There are many reasons to believe Mississippi State will equal or exceed last season's success – 31 reasons, in fact. Here's Reason No. 15.
I wrote earlier this month that the Bulldogs actually seem to enjoy being worked by strength and conditioning coach Matt Balis. It's not a sentiment you often hear expressed, but players were tweeting about it left and right, and receiver Chad Bumphis called a trip to Camp Seminole "fun."
As noted in the story, Bumphis changed his Twitter handle in honor of Balis.
Why are players so heartily embracing Balis' offseason regimen? Because they've seen the results. Last season the Bulldogs were bigger and faster last season than they'd been in years, and that led to a 9-4 record and Gator Bowl win. With expectations sky-high this year, players are pushing themselves – and allowing themselves to be pushed – even harder.
It's been my experience that hard work will take you places, and loving the hard work can take you even further.