Mississippi State has now lost two straight games against SEC competition and weren't competitive in either one of them. The Bulldogs received a beat down from the Alabama Crimson Tide last week, which gave the program a dose of reality. Today, were demolished by the Texas A&M Aggies by a score of 38-13.
The program didn't open up the season as a ranked team in the AP Poll, but quickly gained some attention as the Bulldogs went ahead and won seven straight to begin the year. The team was even ranked No. 15 in the latest BCS rankings and appeared to have taken that next step to become an elite SEC club.
Not so fast.
Johnny Manziel continued his tremendous season of simply abusing defenses, as the freshman quarterback threw for 311 yards against what is supposed to be one of the top secondaries in all of college football. He also went ahead and rushed for 129 yards and two touchdowns for good measure, adding another game to his career of more than 400 total yards.
Meanwhile, Mississippi State was held to less than 100 rushing yards for the second week in a row and quarterback Tyler Russell couldn't seem to find his rhythm throughout the game. The team struggled mightily throughout the contest, especially on the defensive side of the ball where the team allowed 693 total yards, which is inexcusable and not going to get the job done in any conference.
The simple fact is that this team had not beaten anybody to earn a Top 20 ranking in the BCS. None of those seven victories were against ranked teams or competitive ball clubs. Unless you count Troy, South Alabama or Kentucky as elite programs, the Bulldogs were one of the biggest frauds in the entire BCS poll.
But the disappointment the last two weeks shouldn't come as a surprise to anybody.
When will Mississippi State take that next step?
Since the 2009 season, Mississippi State is 2-14 against ranked teams. Head coach Dan Mullen has done a fabulous job of securing three straight bowl games for a program, including this year, that struggled to reach the postseason in the past. This team, however, isn't ready for the big stage just yet.
The game against Alabama wasn't even close from the jump and Texas A&M, the newbies of the SEC, went into Davis Wade Stadium and forgot to wipe their feet. The defense couldn't figure things out all afternoon and the offense couldn't do much better against a Texas A&M defense that hasn't been that consistent this season.
The Bulldogs are recruiting well as of late and have a bright future in this conference if it can continue down this path. However, this is a program that will likely fall out of the BCS rankings sooner than later, especially with LSU on the menu next weekend.
It is always nice to see teams on the rise make a run, but the last two weeks have shown that Mississippi State isn't quite there yet.