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Breaking Down MSU's 2012 Football Schedule
by bradlocke
 Inside Mississippi State Sports
1 month ago | 2944 views | 9 9 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

The SEC has finally hammered out its 2012 football schedule, announcing it this morning on the league's website. It's been an arduous task trying to figure it out since the SEC added Texas A&M and Missouri to the fold.

So here's the setup: Two seven-team divisions, with A&M in the West and Missouri in the East. As expected. They kept the eight-game SEC schedule, so now each team plays only two inter-divisional games per year. For MSU, those games in 2012 are Kentucky (the Bulldogs' permanent East opponent) and Tennessee. MSU plays at Kentucky for the second consecutive season but will still have seven home games.

"We only have three conference games in first seven. You're not guaranteed anything, but I think the schedule sets up where we have a chance to build some momentum in the early part of the year," MSU athletics director Scott Stricklin said.

Larry Templeton, the former MSU athletics director who is serving on the SEC's transition team, said the MSU-Kentucky game was a byproduct of trying to "protect Mississippi State-Tennessee for television."

A lot of playing dates were shuffled around to make this 2012 slate happen.

"If you use the original 2012 schedule for the 12 teams, we ended up moving something like 56 playing dates for SEC-SEC games, and then our institutions moved something like 40-44 non-conference playing dates," Templeton said.

And as expected, State will host Texas A&M next season. It'll be the sixth meeting between the schools, and MSU leads the series 3-2. The last meeting? The 2000 Indepedence Bowl, a.k.a. the "Snow Bowl," which State won 43-41.

The Alabama game, normally played in November, has been moved up. MSU's open date is Sept. 29, part of a three-week stretch in which it doesn't play an SEC foe. That'll be made up for later in the season with a brutal closing stretch.

Don't expect any Thursday games for State in 2012. It played two this past season, but Stricklin doesn't see it as very doable for next year.

"There was some talk early on, but as the schedule evolved it became more problematic for us based on where it would end up, because you want to make sure you have an open date beforehand," he said. "We didn't have that this year. I don't think we like that."

Here's more info on the SEC scheduling, and further meetings will be required to figure out the 2013 setup. Templeton said permanent opponents will be "revisited," and he's heard no talk of moving to a nine-game conference schedule.

"Don't read anything into this schedule. It's strictly a one-year solution. It's only for 2012," Templeton said. "There could be a lot of no-return games in the 2013 schedule. The ADs are going to meet and determine the parameters in which we want to schedule for the next 12 years. The next schedule will be everybody rotating through in some form or fashion around those parameters."

OK, let's view the entire MSU schedule now (*-denotes SEC game).

Sept. 1, vs. Jackson State

Sept. 8, vs. Auburn*

Sept. 15, at Troy

Sept. 22, vs. South Alabama

Oct. 6, at Kentucky*

Oct. 13, vs. Tennessee*

Oct. 20, vs. Middle Tennessee State

Oct. 27, at Alabama*

Nov. 3, vs. Texas A&M*

Nov. 10, at LSU*

Nov. 17, vs. Arkansas*

Nov. 24, at Ole Miss*

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dawginheat
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December 28, 2011
Arch, if you can give one example of how I've displayed a "maroon glasses" syndrome, I'd be surprised.

Kentucky is a win next year, no questions asked. You're just mad b/c they treated your real team like a stepchild.
dawginheat
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December 28, 2011
How is Kentucky a "question mark"? Tennessee, at home, should be a win. You're letting your blue and red goggles get in the way. I know, I know, you went to MSU. So did my cousin, who's also a die-hard Rebel.
Archaeo
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December 28, 2011
Kentucky is not a gimme. If they play like they did against Tennesse then MSU loses. If they play like they did when MSU played them last year then MSU wins. Its not a sure win game.

Tennessee I made a question mark because I don't think even they know what they have or will have next year. Plus MSU will need an offense that shows up past what...the first 2 games of the season next year. This was supposed to be Relf's year to shine to, but that didn't happen to well either now did it. A lot of things can go either way during a season and a game. Who knows Tennesse may be the next Auburn next year.

I will stop looking through my red and blue goggles if you stop looking through your maroon ones. I was trying to be positive since the season is so far away and neither of us will know what each team has until next year.
rriffe
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December 28, 2011
Archer, just so you know, the Kentucky team did nothing special against tenn. Basically ran 3 running plays with te at quarterback and tenn couldn't stop them. There was little effort by teen who had locker room issues with bray and d,Rick Rogers. Basically tennessee didn't show up at all on defense.
Archaeo
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December 28, 2011
Pretty favorable looking to me overall. Auburn you might win this year. LSU is preferable early in the season I think as they are 'more' beatable before they hit their stride. Kentucky and Tennessee are the question marks here. 6 wins should be 'fairly' easy with possibly 2 more depending on injuries and other factors like that.
dawginheat
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December 28, 2011
UM finally "beefs up" their non-conference schedule, and they think they've done something special. Typical.
WildRebel
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December 28, 2011
Two FCS opponents and two Sun Belt opponents...way to beef up that out of conference schedule. The Mullen Era is in full swing.
msu-tupelofan
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December 28, 2011
Take a look at your Cotton Bowl years. Looks familiar.

Take a look at your schedule this past year.....yeah....
nuttcrusher09
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December 28, 2011
After MTSU, this has to be the toughest 4 game stretch in the history of college football. I feel like I need to break out the icy-hot just looking at it.