Dan Mullen doesn’t think there’s a large gap between six of the seven teams in the SEC West.
Speaking on the Paul Finebaum Show on SEC Network on Monday, the Mississippi State coach revisited the Bulldogs’ upset victory over Texas A&M last Saturday at Davis Wade Stadium that allowed his team to improve to 4-5 overall and 2-3 in the SEC. In his response, he spoke about his players gaining confidence from a fast start as Mississippi State built a 28-7 second-quarter lead on its way to a 35-28 victory.
Here’s Mullen’s full answer on the topic:
“When you’re playing in the SEC West, the margin for error is pretty small in this league,” Mullen said. “We came out, and we said, ‘If we come out and we have a great week of practice, if we continue to battle, continue to play hard, do things we do well, that we wouldn’t be shocked (to win), that we have the ability to make the plays we need to make to win games.’ We just haven’t made a lot of them.
“When you have young players, and all of the sudden you make a play or two, their confidence starts to build, and they realize, ‘Hey, we’re a little better than a lot of people maybe think we are right now, and we’re going to be able to play with these guys. We’re in this league just like everybody else.’ From top to bottom, I think it’s a small difference, maybe with the exception of how Alabama is playing right now. But everybody else, it’s a small difference, and if you come out and play your ‘A’ game, you’ve got a chance to win.”
Mullen isn’t wrong here. Alabama is the country’s top team. But Mississippi State’s victory over Texas A&M, which entered the weekend ranked fourth in the initial College Football Playoff rankings, shows how narrow the gap can be on a given day.
Auburn has shown life lately with six consecutive victories. But is there really much of a difference between the Tigers and other teams in the division not named Alabama?
This topic is interesting to consider.