Okay, we've tried to ignore it, but since it won't go away I guess we'll finally address it:
There is a little rumor floating around that Dan Mullen is the top candidate to replace Joe Paterno at Penn State. This information comes via ESPN, or more specifically Joe Schad.
It's important to note that Dan's wife is from Pennsylvania and she was a major influence on his decision to take the Mississippi State job. If Dan is offered the job, would she influence him to head back north?
Coach Mullen, as expected, denied everything during his regular Tuesday press conference:
"Great...Every time a job comes open, doesn't my name come up? So, you know our policy. We talk Mississippi State football. That's all we ever talk about..."
"I think it's great for the program...There are two rumors about you: Either rumors you're going somewhere or rumors you're getting fired. So I'll take the going somewhere rumor better that the getting fired rumor."
As you probably remember, Bulldog fans went through the same "is he or isn't he?" soap opera last year when rumors surfaced that Mullen was speaking to everyone from Miami, to Florida, and even Minnesota at times. Mullen denied, denied, denied every single time he was asked about the rumors and of course it turned out that he was indeed telling the truth.
I'm not about to sit here and tell you that Coach Dan Mullen would never lie to the Bulldog nation, but my gut tells me that this Penn State rumor is nothing to lose sleep over. There is a monster of a mess that needs cleaning up with that entire football program and even if Dan was interested, I doubt he'd want to step into the hornets nest that is Penn State football right now.
Again, I could be wrong. We all remember the Tommy Turberville "pine box" lie and the fiasco with Nick Saban and the Miami Dolphins. Coaches lie and are often good at it. We should not be so naive to believe that Mississippi State will be immune to it.
Despite the 6-6 record for 2011, it still feels as if Dan's got things still headed in the right direction at Mississippi State. This football program has been brought back from the dead and it's almost entirely because of Dan. This state (save a few stuck up pricks north of here) is entirely behind Dan and what he's accomplished thus far.
His job couldn't be more secure than it is right now. The pressure and expectations would move to a whole different level if he went somewhere like Penn State.
Unless something further develops, don't worry to much about the Penn State rumors. I believe Dan is happy, and quite comfortable, right where he is.