By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
Y’all wonder why I scoff at polls? This week provides the perfect example.
Mississippi State, which is 13-2, dropped two spots to No. 16 in the new USA Today coaches poll. The Bulldogs lost 54-52 to Baylor on Wednesday in Dallas, then beat Utah State at home, 66-64, on Saturday.
Baylor was ranked seventh in the country (No. 6 AP) at the time – it’s now No. 5 coaches, No. 4 AP – and is still undefeated. Yet MSU was punished by the coaches for daring to play such a quality team away from home and for nearly beating that team. Did the close shave versus Utah State factor in? Perhaps.
There was a bit more reason applied by the AP voters, who kept MSU at No. 15, just like last week. This is just further evidence that while the AP poll has its issues, it doesn’t have near as many as the coaches poll.
MSU opens Southeastern Conference play Saturday with a road trip to Arkansas. The Bulldogs and Razorbacks meet at 8 p.m. at Bud Walton Arena. The contest will be regionally televised by Comcast Sports Southeast. MSU’s home conference opener is Jan. 12 against Tennessee.
MSU Athletic Media Relations contributed to this.