Thoughts of Dan Mullen on the Hot Seat at Mississippi State Ridiculous

Dan Mullen-Mississippi State Bulldogs

Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Mullen and Mississippi State lost to Auburn on Saturday night as the Tigers picked up their first SEC win in 686 days, but to think Mullen is anywhere close to a hot seat in Starkville is asinine. Is Mullen a perfect coach? Of course not, but the Bulldogs were a mess before Mullen arrived, and they have seen the expectations rise as quickly as the temperature in July in the Mississippi Delta with him.

In the last three years, Mullen has won nine, seven and eight wins with three straight bowl appearances and two victories. He has seen his team ranked as high as No. 11 last year after a 7-0 start and has taken the team out of the cellar from the Sylvester Croom era.

Yes, Mississippi State is 2-7 since starting 7-0 last year, but to bail on Mullen after what he’s done the past three seasons is so irrational that it makes about as much sense as Ben Affleck being in the upcoming Batman flick.

In the five years under Croom, the Bulldogs averaged two SEC wins a season and four wins overall. Furthermore, Croom only managed one winning season in his five. Comparing Mullen to Croom is like comparing your grades to the kid with the worst grades in summer school, but the fact is that Mullen has taken this program to new heights.

Mullen is largely a victim of his own success at Mississippi State, where eight wins is now the exception in Starkville and the fans in the Junction won’t accept anything less. Eight wins used to be cause for a three-day celebration in the Cotton District.

If they get rid of Mullen, who is athletic director Scott Stricklin going to replace him with? Former assistant and current Louisiana-Lafayette coach Mark Hudspeth? Firing him would make the bold statement that one disappointing season at Mississippi State is grounds for dismissal. Do they feel confident Hudspeth can average eight wins in the SEC over a three-year period? I don’t, and I bet Stricklin doesn’t either.

Mississippi should think about how depressing Saturday afternoons used to be at Davis Wade Stadium and how the mood in the Junction has changed in the past four and a half years before they start cranking the temperature on Mullen’s seat.

They don’t know how good they have it with him.

Patrick’s a college football writer for Rant Sports and radio host on Sportstownchicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt and add him to your Google network.

Related Links

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Is Dan Mullen on the Hot Seat in 2013?

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  • cale pinion

    Hes 2-17 against ranked opponents croom had a better record than that and his only two wins came against a 25th ranked rival Ole Miss and Florida two years removed from being their OC he is the most mediocre coach ever he will never have a big win he’s done here

  • Jonathan

    Mullen is a decent coach and a pretty good recruiter, but his play-calling and decision-making leaves a lot to be desired…in fact, it was that factor that cost us dearly (in my opinion, which is the same as many others) against Oklahoma State and ESPECIALLY against Auburn. It definitely isn’t going to get any better this year. Another thing that annoys me about Mullen is this: having a QB as talented as Tyler Russell and tailoring his offensive scheme to fit a running quarterback, which Russell is not, and then taking the ball out of his hands in big-time situations. We saw it all year last year, and already this year as well when Russell was in against Oklahoma State. I think he’s done if he doesn’t get the team to a bowl this year. And I can almost guarantee you that MSU would find quite a few more attractive options for a HC replacement besides Mark Hudspeth.

  • Gabe Williams

    Patrick you don’t know what you are talking about. Yes, the ’8-win’ seasons are expected, but they should be if 5 of those wins are against cupcakes. You’re not seeing the forest for the trees, Patrick.

  • Gabe Williams

    Mullen has been coaching the team down since last year, and he’s done it in two of the three games so far this year. Are you people not seeing this, or is the allure of an 7-8 win season and a Liberty Bowl just too irresistible?