Firing defensive coordinator Carl Torbush came as little surprise: despite the outstanding performance against the Florida Gators, the Bulldogs ranked second to last in total passing and scoring defense in the conference.
The Bulldogs will also lose Anthony Dixon, the senior at running back who produced a near 1400-yard season for former Gators offensive coordinator Dan Mullen, in his first year in Starkville.
Backup QB Chris Relf, who came in for Tyson Lee in the Ole Miss game, showed Tebow-esque flashes at the end of the year, passing for two touchdowns and rumbling into the end zone on a keeper to seal the upset over the Rebels in the Egg Bowl.
Both quarterbacks struggled down field, but Relf's size will add that extra element on the ground next year.
In addition, Mullen has put together outstanding back-to-back recruiting classes in the talent-rich state.
There are officially no losers in the SEC West, but Mississippi State will still play underdog in conference action. Hopefully they can make a few more close games end their way.