(1) Mississippi State at (5) Alabama (-8.5)
The biggest game to date in the college football regular season is on tap this weekend, as the No. 1 Mississippi State Bulldogs (9-0, 5-0 SEC) visit the Alabama Crimson Tide (8-1, 5-1 SEC) this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Eastern.
After last week’s walloping of UT Martin (45-16), the Bulldogs are still undefeated on the year at 9-0 record. Quarterback Dak Prescott continued his push for the Heisman throwing for 206 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, and spotting the Bulldogs a big lead before yielding to back-up QB Damian Williams.
Mississippi State knows that this week brings a bigger challenge, as they square off with the most dominant team in college football over the last five years.
“Every article you read, everywhere you look, we’re the big underdog in this game,” Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said. “We’ve done that before and we know that role. We’ll be OK with that. Our guys will play with great effort and with a chip on our shoulder that we try to play with every week no matter what the rankings or what everyone else is predicting.”
Last week against LSU, Alabama needed overtime to keep their National Championship hopes alive. Despite coming in a s 6.5-point road favorites, the Tide struggled to move the ball all game. After going down by three in the late stages, Alabama benefited from an LSU kick-off that went out of bounds, starting the offense on the 40 yard line for the final drive of regulation. Blake Sims led his best drive of the game in the final minute and Adam Griffith hit a 27-yard chip-shot field goal to force OT. The win wasn’t enough to convince the CFP selection committee that the Tide are a top-four team, though, and they still sit one spot out of the playoff picture (behind Mississippi State, Oregon, Florida State, and TCU).
“It’s just the SEC West,” Tide quarterback Blake Sims said Monday. “There’s a lot of great teams, and Mississippi State is a great team.”
The Crimson Tide are 8.5-point favorites at the moment. For the trend-watchers: Alabama is 7-1 SU in its last eight home games against the Bulldogs.
(Photo credit: RammaJammaYellaHamma (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)