Bulldogs open SEC play at home against Alabama

Ben Howland and Mississippi State begin SEC play hosting Alabama on Jan. 3 on SEC Network. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Ben Howland and Mississippi State begin SEC play hosting Alabama on Jan. 3 on SEC Network. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Ben Howland will open Southeastern Conference play at home against Alabama on Jan. 3 to begin his second year at Mississippi State.

The Bulldogs will be on the road the next two games at LSU on Jan. 7 and Arkansas on Jan. 10.

MSU meets Alabama, LSU, Tennessee, Ole Miss and South Carolina twice during the 2016-17 campaign. The Bulldogs will make a return trip to Tuscaloosa on Jan. 28 and LSU will close out the regular season in Starkville on March 4.

State travels to Tennessee on Jan. 21 and the Volunteers come to Humphrey Coliseum on Feb. 4. The Bulldogs visit in-state rival Ole Miss on Jan. 31 and the Rebels return the favor on Feb. 21 televised by ESPN2. South Carolina comes to Mississippi State on Feb. 11 on ESPN2 and the Bulldogs take their last road trip to Columbia on Feb. 28 aired on ESPNU.

MSU welcomes Texas A&M to town on Jan. 14 on CBS, defending SEC Champion Kentucky on Jan. 17 on ESPN, Missouri on Jan. 25 on SEC Network and Florida on Feb. 18 on ESPN.

The Bulldogs will travel to Auburn on Feb. 7, Georgia on Valentines Day and Vanderbilt on Feb. 25, all televised by ESPNU.

“It’s both a very challenging and exciting schedule in the SEC,” Howland said. “We have five different home-and-homes with extremely strong programs, and the other eight games are equally as tough. I’m excited and looking forward to the challenge of competing against the best teams in the SEC.”

State returns just three players – I.J. Ready, Quinndary Weatherspoon and Aric Holman – who saw action last year. The Bulldogs went 14-17 overall and 7-11 in conference play during Howland’s first season and finished 11th in the league.

Mississippi State opens the season at home against Norfolk State on Nov. 11.

I have covered Mississippi State in some capacity since 2004 and joined the Daily Journal staff in 2013. I enjoy short walks on the beach, performing concerts in my car and watching professional wrestling.

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