1. Dan Mullen, former Mississippi State head coach
Let’s be honest, how many times will Dan Mullen be able to tolerate hearing Matt Barrie say, “We’re Mullen it over” before the former coach decides to bolt from ESPN? At a certain point, football coaches want to get back to what they do best: coach football.
That’s especially true considering Mullen is just 51 years old. Mack Brown was almost 20 years older than Mullen when he decided to throw his hat back into the coaching ring and return to North Carolina. Mullen is still in his prime.
He’s also the most proven winner the Bulldogs have had leading their program in over 50 years. Not since the days of Allyn McKeen, who coached the program from 1939 to 1948 and went 65-19-3 in that time, has Mississippi State won the way they won under Mullen.
Mullen left Starkville to take the head job at Florida, and despite winning 21 games in his first two seasons, he was summarily dismissed with a game remaining in his fourth year in Gainesville. While coaching a program of that stature would undoubtedly be an attractive proposition for Mullen, that would make more sense for his second stop in his return to college coaching. It would make a lot of sense to ease back in with a program that isn’t ready to give him the boot as soon as he steps on campus.
It’s tough to think of a better situation for the Bulldogs than to have Mullen back on the sidelines in Starkville.