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Mississippi State football schedule 2013: Opponents, game dates and more

Dan Mullen is entering his fifth year at Mississippi State, and the Bulldogs are still trying to have a truly breakthrough season. State opened 2012 7-0, but four losses in the final five regular-season games and a bowl defeat at the hands of Northwestern left the taste of disappointment in fans' mouths. Looking at the 2013 slate, it won't be easy for the Bulldogs to top that 8-5 mark.

2013 Mississippi State schedule

Date Opponent Conf. Projected ranking

8/31/2013 Oklahoma State (Houston) B12 5

9/7/2013 Alcorn State FCS

9/14/2013 at Auburn SEC 58

9/21/2013 Troy SBC 95

9/28/2013 Open date

10/5/2013 LSU SEC 4

10/12/2013 Bowling Green MAC 66

10/19/2013 Open date

10/24/2013 Kentucky SEC 86

11/2/2013 at South Carolina SEC 15

11/9/2013 at Texas A&M SEC 16

11/16/2013 Alabama SEC 1

11/23/2013 at Arkansas SEC 43

11/28/2013 Ole Miss SEC 27

12/7/2013 SEC Championship (Atlanta)

Date Opponent Conf. Projected ranking

Projections from Football Outsiders' 2013 college football almanac.

While a neutral-site game against Oklahoma State to open the season could provide MSU with a big win and some major momentum, it also could cause the Bulldogs to start in an 0-1 hole. The game at Auburn to open SEC play might not seem like a big deal, since the Tigers are coming off a 3-9 season, but new head coach Gus Malzahn should have his team improved, and winning at Jordan-Hare Stadium may prove to be difficult.

After the first three weeks of the season, the Bulldogs will have a chance to pick up some wins in the middle portion of the schedule. The Oct. 5 game against LSU is a likely loss, but games against Troy, Bowling Green and Kentucky should be chalked up as wins if State takes care of business. However, the final five-game stretch could lead to another late-season swoon.

In the final month, the Bulldogs face South Carolina, Texas A&M, Alabama, Arkansas and Ole Miss, with the games against the Gamecocks, Aggies and Razorbacks on the road. Oh, and there are no open dates in there to provide a break. If Mullen's team isn't careful, it could have another 1-4 finish, or even worse, five consecutive losses to end the year.

Considering the fanbase in Starkville may be getting restless, Mullen needs to find a way for his team to rise up and win some games in November.

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