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…
Mississippi State has been to 16 bowl games, the first coming on Jan. 1, 1937, when it lost to Duquesne in the Orange Bowl. After that, bowl bids were few and far between. But over the past 22 years, MSU has made relatively frequent postseason appearances. Since Jackie Sherrill took over as head coach in 1991, the Bulldogs have been to 10 bowl games.
Sherrill took them to the Liberty Bowl his first year, dropping a 38-15 decision. MSU went to six bowl games on Sherrill’s watch, compiling a 2-4 record. Those two wins set off a five-game bowl winning streak, with Sylvester Croom leading State to the 2007 Liberty Bowl win and Dan Mullen getting back-to-back wins in the Gator Bowl (2010 season) and Music City Bowl (2011).
The winning streak was snapped in last season’s Gator Bowl, with a 34-20 loss to Northwestern.
This run of bowl games, as it were, is a reminder that MSU is having its best run of success since Allyn McKeen was coaching in the 1930s and ’40s. Sure, there have been plenty of potholes along the way – see: the Croom era – but since 1991 the Bulldogs have recorded 11 winning seasons. You’ll notice the numerical incongruity between winning seasons and bowl games, and as you might recall, Sherrill’s 1997 team received no bowl bid despite a 7-4 record.