It’s been stated again and again and again — Dan Mullen in three years in Starkville has three wins over Ole Miss, zero wins over the rest of the SEC West. It was pointed out by a questioner that of MSU’s 12 losses to those other West Division foes, four of them have come by a touchdown or less. Mullen took things from there:
“We’ve had the opportunity to beat every one of those teams right down to the fourth quarter, last plays of the game. The big difference for us is we have to make those game-winning plays. We have to have guys step up and make those game-winning plays. I think three of those teams have won the national championship (Alabama, Auburn and LSU). So when you look, the great thing I guess in our program in the SEC West — we’re not far off from there. Which means we’re not very far from the national title.”
Mullen said his players see how close they are to the best teams in the nation and that is helping to build confidence. “And when you have that confidence you start winning a lot of those games, you make that big play that one play difference.”
While State has gotten close on occasion with the four top teams in the West, eight of those 12 losses have come by more than a touchdown. For that reason, State’s probably not quite as close to a national title as Mullen suggests. The next step is take down one of the big boys, maybe two. Then BCS title talk might seem a whole lot more realistic.
Can’t blame a coach for sending a positive message about his program, though.