Mississippi State football defensive coordinator Zach Arnett during the Bulldogs' game against the Texas A&M Aggies. Photo: Laura Parsley/ Mississippi State Athletics

Mississippi State football ranked No. 23 in ESPN 2023 preseason SP+ rankings



Mississippi State football has a chance to make some noise in 2023 as the Bulldogs can boast a No. 23 ranking in ESPN’s preseason SP+ rankings.

Mississippi State football earns No. 23 preseason SP+ ranking for 2023


Well, Zach Arnett and the Mississippi State football team are already off to a great start in 2023. Specifically focusing in on preseason rankings and the Bulldogs are in a really solid spot in ESPN’s Bill Connelly’s SP+ rankings ahead of the 2023 college football season.

In the 2023 preseason rankings, the Mississippi State Bulldogs earned the No. 23 spot. Given all the change that’s happened because of Mike Leach’s death, that’s a solid place to be on ESPN’s SP+ rankings.

This is an impressive feat for the Bulldogs and it speaks to the work that Leach and his coaching staff did to elevate the program over the past three seasons. It also helps show that Arnett is inheriting a better program than what Leach inherited.

What are reasonable expectations for Zach Arnett and No. 23 ranked Mississippi State football?


All things considered, this is a really solid spot for the Mississippi State football team to be ranked. In terms of rankings along, the Bulldogs are off to a great start going into the the 2023 season with their No. 23 preseason SP+ ranking.

It’s the offseason and MSU has had a lot of hard news, so this particular ranking is something worth celebrating as it can create a bit of buzz around the program. It should also get fans wondering just how special of a Mississippi State football season 2023 could be.

A lot of media entities and personalities are discounting what the Bulldogs will be capable of accomplishing this coming season. That’s largely due to the fact that Arnett is a first time head coach and MSU has, at various times in the past, occasionally struggled to sustain success.

Plus, the Bulldogs have lost some key contributors. So, it’s pretty fair that folks are a little skeptical and question MSU here a bit.

Still, Mississippi State fans should be pretty happy here, especially considering how Connelly’s rankings work and that he considers the following factors into his rankings:

  • Returning production
  • Recent recruiting
  • Recent history

The Bulldogs don’t have an abundant amount of returning production, though they do have some notable contributors coming back for a fairly experienced team.

Mississippi State won’t be considered one of the favorites in the SEC, nor will they be considered to be on track for a championship run. However, the Bulldogs could still have a really solid season in 2023 if they can live up to what Connelly’s math system’s preseason rankings have.


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