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The Mississippi State Bulldogs are the athletic teams representing Mississippi State University located in Starkville, Mississippi. The university's athletic program has a long and proud history, with notable achievements in a number of sports.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs football team played its first game in 1895, a 17-0 victory over the Mississippi School for the Deaf. The team struggled in its early years, but by the 1930s, it had become a consistent contender in the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The Bulldogs won their first SEC championship in 1941, led by star quarterback Jackie Parker.
The 1960s and 1970s were a period of relative success for the football team. Under head coach Paul Davis, the Bulldogs won two SEC championships and made five bowl game appearances. The team's success continued into the 1980s, with the Bulldogs making four straight bowl game appearances from 1980 to 1983.
Jackie Sherrill Era
The Bulldogs experienced a period of sustained success under head coach Jackie Sherrill, who was hired in 1991. Sherrill led the team to an SEC championship in 1998 and five bowl game appearances during his tenure. He also oversaw the construction of a new football stadium, Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field, which opened in 1999.
During Sherrill's tenure, the Bulldogs had a number of notable players, including quarterback Derrick Taite, running back Dicenzo Miller, and defensive back Fred Smoot. Smoot was a first-round draft pick in the 2001 NFL Draft.
Since Sherrill's departure in 2003, the Bulldogs have experienced mixed success on the football field. However, the team has continued to produce NFL-caliber players, including quarterback Dak Prescott, who led the team to a 10-2 record and a #1 ranking during the 2014 season.
The Bulldogs have also had success in other sports, including basketball and baseball. The basketball team has made ten NCAA Tournament appearances, including a run to the Final Four in 1996 under head coach Richard Williams. The baseball team has made 39 NCAA Tournament appearances, including two College World Series appearances in 1971 and 2013.
In 2014, the Bulldogs women's basketball team made a run to the national championship game, ultimately losing to the University of Connecticut. The team was led by head coach Vic Schaefer and a talented roster that included players like Victoria Vivians and Morgan William.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs have a rich athletic history, with notable achievements in football, basketball, and baseball. The team has produced numerous NFL and NBA players, as well as successful coaches and administrators. While the Bulldogs have not achieved consistent success in football in recent years, the program remains a proud and important part of Mississippi State University and the SEC.