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Mississippi State An Easier Sell Post-Mullen

For a second, let’s play “Worst Case Scenario” with Mississippi State fans.  Let’s say that Florida (or Miami) does woo Dan Mullen away from the cacophony of cowbells in Starkville.

As bad as that news might be, there could be a sliver of positivity mixed in amongst the pain — The MSU job is a better job now because of Mullen.

Sylvester Croom was a good man.  He led the Bulldogs to an 8-win season and a Liberty Bowl berth.  But even at his height, Croom never connected with the fanbase as Mullen has.  Mullen has filled the stands around Scott Field.  His personality has earned him facetime and name recognition on ESPN.  As he has become a big name at State, State’s own name has improved as result.

Should Mullen leave, Scott Stricklin will now have a foundation to point to as he attempts to hook another coach for the Bulldogs:

* MSU is eyeing stadium expansion and facility upgrades

* An excited, ticket-buying, bell-ringing fanbase makes the former necessary… and new SEC television contracts make the latter and the former possible

* MSU can out-gun the state’s flagship school in back-to-back seasons on the football field

* A good recruiter can go head-to-head with that flagship school and ink Top 25 classes in February

Make no mistake, State would be much better off if Mullen simply put down roots and stayed in Starkville.  The school has some successes to sell at this point, but sustained success would make the sell that much easier.

But if Mullen does leave, Stricklin will have an easier time selling MSU to a new coach thanks to what Mullen has accomplished in his first two seasons.



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