On the eve of a game against Georgia, Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen sounds convinced that Mark Richt’s Bulldogs are better than their 1-2 record indicates.
“In my view of things, and their record might now show it, but they’re a top 25 football team in the country – easily -- right now,” Mullen said on today's SEC coaches' teleconference. “When you’re in the SEC, you see that you play the toughest schedule in the country. That’s been more of a result of it more than them not being maybe what’s expected. They’re just playing a tough schedule, and they’ve played really good teams and lost some close games. So we have to be very focused. How I view this is we’re playing another top 25 team this week.”
Georgia and Mississippi State have each lost two consecutive games heading into Saturday night’s meeting in Starkville.
Mullen, by the way, votes in the USA Today coaches’ poll. He did not have Georgia in his top 25 this week (none of the 59 voting coaches did). Yet he cited the fact that both of UGA’s losses have come down to the fourth quarter.
“Those situations show they are a very, very good football team,” Mullen said.
At one time, Mullen recruited Tampa native and current Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray during his tenure as offensive coordinator at Florida.
“Watching him develop now,” Mullen said, “you see a guy with a lot of talent, very, very strong arm, has the athletic ability to improvise and get himself out of trouble.”