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For Whom the Mailbag Tolls: New AD Search Edition

The Mailbag tolls for your questions!


It was another week of disappointing performances from the Bulldogs, but at least this time the Bulldogs were able to walk away with a win. And as usual, this got you guys interested in things going on surrounding the football team.

To the questions!

Well this one is pretty easy and obvious. If the there are 7 Super Bowls to be played in the next 7 years, then the answer has to be all of them.

As much as the last answer was a joke, this answer actually is the obvious choice. You need to correct Nick Fitzgerald overthrowing the receivers. The newest revelation of receivers dropping the ball is something I don’t believe will stick around. Plus, if they are dropping the ball, they at least have a chance to catch it. If Fitzgerald continues ot overthrow people, they have no shot of making the catch.

I had an answer ready to go on this, but then I read this which Ethan published on the matter. Ethan doesn’t think the wins and losses would change, there would be a regression initially because the team isn’t built the way Les Miles likes to build a program, but recruiting would improve some. I agree with all of those points.

I guess this comes down to your definition of fun. Les is quite the character and does some weird things. So it might be fun to see what all he would do patrolling the sidelines in Starkville, but I don’t see how it would be fun. But everyone has their own definition of fun.

I can’t stand Mike Leach. I think his brand of football gets caught up to pretty quickly and he’s just not that great of a person. So give me Les if these are the only two choices.

Well, if you majored in something that can lead directly to employment after you graduate then find a job in your field of study, then go find one and start living that adult life you dreamed about so much as a child.

If it doesn’t, I would go to career services ASAP and see if you can sign up with the Co-Op plans in your field of study. Having experience on your resume would be really beneficial as you search for a job.

If those aren’t options, just find a job doing something and try to go to grad school. You should eventually land a job in your field of study by that time.

Maybe I don’t remember it correctly, but I don’t recall Mullen saying we had a young team in 2012 either. 2012 was a pretty experienced group, which is why we had such a young team in 2013.

But to answer your question it has so much to do with how Mullen feels he has to build a team at Mississippi State. He believes he has to take under recruited players and mold them over the course of two or three years into SEC caliber athletes. So by the time he does that, you get a team like 2014 where the entire starting lineup is filled with seniors and a few juniors. Once those players leave, you have to start from scratch.

We got a small reprieve with this in 2015. Thanks to the fact Dak Prescott was in his senior season, he made up for some deficiencies the team had with his stellar play. We shouldn’t hear too much talk of being a young team in 2017 or 2018.

Here’s the deal, I think the stats actually did tell the correct story.

If you look at the stats sheet without knowing the score from Saturday, you’d think Mississippi State played really well offensively, especially in the second half. You would also think the defense struggled to stop the UMass passing attack which they did.

The stats would tell you Mississippi State won, but it wasn’t a complete domination. So in this instance, I think the stats are pretty telling of the game the Bulldogs played this past Saturday.

Small quibble with this question. The Bulldogs were prepared for the South Carolina game. They came out and played well from the first snap of the game. But this question is valid for the other three games the Bulldogs have played in.

It goes back to the youth of the team. Coaches can tell players until they are blue in the face that they have to give their best effort every single play during every single game. But it is up to the players to buy into such a mentality, and I don’t know that this team has matured enough yet for them to do so.

For the first question, I think 7, maybe 8 wins is the best case scenario. It would take winning against Kentucky and Samford and then splitting between Auburn, BYU, Texas A&M, and Arkansas to get to 8. I think it is possible, but unlikely. The worst case scenario is a four win season. I think the Bulldogs get more, but it’s possible. Likely scenario to me is 6, maybe 7.

I don’t know that there has been a bigger surprise than Shumpert. Maybe A.J. Jefferson could could fall under this category. I think a lot of people thought he would be good but not this good.

I’m going to guess either Tom Herman or Jimbo Fisher. They’ll be the ones the TIgers go after, so we’ll see if they get either of them. If it isn’t one of them, LSU might regret firing Les Miles.

Replacement AD candidates are a little more difficult to come up with than replacement coach candidates. Let’s be honest, how many Athletic Directors or Associate Athletic Directors do most people really know? I can only name a few.

If Keenum decides to stay in house and hires someone on Stricklin’s staff, then I would assume he hires one of the Associate ADs that had more to do with finances. The biggest hurdle Mississippi State has is raising enough money to stay competitive, but Scott Stricklin helped keep that from ever being too much of a factor.

Mike Nemeth, Mike Richey, Bo Hemphill, and Jared Benko would all probably be interested in the job. If Keenum goes outside MSU to find a replacement, your guess is as good as mine.

Things to look for would be a Group of 5 AD who had seen growth in all the sports he oversaw. Mike Bohn at Cincinnati could be a candidate if the Bearcats don’t get an invitation to the Big 12. You might consider Scott Farmer at ULL if you can get past the fact they have been hit hard with NCAA sanctions in football. Another name to keep an eye on would be Tommy McCleeland at Louisiana Tech.

But like I said earlier, it’s hard to come up with a list of names to replace an AD. Maybe we’ll hear about these guys in the coming days, and maybe we won’t.

I wrote all of this before Mike Bonner put out his report that John Cohen had emerged as a leader to take Stricklin’s spot. I tend to believe if he wants it, he’ll get it. It could be good news for the athletic department as a whole, but it might be bad news for the baseball team. There’s still a long way to go on this one.

It’s way too early to answer this. I think there is an argument to be made a new AD could want to bring in their own guy, but I also know whoever is brought in knows the challenges Mississippi State faces in the football program. He’ll know what Mullen has done, and making a change won’t be high on his list.

I’ll go with the defensive line, but even they could play better. If there was more pressure placed on the quarterback, the struggling secondary would have an easier time covering the receivers.

I’m going to go out on a limb and be super optimistic and say yes. I don’t think it will be in football, but I think there will be opportunities in baseball and both basketball programs. I’m not going to try to guess which one, but there will be opportunities over the next few seasons for one of those teams to bring the school’s first national title.

That’s it for this week’s mailbag. If you ever have a question, you can always hit me up on Twitter using my handle, @JStrawnFWtCT.