For a few more hours, the Mississippi State Bulldogs (9-1, 5-1 SEC) remain the number one team in the nation – at least according to the CFP Selection Committee’s rankings. After a 25-20 loss on the road to Alabama last weekend, the Bulldogs are going to vacate the zenith in the next iteration of the committee’s top-25, though continued residence in the top-four is likely.
This weekend, Mississippi State gets a break from SEC action as Vanderbilt comes to town. Two weeks from now, though, the Bulldogs will travel to Oxford to face their arch-rival, No. 10 Ole Miss (8-2, 4-2 SEC). The Bulldogs and Rebels will clash on Saturday, November 29, at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
Against the Tide, Bulldogs QB Dak Prescott completed 27 of his 48 passes for 290 yards and two touchdowns, but he was also intercepted three times by a dominant Alabama defense, including once in the end zone. Prescott will be up against a similar defense when he faces Ole Miss – the only team that gives up fewer points per game than Alabama (11.9).
Ole Miss has two great wins on the year: a 23-17 victory over Alabama (the Tide’s only loss of the season) and a 35-20 win on the road against then-No. 10 Texas A&M. But, heading into a week 13 game against Arkansas, the Rebels have lost two of their last three: 10-7 on the road to LSU and 35-31 at home to Auburn. They ended their two-game losing streak last weekend against an over matched Presbyterian Blue Hose (48-0). With two losses, the playoffs are likely out of reach for the Rebels, but crushing the hopes of their cross-state rivals would be a great consolation prize.
If you’re looking for some trends in the battle of Mississippi: the home team in the series has won the last three games while covering the spread; the Bulldogs’ last victory in Oxford was in 2010, and they have dropped six of the last seven on the road against the Rebels.
(Photo credit: JustDog (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)