Saturday, March 25, 2023

"The Streak" — For Whom The Cowbells Don't Toll

Mississippi State will try to reverse a long losing streak vs. LSU.

Commentary by Steve Vassallo.
Well, well, well. It’s that time of year when the boys from Cowbell U go up against LSU for their annual woodshed trip.
LSU has now won 14 straight games with the average point differential being 26! This year’s game happens to be in Baton Rouge where Mississippi State hasn’t been successful since 1991. State last defeated the Bengals in 1999 by the whopping score of 17-16. Prior to that game LSU had won 7 straight, a mini streak, have you.
During the current 14-game winning streak MSU was embarrassed 45-0 in 2007 and 51-0 in 04. And in 2001, it was 42-0! Last year it was a little better with LSU blowing the Dawgs out only by a score of 59-26!
The net, net of all of this is that State will never be considered a serious contender ever again in the west if being consistently humiliated by one of the “also rans.” Losing 14 straight to Bama is easier to explain (actually MSU lost to the Tide 15 consecutive times when that streak ended in 1996). Losing and not being competitive are two entirely different things. Prior to the current streak, State was out scored by LSU 213-94 in the seven games they lost to the Bengals in the 1990’s. In the past quarter century it has gotten ugly.
Focusing on the 2014 contest, State has won in Baton Rouge only 4 times in the last 56 years. Therefore the odds they will be victorious this year do not appear likely. Throughout history, LSU holds a commanding lead of 63-33-3 which has “gone south” in modern history for the Dawgs.
Should State pull an upset this year, this writer will be eating crow, but also thrilled that the Bulldogs finally get the monkey (make that the tiger) off their backs. Running up scores on USM and trying to do so against UAB is all self-serving, but not advancing the program. And having UT Martin as your homecoming opponent is convenient, but not as exciting or challenging as having UT which is the homecoming opponent of Ole Miss.
After the LSU week it doesn’t get much easier for State. Home games versus A&M and Auburn could send the season up in flames if they lose the trifecta. In all seriousness, State must find a way to win quickly in this league or resort to becoming the Vanderbilt of the west. It all goes back to recruiting.
Recruiting is only enhanced by playing top notch schedules, not powder puffs. Here’s how Phil Steele ranks the toughest schedules for 2014 (nationally): Tennessee is second; Arkansas third; Auburn fifth; A&M twelfth; Kentucky fifteenth; Ole Miss twentieth; and so on. Mississippi State is 56th, just two slots ahead of the Dores.
In conclusion, Joe Dimaggio’s streak (once upon a time) ended at 56. Maybe LSU’s will end sooner. But as of right now, the future looks purple and gold! Hail State!

Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss CommunicationsSteve Vassallo is a contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. In addition, he is a certified economic and community developer and currently, a highly successful leader in the real estate business with Premier Properties of Oxford. Steve’s lifelong dream has been to live in Oxford full-time. “I am now living my dream daily as is my wife Rosie, who works with the Oxford Chamber of Commerce,” Steve said. You can contact Steve at or call him at 985-852-7745.