mike Leach?
Well, no. Clearly, his offense still sucks when it plays any decent team on the schedule. We have been pointing out Leach’s mediocrity against Power 5 opponents for years, and this year, not much has changed. The Bulldogs are 2-0 against cupcakes and just 3-2 against Power 5 teams—and of course, Leach did steal a win against a poorly coached team from Texas A&M. Not too much of a surprise there.
We assumed Arkansas would put up a better fight against a stale offense like Leach’s scheme, but the Razorbacks whiffed on that one. And that’s how this team is now 5-2 instead of the 3-4 we expected right now. But does this mean we were wrong? No, it’s just because the Aggies stink, and we did note the Arkansas game could go either way. TAMU started the year overrated at No. 6 and is now just 3-3.
Leach’s team is still mediocre in Year 3 of his tenure in Starksville—his vaunted offense is just 32nd in scoring nationwide, and the rough part of the schedule is still coming up head. This Saturday, the Alabama Crimson Tide is hosting Mississippi State, and we know how that ended up last year. Throw in the fact the Tide just lost on Saturday to Tennessee, and the odds are very low that ‘Bama loses this one.
Mississippi State also has remaining games against unbeaten Georgia and unbeaten Mississippi. You know those coaches are too smart to lose to Leach’s gimmicky offense, so we still see three more losses coming, readily—with only one easy win against cupcake East Tennessee State. That puts Leach’s squad at 6-5 basically, with the Auburn game at home (November 5) hanging in the balance during the interim.
The Tigers have had it rough this year; their four losses have come against Penn State, LSU, Georgia, and Ole Miss. Auburn either rallies to finish strong, or they crumble and fade. The coaching staff, led by former Boise State leader Bryan Harsin, should be too smart to lose to Leach, but as we said, you just never know sometimes.
Stay tuned …