30 November 2010
One thing always accompanies the end of any regular season, and that's rumors. Since Monday, the University of Miami has made it clearly known that MSU's Dan Mullen and former NFL coach John Gruden are their 2 main targets, to replace the fired Randy Shannon.
Let me pause right there and say "Not gonna happen." I'm well aware that Miami's Football program is one of the top 20 of all-time in NCAA history. I know that the state of Florida is drenched with some of the best High School football that this fine country has to offer. I know that the 'U' has got a much bigger Athletic budget than what MSU could only dream about. And finally, I'm well aware that the Canes are famous for turning out NFL talent, and add every year to the meat market that pro scouts feast on. Ok, heck, I'll even go as far as to throw in the beach, sandals, and everything else Miami in itself has to offer. But, still I say "Not gonna happen."
Here's why I feel the way I do...
(1) SEC is King: Even on years when the SEC fails to win the Nat'l Title, it's still the best conference in College Football. The conference has claimed the Crown in 4 of the past 5 seasons. It has the highest attendance rates of any other conference, and dominates the NFL draft year in and year out. You play the best of the best every Saturday. The passion, tradition, and pageantry is unmatched. Because of that, why go elsewhere? Championships are without a doubt easier to achieve in another conference, but when you've coached among the best, anything else is a step down. Mullen is a coach who demands the best from his players and fanbase, so why would he require anything less than that from himself. Leaving the best in order to win among the mediocre, is not in the cards for Dan. And in his mind, it's probably unacceptable to even consider, and lie to the standard he holds himself and team to. Anyway, why go anywhere else, when you are already in the best conference in football, not to mention arguably the best division in college football. Many may see that as a self-defeating argument, and a good basis for a good coach to leave a strong conference. Some have already said that State will always trail Bama and LSU in tradition and success, but one can only look to the 2009 and 2010 as reality check. Mullen took a team that finished with just 3 wins in '08, to within inches of a Bowl bid in '09. In 2010, Mullen responded by leading the Dawgs to an 8-4 regular season record, and a .500 mark in conference play. Dan will have MSU in Atlanta within 5 years.
(2) Building a Program Builds Pride: Let me ask you this, is there anything more rewarding in life...anything that builds more pride...or anything more gratifying then seeing the fruits of your labor? There's nothing like seeing results, and knowing you had a hand in that product. Mullen has put butts in the seats, breaking the season attendance record in consecutive years. When the seats are full, and continually full, that changes everything. Not only is it a display of faithfulness on behalf of the fans, or just evidence that you are doing something right, but so much more. Attendance equals atmosphere, money for the program, better facilities, etc. What's amazing, is that since Mullen was hired, he has manufactured so much interest and excitement in the program, that he has yet to see Davis Wade Stadium empty. The Bulldog Club has more members now- than ever. He's taught the MSU program and fans what it feels like to win and compete-week in and week out. Mullen is pulling in the best recruits in the State, and currently has MSU ranked #23 in National recruiting. He's witnessed the hunger of 55-59,000 in the seats, and the demand that is on the horizon for expanding Davis Wade. I'm sure that Dan has seen the plans to do just just, and he can't help but realize just what he is building in Starkville. He is making what used to be 'future' plans, an immediate reality. (Don't fool yourself either, whether or not stadium expansion plans were apart of the university's master plan, it would have never happened if not for success on the football field). It's because of ALL this that I've mentioned, that Mullen won't leave in the next 3 years. Coaches are all about results, and being able to sit back and look at what they've built and accomplished. We are all capable of accomplishing amazing things in life, but rarely do we have the chance to effect the lives of 55-100,000 people on a given Saturday. Even though I would say that Mullen is more confident than arrogant, it can't help but feed his or anyone else's ego to an extent. Like I said, there's pride in building something. And in building something it's even harder to walk away. Dan Mullen is building at MSU, not just a winning program, but other elements that will be hard to walk away from one day.
In the midst of all this, MSU AD Scott Stricklin has already commented on the fact that the school is setting up Dan Mullen's contract to carry over through 2014. "We’re going to be smart and aggressive in this process. The normal protocol for something like this and the way we’ve done it in the past is to rip up the old contract and sign a brand new four-year deal.” Mullen currently brings in $1.2 Million a year, and is set to receive plenty of incentives due to the Dawgs' upcoming Bowl appearance. As of Tuesday night, Mullen confirmed that he has NOT been contacted by anyone, even Miami. For more, here's a link to a conversation between Mullen and the CL's Rick Cleveland about staying in Starkville. Link
That's my take, your thoughts?
Chris White Wins Conerly Trophy
Just days after the Bulldogs won the Egg Bowl, and the reputation of the best team in Mississippi, Senior LB Chris White won the honor of the being named the best football player in the State. White has had a stellar Senior season, racking up 105 Tkls, 6 Sacks, 15.5 Tkls for Loss, 2 INTs, and 1 Fumble Recovery. After making a name for himself in his Junior season at MSU, White improved even more in 2010. White increased in Tackles (+30) and Sacks (+5.5). Congrats Chris, you will be hard to replace. Link
As many of yall know, leading Bulldog WR Chad Bumphis, will miss the Bowl Game with a broken clavicle. I wanted to know your opinion, as to whether or not you think the injury hurts or helps the Bulldogs more? Out for the Bowl, but that's some major reps for a lot of our young WRs in practice and preparation. Link
State Falls to FAU Owls
I guess we knew it was coming eventually, considering that Stansbury's squad is low on talent and experience and having already had some close calls. I can't wait til Sidney and Bost can play. For those of you who are new to the site, I cover basketball in-depth, but not til SEC play, or quality opponents show up on the schedule before conference play. Ravern Johnson finished with 18 pts, Kodi Augustus brought down 10 Rebs, and Riley Benock has 3 asst. Very bad shooting night for State, only nailing three 3-pointers. State missed 4 FT's in the final minute, and a last minute tip-in for the win. Typical.
aTm accepts Cotton Bowl invite. Link
Boise's kicker is receiving death threats. Link
UT's Bruce Pearl zingsLane Kiffin. Link
Gamecocks make History. Link
CL reports that Chick-Fil-A Bowl isn't a done deal? Link