Mississippi State Could Begin a Coaching Search Before 2013 Closes

 Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen could be looking for work by the end of 2013.

Mullen has led the Bulldogs to three-straight winning seasons including two bowl game victories. However, he has not been able to finish higher than fourth in the SEC West in his tenure in Starkville. This could lead to Mullen’s dismissal if the team fails to climb the standings this season.

In 2012, Mississippi State finished fourth in the SEC West, posting a 4-4 record in conference play. However, .500 in SEC games is not something that any team in the conference sees as successful over a long period. Without an improvement this season, Mullen will be ousted and forced to find a new job.

Mullen has never finished over .500 in conference play during his four years at Mississippi State. In fact, the Bulldogs are just 13-19 in the SEC during his tenure.

The 2013 campaign is just as difficult as any Mullen has faced, making the task of saving his job even more difficult. The Bulldogs play South Carolina, Texas A&M and Arkansas on the road and still face Alabama and LSU as well. While Mississippi State has the weapons to pull off at least one upset in these games, this schedule easily puts them on the fence of that 4-4 mark Mullen is so fond of.

Conceivably, Mullen could be granted at least one more season if the Bulldogs go 4-4 in the SEC, but that is only because an 8-4 record would keep him in place.

Mississippi State opens the season against Oklahoma State on a neutral field. Winning this game could spark a big season for the Bulldogs, as well as save Mullen’s job and assure the SEC its place as the best conference in college football. Such a victory may be the only way for Mullen to save his job. Likewise, though, a loss in this game seals Mullen’s fate as the next coaching casualty of the SEC.

Joshua Cook is an SEC Football writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @JoCo217, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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