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Pre-game Tuesday - Dan Mullen explains SEC 'hot seat' in coaching profession


Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen talked Monday about the idea of being on

Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen talked Monday about the idea of being on "the hot seat" as a head coach in the Southeastern Conference.



Matt Stevens


STARKVILLE - Dan Mullen has gone from being tossed around for nearly every coaching vacancy around the country to well....being just plain tossed around.  


Remember when he was named as a candidate for openings at Miami (Fla.), Penn State and Florida during the 2010 season?  


There was even a website (staydanmullen.com) encouraging him to stay in Starkville, which is no longer in existence. 


Mullen denied any interest in the position publicly and said he hasn't discussed the Miami Hurricanes opening position with any officials at the university. 


"I haven't handled it any way and the only administrator that I've talked to about coaching football at a university is Scott Stricklin,' Mullen said in 2010 about the Miami rumors. " I plan on being the head coach here for quite a long time." 


Mullen continually addressed the 2010 rumors that he's high on the wish list of Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley in similar fashion to the speculation that he was involved with the University of Miami search. 


"I haven't had contact with anybody about a coaching position other than Mississippi State," Mullen said Thursday. "The only person I've talked to recently about coaching football is sitting right here at the end of the table (Mullen then pointed to Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin) and I have no plans on going anywhere." 


Well, now with three years of perspective and currently producing a season that could end without a bowl game for the first time since his first year in 2009, Mullen responded to how he handles the constant about your job security while being the head coach of a Bowl Championship Series program.  




"You always have to completely block that out," Mullen said in his Monday media conference. "Like one question is always 'Are you on the hot seat?' Well, I hate to break it to you but if you're coaching in the Southeastern Conference, I've been on the hot seat here for five years. Go over to Tuscaloosa and ask, you might not think so but wait till they lose a game. If we had won on Saturday night, he'd be on the hot seat. You're about a game away in this league. The passion in the SEC more so than anywhere else make it that way, maybe except in the NFL but you can still lose six games in the NFL and win the Super Bowl. You lose six games in this league, look out. That just comes with the territory. You have to accept that as coaching in the SEC. The thing that it's tough on is families. Will (Muschamp's) kids have to go to school. My wife has to go to the grocery store. Bret's wife goes out to dinner. In this league, your families are out in public a lot more and that's a huge stress. With say Kevin (Sumlin), I'll put it this way: you're either on the way out of the door because you're winning or you're on the way out of the door because you're losing. If you're Kevin, you'd rather be on your way out of the door because of winning. With people's opinions of me around here, I've had both and I'll take the winning. And I'm still here and plan on being here for a long time." 




Of course Mullen did mention Monday that when the Bulldogs (4-6, 1-5 in SEC) travel this weekend to face Arkansas (3-7, 0-6 in SEC) for a 11:21 a.m., kickoff, there's still a lot of goals MSU can attain in these final two regular season games.  




"I didn't know this but historically in the big picture concept, if we win the next two and finish 6-6, it doesn't seem like a banner season," Mullen said. "But we'll have won in the state of Arkansas for the first time in the school and that's over 100 plus years. That's pretty historical. Will have gone to four straight bowl games in the first time in the history of the school. They'll be the first group to do something and not the next group. There's a awful lot to play for. I don't know how many times we've won four out of five Egg Bowls. 1940s? Before all of you were born. Jim (Ellis) called that game (laughter). We're trying to build a foundation of things based on stuff that has never been done before." 




All of the Dispatch MSU Sports Blog readers: feel free to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/matthewcstevens for up-to-date Mississippi State coverage.



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