SDS will break down all 14 SEC schools and the challenges they face in recruiting, and how they overcome them. At the end, we’ll rank them in terms of who is set up best for success–based on factors like in-state talent, recent success on the field, fan expectations and the coaching situation. We will also give the school a ‘situation’ grade (A, B, C, D, F) in each category. Some states have an A-level volume of talent, others don’t … that’s how it will work. At the end of the series we’ll do a final overall ranking.
MISSISSIPPI STATE BULLDOGS
HOME STATE TALENT: “B” – Texas, Florida, Georgia and Louisiana get ‘A’ billing in the recruiting talent department, but Mississippi isn’t too far off. It is definitely the top state of the next tier, as far as talent is concerned. The Magnolia State continues to stock the rosters of two SEC schools and several other SEC West powers that poach the state. If we were doing B+ ratings, we’d give Mississippi one.
RECENT SUCCESS: “B” – The Bulldogs have hardly been down, but they haven’t consistently won 10 games either. One would think that Mississippi State may have lost a prospect or two in the past few years based on how difficult it would be for the Bulldogs to compete for an SEC West title with Bama, LSU, Auburn and Texas A&M.
FAN EXPECTATIONS: “A” – These are good fans, and they don’t expect 12 wins and a national title every other year like Alabama or Florida fans. There is some patience in this fanbase, and that can help curb negativity when the program only wins 7 games.
COACHING STABILITY: “B” – Things are definitely looking up for Mississippi State, but let’s face it–if the Bulldogs didn’t beat Ole Miss last year and finished 5-7 without that solid bowl win, things would be different for Dan Mullen heading into the season. That makes you think that if the program teeters in that direction this year, he might feel heat again. Coaching stability is a big plus in recruiting, and this isn’t exactly the most stable job in the SEC right now–but it’s not the worst, either.
SUM IT UP: So far in 2015, Mississippi State is doing extremely well–attracting 17 commitments so far. That gives one an indication of what this program is capable of doing. It also is in a good position to land the state’s No. 1 player in DB Jamal Peters. Overall, Mississippi State doesn’t have the recruiting challenges of a Kentucky, but it doesn’t have the pick of the litter in a talent-hotbed like Texas A&M does, either. The Bulldogs are in between, from a recruiting standpoint.
Editor’s note: Any reference to recruiting ratings in this series–team or individual–are to 247Sports.com’s industry composite ranking.