You can call it Magnolia State Magic. You can call it the best sports day in the history of the state.
But don’t call it a fluke.
Mississippi State and Ole Miss, historically two of the least-successful programs in the SEC, both enjoyed program-changing wins that will vault them into the top-five in many national polls.
Mississippi State’s victory was less surprising but far more dominant. The Bulldogs, playing without their starting center (Dillon Day) and top wide receiver (Jameon Lewis), rolled up 559 yards of total offense on its way to a 48–31 win over Texas A&M. Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott has emerged as arguably the top dual-threat quarterback in the country (and yes, that includes Marcus Mariota). The junior has been remarkably consistent, throwing for at least 200 yards in every game and rushing for more than 75 in each of the last four games. He has averaged at least 8.4 yards per passing attempt in every game this season, including 11.2 against LSU and 10.4 against Texas A&M.
The other quarterback in the state also enjoyed a banner day. Bo Wallace threw for 251 yard with three touchdowns and — most important — zero interceptions in Ole Miss’ stunning 23–17 win over Alabama. With the eyes of the college football world focused on Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Wallace threw two touchdown passes in the final six minutes to lead his team to the improbable victory.
“He made some big-time plays,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said of his senior quarterback. “He just played so solid. On that last touchdown, that ball was right where it needed to be for us.”
You can debate which team from the Magnolia State deserves to be ranked higher — Mississippi State has more quality wins (LSU, A&M) while Ole Miss as the best win (Alabama) — but there is no denying that both the Bulldogs and Rebels have earned their spot (for now) near the top of the college football food chain.