Josh Barnhill is the lead writer for MaroonandWhiteNation.com (@mandwnation), and graduated from Mississippi State in 2007. According to Josh, he grew up as much an Auburn fan as a Mississippi State fan, not to mention that half of his family went to Auburn, so I guess we’ll give him half a pass. It will be up to you if he deserves it after you read all the Cam/cowbell related questions.
1. At this exact moment, what’s the first thing Mississippi State fans think of when it comes to Auburn football?
2/3 of us are thinking about Cam Newton. The other 1/3 about Chris Relf being stopped at the 6 inch line.
2. Are there any hot shot JUCO quarterbacks that Dan Mullen is recruiting for next season that we should plan on starting for Auburn anytime soon?
We have currently instructed the brass to discontinue recruiting any potential juco quarterbacks as cheating and transfer QBs are more successful in Oxford and on the Plains. We have also earmarked a substantial bit of cash for one lucky Bama fan who is willing to inject their substance of choice into the Auburn soil in the event the past events are repeated.
3. Now that Chizik and Cam are completely gone, do State fans have the same amount of hate for Auburn as they did in 2010? Does Malzahn still being part of the mix make a difference?
Cam took classes at Auburn there this spring, so his stink is still around campus. No one cares about Chizik or Malzahn. The beating in Starkville last September released a lot of frustration, but there is still plenty of bad memories revolving around what happened two years ago.
4. Name two past and two current Auburn football players that scare you and why.
Past: Nick Fairley – he decided to have his coming out party against us in 2010. He, not Cam, is the reason you won that game.
Anyone who played from 2002-2006 – read the record books.
Present: Tre Mason – just because kickoffs have been a major problem in this game the last two years.
If there are any other potential murderers, drug addicts or thugs – that guy.
5. Name two Mississippi St. players that Auburn fans may not know about now, but should keep their eyes on.
Preston Smith, DE – he is an up and comer who is expected to have a big year opposite the ultra talented Denico Autry.
Benardrick McKinney, MLB – a physical freak (6′-5″ 235) he was a freshman All-American last year.
6. What are the expectations from the fanbase for the 2013 season?
Please just get to a bowl game. And if we could beat a ranked team we will throw Mullen a parade.
7. How hot is Dan Mullen’s seat? How long until 8 wins isn’t enough?
No way. Mississippi State has never, as in NEVER, been to 4 straight bowl games. Dan Mullen has a chance to do that within his first 5 years at MSU. He has also improved on the recruiting trails each year he has been at State. We aren’t stupid. We know where we sit within the SEC West and we can’t just go out and bag 5-stars without proving a little bit on the field first (we are trying to do this honestly unlike our brothers to the north). 8 wins is great for MSU – what we have currently is a solid foundation that if he keeps up will allow the program to potentially have a special year and compete for the West if the ball bounces just right or we get a special player that changes the game.
8. What’s your early score prediction for this year’s Auburn game?
I haven’t really had a chance to study up on it yet, but I’ll go with 31-27 State.
9. What is your early outlook for the season for Auburn and Mississippi State?
Auburn is definitely a wildcard this year. I’d put them right behind Tennessee in terms of it being hard to predict what they will do. Losing guys like McCalebb, Lutz and Blake on the offense is going to make Malzahn’s job a little tougher but I’m sure he’ll find a way to score points. I would expect Auburn to go at least 6-6 and possibly get up to 8-4. The trips to Arkansas and Tennessee will be huge, and I think having a week off before Ole Miss at home could end up being a win for y’all.
A lot may be determined by what happens against Oklahoma State in the season opener for MSU. That is a huge game that we are already a 2-touchdown underdog for. Obviously Auburn is a big time swing game that is huge every year, and we need to find a way to beat Arkansas and Ole Miss. My expectation is a 7-5 season. I could see anywhere between 5-7 and 8-4, however.
10. How many cowbells do yoCLANGACLANGACLANGACLANGA…
I only have one right now. I broke a few in college. Y’all just wait until the game in 2014. We are bowling in the north endzone right now and it will be finished by that game – the cowbells with be even louder and y’all will despise them even more.