Hoover, Ala. -- The SEC's two primary underdogs tend to use every opportunity they have to recruit their programs. Last year, Mississippi State's Dan Mullen spent a lot of time talking about the beauty of Starkville -- this year, he focused more on depth charts and what have you, but didn't mind veering into doing a little recruiting, such as when he responded to a billboards (they're in the news!*) question by electing one about a Miss Mississippi winning streak his favorite. Also, such as when he claimed MSU is "not all that far from a national championship" and "could be the best college town in the country."
Of his new starting quarterback, Mullen points out Tyler Russell has "played in just about every stadium in the league" and is more prepared as a junior to meet the very high expectations placed on him when he first arrived. "He's developed himself to be ready for that role."
We also got some math:
Dan Mullen now breaking out numbers, grabbing random percentages out of the air, says 30 percent of offense will look different.— Brandon Marcello (@bmarcello) July 18, 2012
The knock against Mullen's otherwise successful time at MSU has been his record against non-Rebel SEC West rivals. He got a question or four along that line, including two about the opener against Auburn, calling to mind the threatened hazing Kevin Sumlin and Gary Pinkel endured during their debuts on Tuesday. You gonna turn tail on back to the Big 12, Mississippi State?
We did get a "that school up north of us" mention during remarks on starting up series against other Mississippi schools like Southern Miss. Mullen also mentioned State's scheduling of the SWAC's Jackson State as another local opponent.
* As we learned during our own Spencer Hall's time in Starkville, Mullen spends a lot of time on stuff like this. Wednesday he also mentioned having a lot of input in uniform decisions and the like.
Your updated Recruitedness Power Rankings, in which we rank how recruited we feel to each program after each coach has taken the podium: