There are many reasons to believe Mississippi State will equal or exceed last season's success – 31 reasons, in fact. Here's Reason No. 17.
Momentum is a tricky little intangible to pin down. It's not measurable in sport beyond citing hot streaks, and it often gets misidentified. In fact, I sometimes think it's existence outside the purely physical realm (mass and velocity, etc.) is a myth, as far as sport is concerned. And one wonders just how a football team can possess sustainable momentum when there is so long between the end of one season and the start of the next.
Folks at MSU would tell you, however, that momentum is on their side. First, of course, there's last season's 9-4 mark and Gator Bowl win. There are back-to-back wins against rival Ole Miss. There is clear and continuing improvement within the program in all facets, from conditioning to speed to talent to public relations to facilities to recruiting to on-field execution – I could go on.
Ticket sales are through the roof (again), and the football team is a product that MSU fans are demanding at the highest level the school's ever seen. They suffered through the first decade of this millennium, so there's a lot of pent-up passion that's now pouring forth. All of these elements work together to give us a picture of what this kind of momentum looks like – if momentum is indeed the proper label.
Perhaps progress or growth are better words, but they don't sound as exciting as momentum, do they?
How exactly does all this help MSU on the field this year? Excellent question. Coaches have gotta coach, and players have gotta play, but with the strong belief this team has in itself and in what it's doing, and with so much support behind it, this momentum business should not be discounted.