It is not pleasant to think about, but because Mississippi State plays a difficult schedule, with a few hiccups, the Bulldogs could find themselves with a losing record. For the last year, there has been talk about a bad loss or bad season putting Dan Mullen on the hot seat.
From Metal Building Dawg: Yes, absolutely. Many fans are steadily starting to groan and a losing record will fill up that bandwagon. Barring catastrophic injuries, if State goes 4-8 this year Mullen is gone. You just can't have total pessimism with the opening of a stadium expansion in 2014.
From thecristimethod: It may not necessarily be a public thing at that point, but I think the discussions will have taken place. To be honest though, I don't know if this isn't one of those years where State could be as good as last year and still finish 6-6, with the way the schedule is. Should State go 5-7 or 4-8, then I think the whispers emerge. You know they will in the fanbase, because fans in the state of Mississippi are naturally never satisfied on the whole, but with a new shiny stadium expansion to fill and pay for, I'm not so sure that Stricklin doesn't tell Dan that his future is riding on the line in 2014.
From RobNolaDog: The seat will definitely be warm for Mullen if we finish 4-8 or 3-9. 5-7 gets him a pass based on the tough schedule.
From justinrsutton: The fact that a legitimate discussion can be held about this is ludicrous. Twenty, even fifteen years ago, there would be no talk about firing the coach (who has only been at the school four years) with the fourth most wins in the history of a program. Mullen is also eighth all-time in winning percentage at Mississippi State. He has taken the team to three straight bowl games. Only Jackie Sherrill (1998-2000) has done that. Mullen's three Egg Bowl wins? Those are the fourth most by a coach in Mississippi State history.
Anyone that feels that his is coaching tenure at Mississippi State is horrid enough that Mullen could be let go after this year or even after the next barring just horrendous play needs a reality check. Mullen has the football program at its third (maybe fourth) highest level in history.
If Mississippi State puts up a losing record, especially one with only four wins, there will be a decent number of Bulldog fans calling for a change. Will he end up on the hot seat with a losing record? I'd lean toward yes. Should he? Absolutely not.
The only way change at that position right now can be legitimately considered is if Mississippi State feels the only thing keeping Mississippi State from challenging for SEC titles right now is the head coach. If that is the case, and a coach that could put the Bulldogs in the picture for an SEC championship immediately can be hired, then it would have to be considered by Mississippi State. The fact is, that is not a real situation right now.