You could argue that it's the biggest week of the year. Several teams have been preparing for some big events that start Thursday, and the Bulldogs have a shot at performing well in all of them.
First, though, let me mention the big off-field happening. Football coach Dan Mullen is racking up the miles and handshakes during his five-day, 12-city Road Dawgs Tour, beefing up his connection with MSU fans and alumni. And if private giving increases because of it, all the better.
One of Mullen's stops will be in Tupelo on Thursday. Noon, BancorpSouth Center, $15 to get in the door ($10 if you're 12 or younger).
But back to the stuff where score is kept. The biggest on-field event is the baseball series between State and Ole Miss, starting Thursday in Oxford. Both teams are 11-13 in league play and are battling for an SEC Tournament berth.
This rivalry is inherently meaningful, but the postseason implications add another layer to it. Win the series, and both a tourney berth and an NCAA regional bid are near locks. Lose, and you're in big trouble.
As MSU pitcher Chris Stratton told me Monday, "Everything boils down to this."
There's much on the line for several other MSU teams this weekend. Here's a rundown.
Tennis at NCAAs
The men's tennis team won the SEC West for the first time this season, and coach Per Nilsson was named SEC coach of year. Now the real fun begins, as the No. 21-ranked Bulldogs take on Florida State on Friday to kick off the NCAA Championship in Atlanta.
State has been carried by some young guys, like freshman of the year Malte Stropp, a German who had never played hard-court tennis before coming to MSU. Seems the future is bright for this squad.
On the run
The men's No. 22-ranked track team figures to do well at the SEC Championships, which start Thursday in Athens, Ga. The Bulldogs are without injured sprinters Emanuel Mayers and Tavaris Tate, but there is a deep roster of speed demons who could grab some hardware.
The sprint events are where MSU excels, especially the relays. The 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams have already qualified for the NCAA first-round meet (May 26-28). The Bulldogs are the defending SEC champs in the 4x100.
Softball eyes upset
It might have just slipped in as a No. 8 seed, but the MSU softball team is back in the SEC Tournament for the first time since 2008. The Lady Bulldogs face top-seeded and No. 4-ranked Alabama on Thursday at Ole Miss, which is hosting the tournament but did not qualify (just fired its coach, too).
Coach Jay Miller earned his 1,000th career victory earlier this season, and he's been one of the driving forces behind softball's growth in popularity over the years. So if anyone call pull off an upset of Alabama, it's him.
That would make MSU's big week even better.
Brad Locke (email@example.com) covers Mississippi State for the Daily Journal and blogs daily at NEMS360.com.