Re-Assessing MSU’s Chances in SEC West Race

Mississippi State has lost 11 of its last 15 SEC games and, as previously noted, has just one series win in league play. Yet, after losing two of three to Alabama, the Bulldogs (25-18, 8-13 SEC) are well within striking distance of first place in the Western Division, only two games behind co-leaders Alabama and Arkansas.

It’s the division nobody wants to win. That’s good for MSU, which stayed out of last place with yesterday’s 8-5 win over the Tide. The standings look like this:

Alabama 10-11

Arkansas 10-11

Auburn 9-12

Ole Miss 9-12

MSU 8-13

LSU 7-14

Heck, LSU could still up and win this thing. Wouldn’t surprise me, and watch out, because the Tigers just swept Kentucky. (OK, I know, it’s only Kentucky.)

We went through the schedule and everything last week, examining how MSU could win the West. But let’s review and re-assess.

Up next is a trip to Tennessee, which is having a horrid season. The Volunteers are 5-16 in league play and were swept by Vanderbilt this weekend. Sunday’s final: 19-3. Notable, however, is the fact that UT took two of three from Alabama just two weeks ago, winning games by scores of 2-1 and 1-0 in Tuscaloosa.

The next weekend, MSU is on the road again to take on Ole Miss, and there could be an SEC Tournament berth on the line in that series. Although if things remain as tight as they are, that fight will go down to the final game of the season. And while LSU has been struggling, that’s not a team you really wanna face in that situation, but that’s who State gets (at home) to close out the season.

I said entering this weekend that I could see MSU picking up eight wins over the last four series. Perhaps I was being overly optimistic, but I was also probably overestimating how much MSU needed to do to win the division. Win a couple of these next three series, and that should more than do the job.