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  • The Clarion Ledger

    How many wins ESPN predicts for Mississippi State football in Jeff Lebby's first season

    By Stefan Krajisnik, Mississippi Clarion Ledger,


    Mississippi State football is projected to win five games in Jeff Lebby’s first season as coach, according to ESPN’s College Football Power Index for 2024.

    The Bulldogs are given a 40% chance of winning six games, which would clinch automatic bowl eligibility. As for making a run at the national title, MSU has a less than 1% chance while holding a 1.7% chance of making the College Football Playoff – which includes a 12-team field beginning this year.

    Mississippi State ranks 15th out of 16 SEC teams in projected win totals, sitting only ahead of Vanderbilt. A big part of the low expectations comes from MSU’s slate .

    The Bulldogs’ strength of schedule ranks second in the country. Only Florida – a team facing Miami, Central Florida and Florida State in the nonconference – has a tougher path. The eight toughest schedules in the nation belong to SEC teams.

    If the projections prove to be correct, the Bulldogs could still have a chance at a bowl berth. Multi-year Academic Progress Rates would be the deciding factor.

    Mississippi State’s multi-year APR of 984 is tied for 40th in the country, according to the NCAA’s database. Among teams projected to win between 5-6 games in the FPI, MSU ranks eighth.

    MARK CALENDARS: Mississippi State football schedule 2024: SEC announces kickoff times, windows for eight games

    Stefan Krajisnik is the Mississippi State beat writer for the Clarion Ledger. Contact him at or follow him on the X platform, formerly known as Twitter, @skrajisnik3 .

    This article originally appeared on Mississippi Clarion Ledger: How many wins ESPN predicts for Mississippi State football in Jeff Lebby's first season

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