Mississippi State's Schedule is Severely Backloaded // SEC 2012: The New SEC

STARKVILLE, MS - SEPTEMBER 15: quarterback Tyler Russell #17 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs throws a pass after replacing quarterback Chris Relf #14 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs who went out with an injury in the game against LSU on September 15, 2011 at Davis Wade stadium in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)

This is an overview. Predictions come later. Home games in CAPS.

SEPTEMBER

9/1: JACKSONVILLE STATE JACKSON STATE

9/8: AUBURN

9/15: at Troy

9/22: SOUTH ALABAMA

9/29: BYE

Atta boy, Danny. This is how an SEC team puts together an opening month, no? We start with a chance to blow out a I-AA team that upset Ole Miss a couple years ago. Dan Mullen never misses an opportunity to troll the Rebels. Actually, it's Jackson State, but that doesn't change the degree of difficulty at all. Don't mind the idiot behind the keyboard. Next comes the one decent game, a home game against Auburn. Last year's game was a high scoring shootout, and this year's is one MSU would love to take. Not only would it be a possible chance to move up the standings, but it would be Mullen's first SEC West win over someone other than Ole Miss. Next comes a Sun Belt team, although going on the road to it feels strange. Finally, the month closes with the one game this season in which "U-S-A!" chants will be frowned upon. That's how perpetuating a conference stereotype is done.

OCTOBER

10/6: at Kentucky

10/13: TENNESSEE

10/20: MIDDLE TENNESSEE

10/27: at Alabama

The schedule actually isn't that bad still, which is generally an indication of pain later to come. Going to designated rival Kentucky is as mild as SEC road games come, and conference wild card Tennessee must come to Starkville. The third game is another Sun Belt snack, taking up the customary SEC team's late season cupcake slot. Pretty OK so far, right? From here on out though, it brings the pain. It begins with a pre-Halloween trip to Tuscaloosa that will not be a trick or a treat, but rather a painful beat down most likely.

NOVEMBER

11/3: TEXAS A&M

11/10: at LSU

11/17: ARKANSAS

11/24: at Ole Miss

The second game of the brutal home stretch is against the new maroon squad in the conference, one which will probably have worked out some first season transitional issues by now. Next comes the second awful road game, this time a trip to Death Valley. Mullen has done decently well against Les Miles so far, but he's been better at home than away. Next comes the third division juggernaut in four weeks with the Razorbacks paying a visit. It's not until the final game of the month that the team gets something of a breather, but even that is a rivalry game on the road. Nothing about the final five weeks of the schedule will be pleasant.

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