Mississippi State has enjoyed immense success under Dan Mullen the last eight years, finding their way to the programs first ever number one ranking, playing in seven straight bowl games and being ranked in the initial College Football Playoff Poll in 2014.
Despite marginal recruiting success, the Bulldogs have sent many players to the National Football League the last nine years, including program changing quarterback Dak Prescott.
The Bulldogs did have a losing season a year ago, their first since 2009, but the Bulldogs look to have the pieces to rebound in 2017.
From a recruiting standpoint the Bulldogs have done just good enough to stay competitive in the rugged SEC West. The Bulldogs are ranked as the 10th best three year recruiter via the Hour Glass with a number stamp of 82. To keep things in perspective, Alabama leads all teams with a stamp of 99, with LSU coming in second in the SEC at 96 – tied with Georgia.
If the Bulldogs are ever going to be serious contenders with Alabama, Georgia and with the College Football playoff, they have to recruit at a higher rate. The Bulldogs are inside our top 30 playoff bust line at number 23, right there with Michigan State and Washington who both made the College Football Playoff recently, but the Bulldogs play in the hardest division in college football in the SEC West.
Our 2017 realistic championship bust line number in recruiting is 90 with the Florida Gators as the last team out which means the Bulldogs while only eight digits behind the Gators, have a long way to go in the recruiting process to have championship level talent across the board.
Mullen as a coach has a three year stamp of SIX in our matrix, just above the average coaching value in the country for 2017 of FIVE. Mullen typically wins the games he’s supposed to, and loses the ones he’s supposed to. He has had moments of success against higher ranked teams, and a thud moment like in last year’s South Alabama game.
Overall, Mullen has shown he can be one of the better coaches in the SEC and the country at times, especially when you start talking quarterback play and evaluation; as he ranks fourth in our 2017 SEC rankings.
Quarterback play is the final big component of our algorithms and matrix’s and Nick Fitzgerald showed last year why he will be one of the better quarterbacks in 2017 in the SEC. He is ranked only behind Alabama’s Jalen Hurts in the SEC and is ranked the 16th best quarterback in the country per the Hour Glass.
Look for Mississippi State to be much improved defensively under first year coordinator Todd Grantham and a handful of bigtime players from the junior college ranks.