A Case for Dan Mullen

November 8, 2021

Y’all have lost your minds.    My generation and the generation before mine is constantly telling millennials and their younger counter parts to be patient and good things come to those who wait.  Well we need to starting practicing what we preach.  Case in point, Dan Mullen. 

I don’t see eye to eye with Dan Mullen on several things, maturity and accountability being the two biggest on my dashboard.   I thought the “Pack The Swamp” comments after the A&M loss last season were reckless and naïve.   The Mizzou halftime altercation was dangerous and the Darth Vader costume was amateur hour, like something you would see out of a coach in the MAC.   That being said the calls for him to be fired are just absurd. 

Coming into this season Mullen had led the Gators to a Peach Bowl win, an Orange Bowl win and SEC East crown in each of his first three seasons.    Yes, there were some ugly moments.   Losses to UGA,  Feliepe’s Follies,  A Shoe Toss and excuses galore following a blowout loss in the Cotton Bowl but remember the good with the bad right?  Like any good marriage both good and bad things are going to happen you just need to figure out how perfect you expect the man to be.  

Here is the rub, Gators fans think they are Alabama with Nick Saban, Oklahoma with Lincoln Riley or Ohio State with Ryan Day.   They aren’t.  Oh, and before we go any farther it took Bob Stoops 15 years to build that at Oklahoma and 18 years for Jim Tressel and Urban Meyer to build that at Ohio State before handing the reigns over the current CEOs.  The fact of the matter is that if the Gators think that firing Dan Mullen is the right thing they are headed down the path of getting themselves into the whirlpool that has become Nebraska & Tennessee football.   Both of those programs fired their coaches, Frank Solich after a 9-3 campaign and Phil Fulmer after a 5-7 season just one year after winning the SEC East, sound familiar? Both programs have been chasing their tales for 15 years.  

If Notre Dame acted with the same impulses they would’ve fired Brian Kelly after losing 5 of his last 6 games in 2014.   If Clemson would’ve over reacted about Florida State, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech’s seasons back in 2011 they would’ve fired Dabo Swinney after his 4th year as head coach which saw the Tigers lose 4 of their last 6 including a 70-33 bludgeoning at the hands of West Virginia in the Orange Bowl. 

But Dan Mullen is too loyal and it’s impossible to come back and be successful after firing coordinators. 

Child, Please.  Brian Kelly didn’t bring back OC Chip Long after the 2019 season and he fired DC Brian VanGorder in 2016.   Dabo Swinney fired current Louisiana Head Coach Billy Napier as his OC back in 2011. 

Dan Mullen has some work to do and it starts with going out and making some big hires as OC and DC.  Penn State has allowed only 13 TDs on Defense all year.  Ranking behind only Wisconsin  and UGA.  Should Franklin leave for the USC job Nittany Lion DC Brent Pry should be Mullen’s top target.  He was Vandy’s Co-DC when they went 8-4 just 8 years ago.  I’ll say it again for the people in the back .  Pry’s defense was good enough to have Vandy at 8-4 and winning bowl games against Power 5 conference opponents .  And on Offense Ole Miss OC Jeff Lebby has helped built Matt Corral along with running UCF’s offense under Josh Heupel.   Those two aren’t slam dunks.  They are reverse windmills.    Winning Costs money.   These guys will likely cost $ 2 million per year each.  They will be worth every penny. 

So Gator fans, take a deep breath.   It’s rough right now.   Dan Mullen is a good coach.   Before you become Ohio State, Oklahoma and Alabama Be Like Brian (Kelly) and Do Like Dabo (Swinney).   The quicker you follow the Notre Dame and Clemson model the sooner you become the Sooners, the Buckeyes and Tide.  

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