Dan Mullen appears to be settling in nicely as the new head coach at the University of Florida. While he hasn’t crowned himself king of football in the state of Florida yet, it appears he believes he created football in the state of Mississippi.
Mullen came to the Gators after leading Mississippi State to a 69-46 record in nine seasons in Starkville.
Speaking to Gator fans in Miami on a recent fan tour, Mullen said in reference to the upcoming Florida and Mississippi State game this season in Starkville, “I don’t know if there will ever be a bigger game played in the state of Mississippi.”
This is one of the most ridiculous statements made in reference to collegiate football in years. Just this season alone, Mississippi State has games against Alabama, LSU and Ole Miss that are far more important. More important to recruiting and more important to division standings. Two of many reasons why the new head coach is blowing hot air.
While Mullen’s statement was clearly a direct shot at the University of Mississippi by dismissing its football program altogether, a quick look at the history of MSU football shows dozens of games which bury the upcoming one vs. the Gators in level of importance.
Off the top of my head, someone should mail Mullen a Bulldog media guide so he can refresh his memory about when placekicker Brian Hazlewood booted his Bulldogs to Atlanta to face the Tennessee Volunteers in the 1998 SEC Championship game.
Perhaps he can see where Mississippi State upset No. 1 ranked Alabama in Jackson and sent Crimson Tide head coach Paul “Bear” Bryant back to Tuscaloosa shaking his head.
He must have forgotten the day his very own Bulldogs hosted ESPN “College Gameday,” beat No. 2 Auburn and gave Mississippi State its first ever No. 1 ranking in college football.
Of course, those games only take into account the Mississippi State side. There is another SEC program in the state which was a dominant college football power during the 1950’s and 60’s. There were a lot of big games played in Mississippi during that time.
The list could go on, and on, and on and also include less memorable games against opponents who finished better than 4-7 the previous season and competed for championships, not attempting to rebuild.
Get in line Dan. Mississippians in Oxford and Starkville saw their fair share of winning before you came. I can assure you, we’ll see plenty now that you have left.
RELATED: Remembering Billy Brewer.
(You can follow Brad Logan on Twitter @BradLoganCOTE)
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