Stimulant may be needed for upcoming stretch of Bulldogs' schedule

By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal

After all that buildup to the Auburn game last week, getting through the next four weeks of Mississippi State football – as a fan or as a journalist – might require gallons of caffeine.
Unfortunately, I’ve recently given up that stimulant, so I’ll have to find some other method.
Because just look at the upcoming schedule: at Troy on Saturday, then South Alabama at home, bye week, at Kentucky.
I yawned just typing that.
The good news for MSU is that it should handily win all those games, which would make it 5-0 heading into the Tennessee game. The bad news for the rest of us is that it’s going to be harder to view (literally) some of these games, and the matchups are atrocious.
Perhaps Troy can give the Bulldogs a good game, but my prediction is a multiple-touchdown victory for MSU. Same goes for the next two games.
Saturday’s game is available only on ESPN3.com – no broadcast television whatsoever. This will baffle some people, and many won’t be able to watch it.
The South Alabama game is pay-per-view, and honestly, who would fork over good money to see such a bloodletting? We don’t yet know the TV situation for Kentucky, but that smells like an ESPNU broadcast.
I’m not complaining, mind you. Blowouts mean I can start writing my stories at halftime and thus slay the deadline monkey.
But for fans, it could be kind of a listless month. Certainly they’ll enjoy seeing MSU’s record go to 3-0, 4-0, then 5-0, and that should easily put the Bulldogs in the Top 25 rankings.
The MSU faithful can be forgiven if their attention wanes and/or is redirected toward more enticing matchups that can be watched on basic cable.
The Bulldogs can’t afford to be so disinterested during this upcoming stretch. They must somehow remain focused and motivated for teams that will be clearly overmatched.
Waiting on the vols
Can they maintain their edge over the next four weekends? If not, that could be bad news once Tennessee rolls into town.
Y’all probably know how I feel about MSU’s non-conference schedule: It’s unnecessarily soft.
The counter-argument is that the SEC schedule is tough enough, and that’s a fair point, but it ultimately doesn’t hold water.
It’s as old an adage as there is in sports: The quickest way to get better is by consistently playing against high-level competition. Plus, in today’s money-driven world of college athletics, a high-profile matchup can mean more dollars for everybody.
No caffeine needed.
Brad Locke (brad.locke@journalinc.com) covers Mississippi State for the Daily Journal and blogs daily at DJournal.com.