We’re counting down to MSU’s season opener against Oklahoma State on Aug. 31, giving you a significant number to ponder as August trudges on. Today’s number is…
MSU opens the season against a non-conference opponent, which is normal. While the SEC has been tough to navigate for Dan Mullen, he’s had little trouble with teams outside the league. In fact, he’s got a record of 14-2 against non-SEC teams, with a winning streak of 13 games.
Those two losses both came in Mullen’s first season, 2009, and occurred on back-to-back weekends. MSU lost to Georgia Tech, 42-31, then fell to a Kevin Sumlin-coached Houston team, 31-24. Both games were played in Starkville. The week after the Houston loss, MSU went to Middle Tennessee State and won 27-6, beginning the 13-game winning streak against non-conference opponents.
Oklahoma State is going to be a bit tougher than what MSU is used to seeing outside the league. The Cowboys are ranked No. 13 in the AP preseason poll, and this will be just the second time Mullen has faced a ranked non-conference opponent. (Georgia Tech was 25th heading into that 2009 meeting.) In other words, this will be by far the toughest opponent Mullen has had to prepare for outside of SEC play.