The Magnolia State is coming off of quite the weekend. Both Mississippi State and Ole Miss came into the weekend ranked just outside the top 10, and both knocked off highly ranked teams in impressive, if opposing, fashion. Now, both schools are actually tied at No. 3 in the Associated Press poll, leading us to our question of the day.


Christopher Smith (@csmithSDS): Mississippi State

The advantages are split. The Bulldogs claim QB, RB, OL and LB, with quarterback Dak Prescott as the strong point. The Rebels claim WR, DL and DB, with the secondary as the strong point. The weaknesses, too, are different. MSU’s secondary can get torched, even by lesser programs like UAB. The Ole Miss offensive line isn’t good, which can limit the running game, cause pressure for Bo Wallace and force the Jekyll and Hyde quarterback into bad decisions. Both are unbeaten. Ole Miss knocked off the No. 1 team in the Coaches Poll, while Mississippi State beat two Top 10 teams. The separator to me is that Mississippi State is dynamic on both sides of the ball, capable of winning games with its offense or its defense, while Ole Miss is overly reliant on what’s perhaps the best defense in the country. Lucky for us, we get to find out this answer on the field. We just have to wait a while.

Jordan Cox (@Jordan_Cox): Mississippi State

Ole Miss has the better defense. Mississippi State has the better talent at skill positions and quarterback. I think I’d have to take State, simply because of Dak Prescott. Bo Wallace came up big late in the win over Alabama, but we don’t know that we’ll get that from Bo every week. Mississippi State put up 48 points against a Texas A&M defense that has struggled with spread attacks and dual-threat quarterbacks. But Prescott was missing his best playmaker in Jameon Lewis and still had a monster day with five total touchdowns.

Jon Cooper (@JonSDS): Ole Miss

While Mississippi State has the best overall player and more explosive offense, defensive still wins championships. And Ole Miss has the best defense in the country. The Rebels are holding opponents 10.2 points per game, and the pass defense has allowed one touchdown all year, compared to making 10 interceptions. Cody Prewitt is a boss at safety, and the Rebels defense is electric. Combine that with a good Bo Wallace, and Ole Miss can beat anyone in the country. They showed that Saturday.

Brett Weisband (@WeisbandSDS): Mississippi State

Ole Miss might have the best defense in the country. They’re rock solid at every level, and even the best offensive teams, Alabama included, are going to struggle to score on them. Their offense is one dimensional, though, and as good as Bo Wallace was late against Bama I don’t think you can count on that from their offense week in and week out. Meanwhile, Mississippi State is definitely vulnerable through the air, but they have enough talent up front on defense to make life difficult. They also have the most impactful player in the SEC in Dak Prescott. Having a special player, a guy that has it, is something unquantifiable. His dual-threat ability is going to stretch even the best defenses to their breaking points, which will come in handy come Egg Bowl time.

Brad Crawford (@BCrawfordSDS): Ole Miss

Defense still wins championships, so I’m going with Ole Miss…for now. Mississippi State had the better resume up to this point with consecutive wins over Top 10 teams, but I don’t think any team in the country is better than the Rebels defensively. They’ve given up a single touchdown pass all season and have 10 interceptions. That’s an insane start. If Mississippi State beats Auburn this weekend, I think the Bulldogs regain the top spot in the Magnolia State. It’s an awfully close call.

Chris Walsh (@CrimsonWalsh): Ole Miss

It’s kind of a shame that they don’t play until the end of the season because that would be a heck of a game right now. They’re so close that when they do play the game might come down to which team is home (which this year it’ll be Ole Miss). This week I’m going to say Ole Miss, but at the end of the regular season I think it’ll be Mississippi State. It’ll be interesting to see how both teams handle their success.

Jason Hall (@JasonHallSDS): Mississippi State

Mississippi State is coming off back-to-back wins against ranked opponents. Dak Prescott looks more like a Heisman favorite by the passing weeks. The Bulldogs will have a true test against Auburn and should see some advantage from playing at home. If they can beat the Tigers, they are the clear cut winner of this debate.

Ethan Levine (@EthanLevineSDS): Mississippi State

Before last weekend, I would have told you Ole Miss was a better team than Mississippi State. Now, after absorbing what I’ve seen the first six weeks of the season (and especially last week), I can say without hesitation that Mississippi State is the best team in the Magnolia State. The Bulldogs are better at most positions on the field, and no one else in the SEC can boast their depth after returning 16 starters and 20 of their top 22 players on defense from last season. Mississippi State has by far a superior quarterback in Dak Prescott, and that, too, goes a long way. When all the chips are pushed to the middle of the table, MSU has the best quarterback in the league. That’s huge. Ole Miss may have better wideouts, but that edge is nullified somewhat by an inconsistent Bo Wallace, who won’t be able to play as well as he did against Alabama every week. Mississippi State runs the ball better, and it has one of the best offenses in the nation. Both teams have front sevens loaded with NFL talent, and although I think Ole Miss has a better defense, it’s not better by much.My doubt in Mississippi State lied with head coach Dan Mullen and his horrendous record against ranked teams. He has proven this year those games are not longer too big for his Bulldogs, and that’s enough to win my trust. No slight to Ole Miss after beating Alabama, but Mississippi State may all of a sudden be the best team in the loaded SEC West.