The last 48 hours has been one for the records in the SEC. Yes, this past weekend was RIVALRY WEEK and the games did not disappoint! However, the drama, that I will refer to as the “SEC Coaches Carousel” was just as exciting as National Signing Day and the NFL Draft all rolled up into one.
For my alma mater, Mississippi State University, things did not work out as “we” the fans and alumni would have hoped. By late Sunday afternoon, Mississippi State had lost their head coach Dan Mullen to the Florida Gators.
The Gators officially hired Mullen Sunday night, and he’ll reportedly be earning $6 million per year including bonuses and incentives, making him the second-highest paid coach in the SEC behind Nick Saban. Per MSU Athletics Director, John Cohen and President, Mark Keenum, State was prepared to go all out to keep Mullen. However, it did not go that way.
Now, that the dust has settled and Dan Mullen is in Gainesville. Let’s be real, this does come as shock to some of Bulldog Nation, but not all. Mullen had been in Starkville for nine 9 years. That’s long time in the college football. There is only 7% of coaches that stay at one program more than 5 years. College football is a business and this was a business decision.
Personally, I thought when former MSU AD and alum, Scott Stricklin, left to go to Florida it would be only a matter of time before Mullen left Mississippi State. Honestly, I believe Mullen was ready to leave Starkville.
Yes, it does feel like family members betrayed us, however must look at this objectively.
Mullen did some great things at Mississippi State. He led the Bulldogs to its first-ever No.1 ranking in the inaugural College Football Playoff, eight-straight bowl appearances, recruited Dak Prescott, and elevated Mississippi State from a lower tier SEC school. He did this with a smaller budget, less facilities, and not recruiting many 4 or 5 star recruits. He elevated the culture of the program. So, Bulldog Nation we should say Thank you, Dan Mullen and move on to what next in the future.
So, what does this mean for Mississippi State?
First, it means the Bulldog faithful needs to trust our AD to make the right hire and support our players because they were the most affected by Dan Mullen’s departure.
Second, we need to continue to build on what Scott Stricklin and Dan Mullen started. Mississippi State has upgraded facilities, a better stadium, a much nicer tailgate area called the Junction, and better gameday experience, which lead to creating a better fan experience.
Third, once the new head coach is named, we need to buy into his goals and expectations of the program. We need to welcome the new coach and staff into our Bulldog family. We want a coach that will take us to the next level and believe we can get there.
We need to continue to be the Bulldog Nation, that I know and love. One that lives this statement out loud “Win, Lose, or Tie, I’m a Bulldog until I Die” #HailState