Here's how they'll finish….

These predictions come with with a caution: As hard as it is to believe, I have been wrong before. One year, long ago, I picked Mississippi State to win seven games. The Bulldogs won one and lost 10. As the season progressed and losses mounted, I received a phone call from the same Ole Miss fan every Sunday morning. “Well, the Bullies lost again and I just want to know,” the wise guy would say, “was that one of the seven or one of the four.”That said, most times I have come within one or two games of the teams’ actually records. Let’s try again.

Mississippi State: I can guarantee you these Bulldogs won’t go 1-10. They play 12 games. I’m guessing they eventually will play 13 because they’ll win eight in the regular season and then go bowling. As I wrote yesterday, the Auburn game on Sept. 8, is huge. Win that one and the Bulldogs have a chance — a chance, mind you — to be 7-0 going into Alabama. The schedule is back end-loaded, however. After playing Middle Tennessee State on Oct. 20, the Bulldogs play Alabama, Texas A & M, LSU and Arkansas, before finishing with Ole Miss.

Ole Miss: If Hugh Freeze were to win four five games, he ought to be Coach of the year. If they Rebels win six, they should go ahead and commission a statue. Unfortunately, I think the Rebels are destined for 3-9. Freeze inherits a mess. This is going to take some time.

Southern Miss: If USM has success against the first half of its schedule, the Eagles could garner some national headlines. They open with Nebraska and also play Louisivlle, Boise State and UCF in a front-loaded schedule. So much depends on the quarterback position after four years of Austin Davis. It would be better to play that front end on the back end, after the new coaching staff has settled on a quarterback. As it stands, I’ve got USM at 8-4 and bowling.

Jackson State: Quarterback is also the key at JSU. The Tigers will badly need to win against Tennessee State Sept. 8 at Memphis after taking a licking Sept. 1 at Starkville. I’ve got the Tigers finishing 7-4.

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