Bigger things are expected from Mississippi State next season after the Bulldogs went 6-7 under coach Dan Mullen last year. ESPN’s FPI projects that Mississippi State will finish with about as many wins in 2017.
The Bulldogs are ranked No. 33 overall in the latest FPI rankings. Mississippi State’s finish in 2016 was its worst since winning five games in Mullen’s first season in 2009. The Bulldogs are projected to win 6.1 games, and the FPI favors them in six contests.
The Football Power Index (FPI) is a measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of a team’s performance going forward for the rest of the season. FPI represents how many points above or below average a team is. Projected results are based on 10,000 simulations of the rest of the season using FPI, results to date, and the remaining schedule.
Take a look at the game-by-game projections for the 2017 Mississippi State football schedule:
|DATE||OPPONENT||ESPN FPI PROJECTION|
|Sept. 2||vs Charleston Southern||96.7% chance MSU wins|
|Sept. 9||at Louisiana Tech||80.1% chance MSU wins|
|Sept. 16||vs LSU||24.4% chance MSU wins|
|Sept. 23||at Georgia||21.2% chance MSU wins|
|Sept. 30||at Auburn||11.8% chance MSU wins|
|Oct. 14||vs BYU||74.1% chance MSU wins|
|Oct. 21||vs Kentucky||55.4% chance MSU wins|
|Oct. 28||at Texas A&M||29.4% chance MSU wins|
|Nov. 4||vs Massachusetts||95.2% chance MSU wins|
|Nov. 11||vs Alabama||12.8% chance MSU wins|
|Nov. 18||at Arkansas||43.3% chance MSU wins|
|Nov. 23||vs Ole Miss||60.0% chance MSU wins|
The Bulldogs have a win probability of greater than 50 percent in games against Charleston Southern, Louisiana Tech, BYU, Kentucky, Massachusetts and Ole Miss. They’re only a slight underdog against Arkansas, with Mississippi State given a 43.3 percent chance to win.
The Bulldogs have a win probability of less than 30 percent in games against LSU (24.4 percent), Georgia (21.2), Texas A&M (29.4) and Alabama (12.8).
Mississippi State has experienced better seasons under Mullen, but any improvement from last year would be a quality step forward. The development of quarterback Nick Fitzgerald will go a long way in determining how far the Bulldogs go. Mississippi State will be one of the more interesting teams to watch in the SEC West.