Auburn at Mississippi State: ESPN Bloggers Pick Bulldogs


Sep 14, 2013; Auburn, AL, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs quarterback

Dak Prescott

(15) celebrates his touchdown against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan Hare Stadium. The Tigers defeated the Bulldogs 24-20. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Whether or not it’s the Game of the Century or the Game of the Year, it’s certainly the Game of the Week.

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Simply, a matchup of two teams ranked in the top three in the country doesn’t happen all that often in the regular season. But that’s what we have this week.

Auburn at Mississippi State features the No. 2 team in the land visiting No. 3. To say the hype for this week’s game was unexpected would be an understatement.

The Bulldogs enter this week ranked higher than they ever have, and the team is a trendy pick to topple the Tigers in a home upset – at least among a selection of ESPN bloggers.

Every week at, the group of Edward Aschoff, Jeff Barlis, David Ching, Sam Khan, Jr., Chris Low, Greg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough make their selections of every game featuring SEC teams. The Week 7 picks posted Thursday morning, and five of the seven experts have sided with Mississippi State. Greg Ostendorf shared his reasoning:

“The Tigers struggled early at Kansas State, but their defense bailed them out,” he said. “I don’t see that happening this week. The combination of Dak Prescott and Josh Robinson is just too good. Secondly, the Mississippi State defense is big, physical and equipped to handle Auburn’s rushing attack. Just look at last year’s game. Mississippi State 35, Auburn 27.”

Mississippi State is certainly talented, but using last year’s game as a reason why the Bulldogs will win is a bit of a stretch. Both teams are completely different than the two that battled to a thrilling 24-20 final in Auburn in 2013. Auburn’s offense hadn’t begun to click through the first few games of 2013, and the 2014 Tiger defense has played lights out through the first five games of this season.

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  • On the other sideline, Dak Prescott is now a Heisman candidate instead of a backup QB filling in for an injured starter, De’Runnya Wilson and Josh Robinson have emerged, and there are playmakers on defense as well that hadn’t showed up yet by September 14, 2013.

    However, David Ching and Chris Low aren’t quite buying into the MSU hype. When explaining why Auburn will win, Ching offers “Auburn is accustomed to this kind of hoopla, and its proven ability to produce at crunch time might be enough to help the Tigers squeak by. Aubburn 38, Mississippi State 35.”

    While it’s not exactly the most confident explanation, Ching brings up a great point. The Tigers have been here before – several times in the past 12 months, in fact. For the Bulldogs, this is something new and very different. It is the first top five matchup ever at Davis Wade Stadium, because, well, it’s the first time Mississippi State has ever been ranked in the top five. Keep in mind, they weren’t even ranked three weeks ago.

    Teams don’t always rise to the occasion when faced with the biggest game in program history. We’ll find out Saturday if the Bulldogs can live up to the hype, or not.

    One thing we do know: the Auburn Tigers are used to this.