What will Eagles, Rebs and Dogs do?

Published 7:45 pm Wednesday, July 4, 2018

College football is less than two months away, and all three FBS teams in the state have a chance to achieve a winning record in 2018.

We’ll take a look at the swing game that likely determines what type of season each respective program has.

Southern Mississippi vs.

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Appalachian State (Week Three)

After winning four combined games from 2012-2014, it is simply amazing the work that Todd Monken and Jay Hopson have done to get the program back on track.

Hopson has reached bowl games in his first two seasons in Hattiesburg, and the track record supports that he’ll be there again this season.

Southern Miss has a chance to compete for a C-USA division title this year, but the game in Boone, North Carolina will likely paint the picture for what the season will be for the Golden Eagles.

Ole Miss vs. Texas Tech (Week One)

Outside of an unlikely appeal win, the Rebels will play another season and not be allowed to participate in a bowl game.

Because of that, it’s imperative for Ole Miss to get off to a quick start to the season to avoid the feeling of hopelessness to creep in.

The Rebels had the onus of playing for their head coach’s job last year, and they got that accomplished. The question this year is if there’s anything to play for besides pride.

Texas Tech has an explosive offense and a shaky, at best, defense. Ole Miss reciprocates that philosophy.

Ole Miss needs to get out to a 1-0 start with the likes of Alabama and Auburn coming to Oxford a few weeks later to be able to post a 6-6 or 7-5 record on the year.

Mississippi State vs.

Auburn (Week Six)

Mississippi State should be 5-0 coming into the game against Auburn, if the goal is to compete for a SEC West title.

The game is in Starkville, and the Bulldogs play extremely well in Davis-Wade Stadium .

Florida and Kentucky will likely present challenges for Mississippi State, but the Bulldogs are more talented than both teams and certainly have a much better quarterback in Nick Fitzgerald.

If the Bulldogs leave the Auburn game with a 6-0 record, they could be looking at a SEC West de facto championship game in Tuscaloosa against Alabama.

Sports editor Collin Brister can be reached at collin.brister@dailyleader.com or 601-265-5306.