Dan Mullen says Mississippi State having trouble scheduling teams

NCAA Football: Liberty Bowl-Rice vs Mississippi State

With the SEC’s future scheduling format, every conference member is required to play one team annually from the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten or Pac-12 to help with the strength of schedule.

For teams like Alabama, Auburn and LSU that don’t have an annual non-conference rival already, it will be simple, but for others, including Mississippi State, it will be more difficult.

Dan Mullen admitted yesterday on the SEC teleconference that MSU has had trouble scheduling home-and-home opponents.

“We never got a lot of interest in teams wanting to play home-and-homes with us, but we’re going to continue to try to do so,” Mullen said. He added later, “I think we’ve tried to be proactive.”

Mullen alluded to something I wrote about the other day: it’s going to be hard for a few teams to find future mates. Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Kentucky don’t have to worry about it because they’re already playing ACC teams annually and satisfy the mandate. I pointed out MSU, along with Ole Miss and Vanderbilt, may have a tougher time than most. That’s not to say they can’t or won’t, because they’ll have to, but it will be more difficult than others. MSU or Vanderbilt do not play a major non-conference school this season.

As for Mullen’s overall take on the 6-1-1 schedule, he speaks truth. And that truth is that nobody knows how good the format will be in the College Football Playoff era or how it will affect the SEC’s chances competing for a national championship.

“I look at the SEC, there’s so much change in college football going on right now,” Mullen said. “Until we know how the whole system is going to play out, we don’t know if it’s going to be a good or bad system. I think with the SEC and scheduling, we’ve had an awful lot of success with it and it’s worked out fairly well. I can see with all the other questions to not make another change.”

Photo Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports



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  • I think it’s comical that anyone thinks Ole Miss will have any difficulty finding OOC opponents. We haven’t had many because we haven’t tried scheduling many. During our past decade of mostly mediocrity to downright bad, it hasn’t been smart for us to schedule an Oklahoma, when we could schedule a Tulane (plus, New Orleans y’all). However, we’ve scheduled a few here & there. Over the last 6 or 7 years, we’ve had Wake Forest, Mizzou (pre-SEC), and Texas do home & homes. We have GA Tech coming up & had Clemson before they cancelled recently when it was determined that the ACC was likely going to a 9-game schedule. We’ll have no issue scheduling them going forward now that we have to. We just didn’t do it much in the past because it wasn’t in our best interest competitively. Opposing fans love Oxford, the Grove, & our tailgating experience. We win #1 tailgating in the country just about every year. Future scheduling won’t be an issue for us…..

    • Good stuff, PCB. You’ll be in the back laughing at me in the end, and I know I’m in the minority on this stance. 2017 and 2018 is already scheduled with Georgia Tech, and Clemson did back out. That would have been a sweet game, too. I agree the Grove is a pull, and for 2016 there are options. Ole Miss will have easier time than Vanderbilt or MSU, in my opinion. So, it could come to Ole Miss not scheduling home-and-home, just getting the necessary opponents that will come play in Oxford for that one year. We’ll see how it plays out.

      • For 2016 (the 1st year this is “rule” is applicable), I agree. We may have to play someone on their turf in a one-game “series”. However, we now really only have to worry about 2019 & beyond. Scheduling home & homes 5 years out & further shouldn’t be difficult, especially if we can actually add winning to the awesome tailgating. We shall see.

  • I don’t understand. Why is it hard for MSU to get OOC games? The linked article also says it will be hard for MSU, Ole Miss and Vandy, but doesn’t really give a reason. Also, why is it different for Auburn, LSU and bama?

    • MSU will try and schedule games that make sense for them only, and there are a limited amount of teams that will play a home-and-home with MSU. Dan Mullen alluded to that very thing. So, MSU will call teams like Colorado, Illinois and Minnesota, etc to try and fulfill that obligation, but the whole goal in scheduling these games would be to win them, not just satisfy the mandate. Teams like Alabama, Auburn and LSU have shown it’s not problem in the past, as has Ole Miss. Middle to upper tier non-conference teams will see risk in playing Mississippi State, a team that has won the division just once since 1992. I’m in the minority on this stance; I just think it will be tougher for MSU to schedule a Big 5 non-con compared to other teams in the league.

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