The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Faceoff: Dan Mullen has got to go

Jenn McFadden
Face Off

Mississippi State football fans are some of the most loyal fans in the SEC. Home to the cowbell, many people take pride in the southern hospitality shown here in Starkville. 

Dan Mullen has been  at Mississippi State going into his eighth season. Back in 2009, Mullen brought enthusiasm to an SEC team waiting to become champions. So far, Mullen has made remarkable strides in Starkville, taking the team to No. 1 in the nation for the first time in 80 years. 

He has put numerous student-athletes in positions to make it into the NFL. His best work is how Prescott has turned out for the Cowboys this season. Now that Prescott has left Mississippi State, Mullen is left with a young team, and it does not seem to be rebuilding quickly. 

So far, Mississippi State is ranked 20th nationally in recruiting, and ninth among the SEC. This brings in the question of whether Mullen should remain here at Mississippi State. 

After the departure of  Les Miles from LSU, Mullen’s seat began to get warm. Mullen has only finished the season ranked higher than fourth in the SEC once. He has never finished the season ranked first here in Starkville. This would not be so bad if  Mullen was not the 16th highest paid coach in the NCAA. 

Mullen gets paid a $4 million salary but is only 26-30 all-time in the SEC. When compared to other coaches, Mullen has never   even beaten Alabama. From the looks of this season and how the way things have turned out, Mullen will have tied his record with Hugh Freeze at Ole Miss. Their current record is 4-3 with Mullen slightly ahead. 

For Mississippi State fans, they have not seen the Egg Bowl trophy since 2014. Ole Miss already leads the Egg Bowl record 63-43-6, and coach Mullen is not helping Mississippi State pull that gap together. 

Even when you look at the coaching staff, Mississippi State does not have an effective offensive coordinator. This is a big issue for Mullen to have in the SEC. Mullen seems to want to be the head coach as well as the “shot-caller” here in Starkville. 

Defensively, the Bulldogs have gone through three different coordinators in three years. This is another big problem because our young players cannot adjust to a system that keeps changing year after year. This also hurts our recruiting because young players do not want to come to an unstable program that seems to be getting a new set of coaches every year. Stability and tradition wins many recruits, especially in the South. 

Mullen was not even hired by Mississippi State’s recently former Athletic Director Scott Stricklin. Stricklin went ahead and hired Ben Howland, head coach for Mississippi State’s men’s basketball team, which had the No. 2 recruiting class coming in this season. 

Mullen is not the worst coach in the SEC, but so far he has only come near the best. Mississippi State is Mullen’s first head coaching job, and he still has a lot to learn as he keeps moving forward in his coaching career. 

Mississippi State seems to be going through a lot of changes with the hiring of a new  athletic director and the start to a highly anticipated basketball season. Mullen could be seeing his last days here in Starkville. With coaches like Miles and rumored Charlie Strong being free agents, the Bulldogs could find themselves in excellent position to hire themselves a new head coach leading the Bulldogs into the future. 

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Faceoff: Dan Mullen has got to go