After failing to land Chip Kelly, Florida went for their second option: Mississippi State head coach (and former Florida offensive coordinator) Dan Mullen.

Mullen will take over from Jim McElwain, who was fired after the Gators were stomped by Georgia in the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party earlier this season. The Gators will not make a bowl this year, finishing 4-7 overall (their Northern Colorado game had to be cancelled due to Hurricane Irma).

Florida fans will be praying that Mullen – who is considered somewhat of a quarterbacks guru after his excellence with Dak Prescott and Nick Fitzgerald in Starkville – will be able to recruit some quarterbacking excellence. At the moment, Felipe Franks is not making the grade, and the Malik Zaire transfer from Notre Dame has been an absolute disaster for the Gators.

Mullen, who was with the Gators when they won two National Championships under Urban Meyer, had been at Mississippi State for nine years and took them out of the world of SEC obscurity that they had occupied when Sylvester Croom was the head coach.

Under Mullen’s guidance, Mississippi State only had only two losing seasons, went 5-2 in bowl games, and went 69-46 overall. However, it must be noted that Mullen’s SEC record with the Bulldogs wasn’t great. In fact, he only managed one winning record in the SEC (2014, when the Bulldogs went 6-2), and his overall conference record was 33-39.

It is ironic that Mullen should leave just a few months after he was given a four-year contract extension. He was one of the highest-paid coaches in the SEC, earning $4.5 million per season. He should probably expect a lot more with the Gators.

What will irritate some Mississippi State fans (as well as this writer), is that it wasn’t exactly surprising that Mullen was going to leave. In fact, you could go as far as saying that Mullen used his relationships with the Mississippi State top brass to get his extensions and expand his pocket. According to reports, Mullen already tried his luck to return to the State of Florida in 2015, interviewing for the Miami job. Mark Richt beat him to the spot there.

 

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