Tag Archives: MIRS

damian williams

Bulldogs Schedule Ranks Toughest in 2013

Recently, Saturday Down South did a compilation of the toughest, to easiest schedules in the 2013 college football season, in the SEC.  As stated per their website:

The following is how the NCAA would rank the SEC’s strength of schedule, with the wins and losses. It takes into account the SEC Championship Game as well.
The first two columns count for the mentioned team in the opponent’s record, while the last two columns don’t take into account the mentioned team into the opponent’s record.
Team Opp. Win % Opp. Won-Loss *Opp. Win% *Opp. Won-Loss
Mississippi State 66.4% 97-49 67.9% 91-43
Florida 63.4% 92-53 63.2% 84-49
Texas A&M 62.4% 93-56 65% 89-48
Kentucky 62% 90-55 60.2% 80-53
Arkansas 61.6% 90-56 60.4% 81-53
Georgia 61.6% 90-56 64.2% 86-48
Tennessee 61.6% 90-56 61.9% 83-51
Ole Miss 58.9% 86-60 60.4% 81-53
South Carolina 58.5% 86-61 62.2% 84-51
Auburn 56.7% 89-68 61.1% 88-56
Missouri 56.7% 89-68 60.4% 87-57
LSU 52.4% 77-70 54.8% 74-61
Alabama 51.4% 75-71 55.2% 74-60
Vanderbilt 42.8% 62-83 43.6% 58-75

The interesting thing about this is one – how well the Bulldogs did against such a schedule.  No, they did not beat any of the top teams on this schedule but, to keep it together, combined with all the injuries of the 2013 season; they did well to get to 6-6.

Secondly, for all the slack the Bulldogs got last year, about their strength of schedule, with this year’snumber-one ranking, Dan Mullen has seen four of his first five years in Starkville, with brutal schedule numbers.

Per PhilSteele.com – 2012 Strength of Schedule 38th in the country.

2011 Strength of Schedule 15th in the country.

2010 Strength of Schedule 4th in the country.

2009 Strength of Schedule 4th in the country.

So when your friends tell you the Bulldogs never play anyone, you now have ammo.

The 2014 schedule from ten-thousand feet looks much more manageable than this year or years past and you know what; the Bulldogs won’t complain as life is never easy in the SEC.

A break your way is needed every now and then; especially after you’ve had the toughest run in the Southeastern Conference.

music city bowl

Breaking Down the 2013 Music City Bowl Matchup

The 2013 season was a roller coaster season for second-year head coach Hugh Freeze.  After going on several winning and losing streaks, the Rebels won seven of the first ten games, only to lose the final two against Missouri and Mississippi State.

You might call this year a sophomore slump as Freeze hopes another round or two in recruiting will have Ole Miss back as a perennial top 25 team.

Similarly, Georgia Tech jumped out to a 3-0 lead only to hit a wall in the passing game.  This team relies heavily on the triple option as QB Van Lee was only able to pass for three touchdowns over the last nine games.  The final game with Georgia, even in a loss, should give Tech plenty of confidence that they can play well with an SEC opponent.

These two teams were founding members of the SEC but have only played each other three times, with Ole Miss winning the last matchup in the 1971 Peach Bowl.  The Music City Bowl is a preview of the future matchups between the schools in 2017 and 2018.

Continue reading (Link to Bleacher Report) as we evaluate the individual units in this rare meeting between Ole Miss and Georgia Tech.

hugh freeze folly1

Will The 2013 Egg Bowl be Hugh Freeze’s Folly?

There are certain teams a coach just can not lose to.

The coach at Tennessee is expected to beat Vanderbilt, the coach at Georgia is expected to beat Georgia Tech and there is an expectation that the Ole Miss coach will beat Mississippi State.

You may not think the two SEC programs in Mississippi are very different, but in Oxford, Miss., losing to Mississippi State is a problem.

(Click here to read this article on BleacherReports.com)

Rivalry games are always a big test for coaches, and if you are a new coach entrusted to right the ship when the previous coach failed, it becomes an even bigger challenge.

Hugh Freeze’s first season in 2012 forced him to coach with only 65 scholarship players and closer to 60 at times, due to injury, grades and other attrition from the Houston Nutt debacle.  The team was depleted, but there was a solid first string of talent that was hungry and willing to buy whatever new head coach Hugh Freeze was selling.

MSU and their coach Dan Mullen had won three straight over the Rebels for the first time in the history of the rivalry (2009, 2010 and 2011).  It was embarrassing for the Ole Miss fans and administration.  The 2009 loss to MSU, even after finishing with nine wins, was probably the beginning of the end for Houston Nutt.

Two years earlier in 2007, Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron found out the hard way how tough rivalry games are when he was fired after his questionable 4th-and-one call gave MSU new life and resulted in a come-from-behind win for the Bulldogs.  The 2007 Egg Bowl loss was not Orgeron’s only strike, but it was certainly the last one.

Ole Miss in 2013 is not the Ole Miss of the 1960’s. Lining up and beating MSU is not automatic like it was so long ago.

While Ole Miss may see itself as a better program than MSU overall, in the most recent five-year period, MSU has had less turnover in recruiting and has better depth, if not better front-line players.

Hugh Freeze has now been on both sides of this rivalry, winning and losing based on the emotion of the teams.  How he and his team respond is extremely important if he wants to change this pattern.

If Freeze can continue to recruit well and improve his roster, he may be able to use the 2013 Egg Bowl as a teachable moment for the future.  If he is not able to consistently beat MSU, he will not be very successful against the other, larger and better-funded SEC schools.

2013 will likely be looked upon as a pivotal year for Ole Miss and Hugh Freeze, no matter the direction they take from here.  Luckily they do have a bowl game to focus on and playing well in the Music City Bowl can be a positive first step to putting the Egg Bowl loss behind them and moving forward in 2014.

NCAA Football: Alabama at Auburn


Now that the last games have been played and the regular season is over let take a look at where your team ranks on the MIRS Power Index.  Rivalry week was just as wild and crazy as it has ever been and while the final two teams standing in Atlanta did not finish one and two on our index, statistically, Bama and USC were the best.

But stats do not measure heart and will and certainly do not include a 107 yard returned field goal attempt.

Just a crazy week in the SEC guys.



TEAM                                    DEFENSE              OFFENSE              POWER INDEX

ALABAMA                               1                                   8                                 9

SOUTH CAROLINA              3                                  7                                 10

LSU                                           4                                  6                                 10

GEORGIA                                8                                  3                                 11

OLEMISS                                 7                                  5                                  12

MISSOURI                              9                                  4                                  13

AUBURN                                 11                                 2                                  13

VANDERBILT                        5                                  10                                15

TEXAS A&M                          14                                  1                                  15

MISS STATE                          6                                    9                                 15

FLORIDA                                2                                   14                               16

ARKANSAS                            10                                 11                                21

TENNESSEE                         12                                 12                                24

KENTUCKY                           13                                13                                 26

11281341 MSU vs Ole Miss


If you are a fan of the Maroon and White, 2013 has not been the easiest season.

In the previous three years, MSU enjoyed unprecedented success against their in-state rival Ole Miss;  beating them in the Eggbowl for three straight years for the first time ever.  MSU also enjoyed having the best coach in the state, while Ole Miss floundered under Houston Nutt’s tenure.

In short, 2009-2011 was probably the best time to be an MSU fan since the late 90’s and an SEC trip to Atlanta to battle for the SEC championship.

2012 saw Ole Miss make another questionable hire, in Hugh Freeze, a coach with little experience, and MSU fans expected the good times to continue.

Somehow, Hugh Freeze was able to derail the Mullen train in 2012 with an emotional win in Oxford, officially ending the Mullen honeymoon that capped off a disappointing end to what was such a promising 2012.

In 2013, Senior QB Tyler Russell goes down with a concussion in the first game of the season which further impeded this team’s ability to improve.

Backup QB Dak Prescott is forced to start and learn on the job and through all the growing pains expected on the field, the hardest hurdle for Dak occurred off the field, when he tragicly lost his mother to cancer.

MSU has not played up to expectations in many games this year, losing late to Auburn and LSU and barely winning against inferior teams like Kentucky, Bowling Green and Arkansas; all while racking up injuries to both Dak and Tyler Russell.

Faced with starting a third string QB in freshman Damian Williams against a seemingly strong team in Ole Miss, there was every reason for the fans and MSU team to give up and get ready for 2014.

But give credit to the MSU fans and players who came to play on Thursday.

A defense that continuously gave up big plays at the end of the first half and the end of games, played out of their minds against their rival and did not give up a single offensive touchdown.

With 90% of MSU’s passing yards setting on the bench, Damian Williams played keep-away and was able to protect the football and give his team a chance to win.

With an Ole Miss defense that held MSU to only 72 yards on the ground (before Prescott entered the game), it was the MSU defensive front that stepped up time after time and stone walled the Rebels.

Not to be forgotten was the obvious overwhelming crowd support from MSU fans, who showed up to support their team and added to the pressure that Ole Miss could not overcome and eventually cracked at the last minute in overtime.

The Eggbowl 2013 will go down as an amazing, ill-logical, heart-stopping, thrill a minute game; in a series where this is the norm rather than the exception.

But the biggest winners are the fans who stood by their team when all hope seemed lost and the odds were stacked against them.  When you support your team, it is noticed by the player and sometimes can mean the difference in winning and losing.

The Eggbowl 2013 should be one of the best examples of how fans can create a home field advantage that is un-beatable.