Five years ago, Auburn and Mississippi State played a football game, as they had every year since 1955 and have every year since. But this year was not quite like any other installment in the 86 total games between the Tigers and the Bulldogs. This game would eventually be called the worst game of the decade in our round-up of the SEC in the 2000s.
We might have been too kind by not calling it the worst game every played in the SEC. It included a combined 431 total yards, four turnovers and a Mississippi State team that went 0-for-17 on third- and fourth-down attempts. Auburn, at 4-for-17, was only slightly better. The kickers combined to go 1-of-4 on field goals, and there were almost as many punts (18) as there were first downs (20). This was clearly a case more of bad offense than SEC defense.
Don't expect a similar game tonight. At least, let's hope not. For one thing, it's hard to believe than anyone other that Tony Franklin and Sylvester Croom could combine to create the kind of slopfest that we saw in Starkville five years ago. For another, the defenses seem to be at least competent this year, and perhaps more so when it comes to Auburn's running game. The jury is still out on Mississippi State. But they gotta score more than five points -- right?
Auburn 20, Mississippi State 17