Top Ten Mississippi State Moments of 2014

The 2014 calendar year has been good to Mississippi State fans. The Mississippi State football program achieved several national level milestones, but there were other big moments that had cowbells ringing throughout the Bulldog nation. Of course the Bulldogs could close out the year with a memorable moment with a win in the Capital One Orange Bowl, but Bulldog fans have had plenty to cheer about.

#10. Women's Golf Achieves top national ranking - While many fans focus their rooting energy for the big three, football, baseball and men's basketball, Mississippi State has had some success in some other venues. Ginger Brown-Lemm's lady Bulldogs rose to the top of the national polls in October with a #1 ranking. Led by rising star, Ally McDonald, the lady Bulldogs are in the hunt for some big things.

#9. Signing Victoria Vivians - For many years, Mississippi State fans saw the best women's basketball talent from the Magnolia State head across state lines for their college careers. Two time All-American Victoria Vivans turned down offers from just about every school in the county in favor of representing her home state Bulldogs. Vivans led a strong signing class that has meshed well with the returning talent. The Lady Bulldogs are off to a program best 15-0 start to the season.

#8. What Jinx? During a run that saw Mississippi State football knock off three consecutive top 10 opponents, Mississippi State found itself on the cover of Sports Illustrated not once, but twice. Retailers around the state had to put in extra orders to meet the demand from Bulldog fans around the country who were looking to get their hands on a copy of the Bulldogs' two big issues. Dak Prescott's solo appearance on the SI cover came in the midst of his emergence as a potential Heisman candidate.

#7. Beckwith Earns All-American Honors - Former walk-on Ben Beckwith worked his way up the Bulldog ranks during his career ending his career as a two year starter. Beckwith started games at both right guard and center earning SEC Offensive lineman honors of the week at both positions. Beckwith made some post season All-American lists and was one of three finalists for the Burlsworth Trophy, an award for the nation's top walk on football player.

#6. Smith Takes Charge - Mississippi State senior defensive end began the season by becoming the first player in SEC history to win SEC player of the week honors three consecutive weeks. Highlight quality plays became the norm for the Stone Mountain, Georgia native as he worked his way up the NFL draft boards for his play as a college level senior.

#5. Bulldogs Survive Death Valley - Mississippi State entered the contest at Baton Rouge 3-0 and unranked. The Bulldogs had not won in Tiger Stadium since 1991, but Louisiana natives Dak Prescott, Josh Robinson and Dillon Day led the Maroon and White to a historic win over the Tigers that vaulted the Bulldogs into the thick of the SEC Western division race. Prescott's third quarter 56 yard touchdown run that featured a stiff arm of Tiger defensive back Jalen Mills became an iconic image of the Bulldogs' season.

#4. Dogs Host College Gameday - For the first time ever, ESPN brought it's College Game Day set to Starkville as the then #3 Bulldogs hosted the #2 ranked Auburn Tigers. The Bulldogs started quickly and ended with a flourish as the Bulldog defense forced four Auburn turnovers on their way to resounding victory that put the nation on notice that the Bulldogs were for real.

#3. Top Dawgs - Riding the momentum of three straight wins over three top ten ranked SEC Western Division foes, Mississippi State ascended the rankings more rapidly than any team in college football history. The Bulldogs went from unranked to #1 after wins over LSU, Texas A&M and Auburn. All three of those teams went on to bowl games, which was a new standard for the SEC West. For the first time ever, every team in the division was invited to a bowl game. In that historic season, Mississippi State finished second in football's toughest division.

#2. Our State, Our Records - Any list of great Mississippi State moments would be incomplete without a mention of the Diamond Dawgs. The number 14,991 is a number that had been engraved in the Mississippi State fan's memory since 1989 when the Bulldogs set the on campus national record against the Florida Gators. A new standard was set this spring as 15,586 fans saw the Bulldogs rally in the ninth to knock off rival Ole Miss, 6-5 in 10 innings.

#1. There can only be one first - Mississippi State was the first college football team to ever be ranked #1 in the college football playoff rankings. While the Bulldogs were unable to hold on to the top spot in the final weeks, the Bulldogs for all time's sake will be the first #1. While it's true that the only rankings that count are the last ones, the Bulldogs were in the thick of the national championship race up until the final week of the regular season. The Bulldogs 10 regular season wins are the most ever by a Mississippi college football team.

State still has the chance to achieve some other big milestones this week should they win over Georgia Tech in the Capital One Orange Bowl. The Bulldogs are back in THE South Florida bowl for the first time since 1941. With a win they can become the first team in Mississippi college football history to win 11 games.

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