Mississippi State is off to one of the best starts in the SEC, especially among programs being led by first-year coaches.

The Bulldogs are gaining respect around the country as polls have them inside the top 20, including this week’s coaches poll, which pegs them at No. 14. The Bulldogs moved to 3-0 on Saturday with a 56-10 thumping of Louisiana-Lafayette behind 607 total yards, including 331 rushing yards.

Mississippi State is consistently listed about fifth in the SEC by most polls and rankings. But Dan Wolken is impressed with Joe Moorhead’s first-year program enough that he put the Bulldogs fifth in the country, and ahead of the likes of Clemson and LSU, for example, in a ranking he tweeted late Saturday night.

Mississippi State has wins over Stephen F. Austin, at Kansas State and against Louisiana-Lafeyette.

Wolken and other rankings will learn plenty more about the Bulldogs in the next three weeks before their bye week when they play at Kentucky, another pleasant surprise in the SEC, Florida and Auburn, both in Starkville.