Gator Bowl: Mississippi State vs. Michigan

Written January 1st, 2011 by MaliBuckeye

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Another game that we should do a better job at previewing. Well, that’s one resolution already screwed up…

Seal of excellence

Mississippi State (8-4, 4-4 SEC) vs. Michigan (7-5, 3-5 Big T1e1n)

January 1, 2011 1:00 PM ET

History

This is the sixth oldest bowl game, and has been played every year since 1946. For Buckeye fans, it’s pretty forgettable.  The mission of the Gator Bowl Association is to “provide Northeast Florida with the very best in college athletics and related activities in order to maximize positive impact on the area’s economy, national image and community pride”, and they have a president who’s one of the few honest members of bowl committees across the country, saying they don’t care about football, only about money.

Mississippi State Bulldogs

This is the Bulldogs’ first trip to the Gator Bowl, and coach Dan Mullen is happy to be a part of the program. His name has been tossed around during the coaching searches this season, including a return to the Florida sidelines.  The turnaround in Starkville has been impressive; under Mullen’s watch, the Bulldogs have managed to achieve one of the best rushing defenses in the SEC, something they’ll need to be successful against Michigan’s Denard Robinson.

As good as they are at stopping the run, Mississippi State is as stellar in the rushing game. Led by QB Chris Relf, who has almost 700 yards on the ground, the Bulldogs main offensive weapon, Vick Ballard, looks to have enormous success against a Wolverine defense that has been generously described as anemic.

Michigan Wolverines

Rumors continue to swirl that this game is Rich Rodriguez’ last game as the head man at Michigan; again speculation is that Stanford’s Jim Harbaugh will be named to replace him shortly after the bowl season has completed.  Personally, I think that Rich is just the man to raise up this program, albeit out of a hole that his administration has dug.

Denard Robinson is, to be honest, a player that I wished was at another program; that way I could enjoy watching him play. He’ll need to stay healthy in this game, something that he’s been unable to do as the season progresses. Unfortunately, as you know, his backup has really tried to be ineligible for this game. Success.

Who Are We Picking?

  • Eric- MSU
  • Jay- MSU
  • Jeff- MSU
  • Jim- Michigan
  • Joe- MSU
  • Mali- MSU

I would be more than happy to be ridiculously wrong, and for the Wolverines to rally around their coach to obtain him a contract extension.

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