Posted by Tom Fornelli
Mississippi State fans find themselves in a bit of a new position compared to what they're used to come this time of the year. There's the one aspect of life that has the Bulldogs ranked in the top 25, and seemingly on the rise with one of the best young coaches in the country in Dan Mullen. The downside of all that, though, is that they have one of the best young coaches in the country, and early indications are that there will be plenty of schools in the market for a new head coach this season.
Which means that Mullen's name is going to be coming up in a lot of rumors over the next couple of months, and Mississippi State fans will have a lot of trouble sleeping while they wonder whether or not the coach who seems to have the program finally heading in the right direction is about to jump ship. Though, if it makes those fans feel any better, Mullen did go on the radio on Monday and say that he hasn't been contacted by any school about any job openings.
“Here’s what happens," said Mullen. "One, it’s a good thing for myself and it’s a good thing for Mississippi State because it means we’re winning. Speculation only comes when you win. But, for us right now, I think a lot of that stuff gets overblown. I’ve been an assistant coach for a long time, and I don’t hear the speculation about what’s going on and what he’s going to do and all these different jobs that are supposedly being thrown your way. I only ever really got one phone call. I have not been approached by anybody at this point and my wife and I, we’re very very happy here at Mississippi State.”
Of course, just because nobody has called Mullen yet, that doesn't mean the phone won't be ringing eventually. And if the right program calls, Mullen would have to be stupid not to consider it. Yes, he has done a nice job at Mississippi State, but the task of bringing that program to a level in which it can compete with Alabama and LSU on an annual basis in the SEC West is not going to be easy.
So the question for Mullen will be -- throwing money aside -- would he be happy with 8-4 and 9-3 seasons in the SEC, or would he want to go somewhere else with a chance to get to a BCS game or a national championship?