Celebrating the start of fall practice this week, there’s no better time to begin our SEC game-by-game predictions series breaking down each and every contest during the regular season.

We pride ourselves on knowing college football’s most competitive conference as well as anyone and as one reader pointed out this summer using a weighted point system based on accuracy against other preseason prognosticators, our annual ‘Crystal Ball’ ranks among the nation’s most precise.

RELATED: 2015 preseason bowl projections | SDS’ best and worst 2014 predictions

We called a couple big-time upsets last fall including Mississippi’s win over Alabama, but whiffed on South Carolina’s abrupt fall from grace in the East along with Mizzou’s second consecutive division title.

We’re ready for another exciting season of SEC football, aren’t you?



2014 Crystal Ball Projection: 8-4, 4-4
2014 Actual: 10-3, 6-2


Sept. 5 at Southern Miss (W): Dak Prescott kicks off his senior season with five total touchdowns in the opening week ‘late’ game for the SEC.

Sept. 12 vs. LSU (L): Few teams in college football have season-long momentum swingers in Week 2, but the Bulldogs have a grand opportunity in their home opener. LSU fell flat in last year’s matchup and won’t let it happen again.

Sept. 19 vs. Northwestern State (W): Another non-conference snoozer, Mississippi State rushes for 300+ yards against a team that won’t be able to hang athletically.

Sept. 26 at Auburn (L): The second SEC showdown in the opening month, this one’s a must-watch if you like shootouts. Auburn, playing at home, makes a late stop to preserve a wild win.

Oct. 3 at Texas A&M (L): The first of four must-win games for the Bulldogs in October, I’m going against my gut here and have a feeling the Aggies, with an improved defense, come up with enough stops to get it done.

Oct. 10 vs. Troy (W): Bulldogs snap a two-game skid with a convincing victory over Troy.

Oct. 17 vs. Louisiana Tech (W): There’s no need to worry in this matchup. Mississippi State controls the line of scrimmage from start to finish and wins going away.

Oct. 24 vs. Kentucky (W): The Wildcats hung around for three quarters against the red-hot Bulldogs last season in Lexington, but it won’t be as close in 2015 if Mississippi State can tackle.

Nov. 5 at Missouri (W): Despite all the numbers going against the Bulldogs in this matchup playing away from home on a Thursday night, Mississippi State will find a way to hand Mizzou its first November loss since the 2012 season.

Nov. 14 vs. Alabama (L): Murderer’s Row vs. three division rivals begins against the Crimson Tide as the Bulldogs start to feel a top-half finish in the West slip away.

Nov. 21 at Arkansas (L): In one of the most important games of the year for both teams, the Razorbacks find a way to hold on at home.

Nov. 28 vs. Ole Miss (L): Mississippi State finishes an unfathomable 0-6 against the Western Division this fall with an Egg Bowl loss to the Rebels.

2015 PROJECTED FINISH: 6-6, 2-6; Seventh in the West

THE LOWDOWN: I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but someone has to finish last in college football’s toughest division this season and that could be a team that defeats the possible East champ (Mizzou) on its home field on a Thursday night. Mississippi State is going to feel the effects of a treacherous schedule more often than not despite sizable, perhaps career-high numbers from Dak Prescott. In order to avoid the cellar, it’s essential the Bulldogs find a way to win two of their first three SEC games of the year, but it’s not going to happen (LSU, Auburn and Texas A&M) this time around. It’s difficult to imagine a team with the SEC’s best player (in my opinion) at quarterback finishing .500 during the regular season, but that’s what Mississippi State will be up against.