Fans of the Mississippi St. Bulldogs aren’t happy. The team is 1-2 and lost most recently to the LSU Tigers. Before that, the team lost to the lowly South Alabama Jaguars. These first few games haven’t been a whole lot of fun. But for those fans who are calling for Dan Mullen to be fired?
I’m going to be the bearer of bad news in this post. People will say I’m settling for our football program or that I am not asking enough of our coach. But the Bulldogs are not going to be a perennial contender for the SEC West every season any time soon.
Dan Mullen has done a great job of raising the expectations of the football program at MSU. He has become a victim of his own success.Fans are upset about this season because once the team lost to South Alabama, many have assumed this year’s team won’t make it to a bowl.
Whether they are right or wrong is besides the point. The point of this post is to tell you there are going to be years like this at Mississippi State. Yes, there can be years like 2014 where the Bulldogs make some noise and push their way to the top, but there are going to be rebuilding years. This program simply doesn’t have the recruiting profile, nor will it ever, to be able to make season like 2014 a regular occurrence. Seasons like 2010, 2012, and 2015 are going to be the norm for the Bulldogs with Dan Mullen at the helm.
One of the primary reasons people are so upset at the 2016 season is what Hugh Freeze has done in Oxford. He’s turned the Rebels into a team that can beat Bama every so often and put them in the conversation of the national championship at the beginning of most seasons. Plus, he has won three of the four Egg Bowls he has coached in which really drives State fans crazy.
But the NCAA is measuring them up for violations already announced, and will likely be adding additional sanctions once the most recent phase of the investigation is concluded. If we want those same things, be prepared to suffer the same consequences.
The hard, undeniable truth of the situation is simple. Mississippi State has to have rebuilding seasons every so often. 2016 is turning out to be one of those seasons.
If Mullen were to get fired, what coach would want to come to MSU and take over a program that just canned the coach who finished one of the most successful six year runs in program history. This would also come after the school lost the best player in school history. Coaches won’t want any of that.
The only person who I might could think of who would be willing to take the job in such circumstances would be Art Briles. And do we really want to go down that road as a program? I don’t, and I hope you don’t either.
The most likely scenario is the Bulldogs end up hiring some coordinator who is desperate to get a head coaching job and simply isn’t ready for the grind that is the SEC West. The program would be set back a few years and we would only hope and pray we could find a better candidate the next time around.
Even if this season results in just two or three wins, Dan Mullen is going to get a chance to fix it in 2017. If he can’t, then things might change at the end of 2017. But until then, just know Dan Mullen will be the coach of the Bulldogs in 2017 so long as he wants to be. But if it makes you feel better to constantly scream from the rooftops to fire Dan Mullen, be my guest. Just know your efforts will be in vain.