I mentioned the other day that Mississippi State rewarded Joe Moorhead with a pay bump and contract extension for what was a fairly mediocre 8-5 season. Based on this Matt Melton post, I may have been generous calling it mediocre.
And here are the APR [Adjusted Pythagorian Record] standings with conference rank in offensive touchdowns, touchdowns allowed, and APR in parentheses. This includes conference games only with the championship game excluded.
You read that right — MSU’s APR was second in conference play, behind only Alabama’s.
Finally, SEC teams are sorted by the difference between their actual number of wins and their expected number of wins according to APR.
If you think that looks pretty bad, well, Matt agrees with you.
The Bulldogs undershot their APR by over two and a half games. Going back to 2005, that is one of the largest negative discrepancies between a team’s actual record and their APR (in the BCS/Power Five).
That in itself is a pretty amazing ‘accomplishment’, but when I looked closer at the numbers I was shocked at Mississippi State’s performance in their conference wins and their conference losses.
In their four conference losses, Mississippi State managed a solitary offensive touchdown.
Matt’s pretty kind about that in his conclusion, but if I were a Mississippi State fan, I’d be a little alarmed. Moorhead was hired for his offensive chops and his team’s relative lack of success in 2018 fell squarely on his offense. (Yeah, Fitzgerald wasn’t an ideal match for his scheme, but offensive geniuses are supposed to find ways to match scheme to personnel.) Moreover, MSU lost some real defensive studs to the NFL draft, so it’s questionable that the Bulldogs will be as stout as they were on that side of the ball last year.
He’s got some real coaching to do this season to earn another pay bump.