Not too surprisingly, Willie Taggart has some company in navigating his way down the Denial River.
Almost immediately after Florida officially pulled the trigger on the Jim McElwain era in The Swamp and put it out of its misery, Dan Mullen‘s name was front and center as a potential permanent replacement. The connection makes sense as he was Urban Meyer‘s offensive coordinator for four years with the Gators, and he was mentioned as a possible replacement for the fired Will Muschamp before the program settled on McElwain in December of 2014. Scott Stricklin, UF’s current athletic director and the man charged with replacing McElwain, held the same job at Mississippi State for a portion of Mullen’s time with the Bulldogs.
Monday, Mullen was asked about the renewal of rumors connecting him to his old employer, and offered up the expected in-season denial.
“I’m really happy here,” Mullen said. “I think when you look at what we have in the program and the administration, I haven’t really thought much about it. I’ve been here long enough. As the year goes on it gets into that silly season and who is going where.
“Our focus remains on UMass and winning that football game. I’m really happy with what we’re building here.”
In the midst of his ninth season in Starkville, Mullen is 67-44 overall and 32-37 record in SEC play. With the exception of a second-place finish in 2014, Mullen’s Bulldogs have finished either fourth (twice) or fifth (five times) in the six-team West division.