The Dan Mullen era began in 2009 with an emphasis on winning the state. Keeping the Golden Egg at home in Starkville. He began calling his new rival That School Up North. He reinvigorated a rivalry back to its boiling point by rolling three consecutive wins from 2009 to 2011 with a combined margin of 103 to 53 points over the three years.
He gave Mississippi State fans hope that the Bulldogs would continue to grow and compete in the SEC west all while owning the rivalry at home. And that all went well until 2012, when first year Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze gave Dan a challenge and turned things around a bit.
Since that moment, the two coaches would proceed to accomplish legendary victories and have monumental moments at their respective universities, with Mullen taking the Bulldogs to unprecedented heights in Starkville. But along with those heights came the lows of going 2-4 in the Egg Bowl since 2012 with Ole Miss leading the point total with an overall margin of 171 to 168.
Both Freeze and Mullen, however, would go on to end their tenure with their teams following embarrassing losses in the Egg Bowl. Freeze via a route of disgrace with a scandal involving escorts in Florida and now Mullen via Scott Stricklin bringing Mississippi State’s coach to the University of Florida.
And so, one of the greatest periods of Mississippi State’s history will come to an end with Dan Mullen leaving. The man accomplished a lot in Starkville, a place starving for victories throughout its existence. He unified a fanbase, built the Bulldogs to towering heights from the ground up, and has paved a way for future success should the right replacement land in Starkville.
President Mark Keenum addresses future of MSU football program. https://t.co/89rYmvqmVB— Mississippi State (@msstate) November 26, 2017
But the man that defined the early years of his time at State with a rivalry will now leave following a tough loss in the game he helped make more intriguing. He’s leaving with 69 very nice wins, good for second most in MSU history, but ultimately a record of 5-4 in the game that matters the most to many in the Magnolia State.
Now, John Cohen has a lot of work to get done in a very short amount of time. A qualified replacement must be found to continue to build upon what Dan Mullen has done here at State and lead the Bulldogs in what could be a very promising 2018 season.