The Mississippi State Bulldogs are coming off of a nice win last night against Kentucky which improved their record to 4-3. This helps their chances to get bowl eligible this year, but that path is not going to be an easy one.
The Bulldogs have had an incredibly difficult slate this year on their schedule and now they enter the most difficult part of it over the next three weeks. They lost their opening game to Oklahoma State, lost a close game to Auburn and were dismantled by LSU. They managed to pick up wins against Alcorn State, Troy and then squeaked out a win against Bowling Green, but that victory against Alcorn State does not impact their eligibility to qualify for a bowl game.
As a result, the Bulldogs need to win three more games to become bowl eligible with five games left in their season. Somehow, Mississippi State has to find three wins in a schedule that includes South Carolina in Columbia, Texas A&M in College Station, Alabama at home, Arkansas on the road and then the Egg Bowl in their regular season finale against Ole Miss.
The Bulldogs have talent and can win games, but getting three wins out of that group could be an incredibly difficult undertaking. Mississippi State will be underdogs in each of the next three weeks, but if Bulldogs can pull off an upset against South Carolina, Alabama or Texas A&M and win that game against Arkansas, the Egg Bowl takes on an even greater meaning as winning or losing could mean the difference between a bowl trip and those crucial extra practices that come with it and potentially the end of Dan Mullen’s tenure in Starkville.
On the other side, Ole Miss also needs three wins to get bowl eligible and while their schedule suggests they should have those wins before the game, but if they have not, the Rebels could be in the exact same situation as Mississippi State and needing a win to become bowl eligible. If they have gotten bowl eligibility, the Egg Bowl gives them an opportunity to improve where they go bowl-wise and potentially knock their archrival out of the bowl process, which would give them a significant advantage in the state.
The rest of the Bulldogs schedule should be extremely interesting to keep an eye on as they really are playing for their livelihood the rest of this season and are getting close to being in a playoff mentality where they need to win out to get into the postseason.