Dooley: Mullen gets it, let’s give him time to fix it

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Dan Mullen takes over as Florida new head football coach. (Alan Youngblood/Staff photographer]

Scott Stricklin heard from a lot of people from the state of Mississippi over the last 48 hours. Many of the texts and emails were less than complimentary.

But there was one message that stood out.

“He said, ‘I knew it was only a matter of time until some AD realized what Dan (Mullen) could do with elite talent,” Stricklin said.

He, of course, turned out to be that athletic director. But it was not as easy as simply going back to his alma mater to snatch a coach away.

In fact, that’s what made it more difficult.

“I was hoping to find someone better than Dan,” Stricklin said.

Before you read that the wrong way, here is what he meant — he didn’t want to do it to Mississippi State.

But with Chip Kelly opting for the more comfortable job and Scott Frost likely headed for his own alma mater, there was an obvious choice that checked all of the boxes for the biggest hire of Stricklin’s career.

It made too much sense. But he had to make sure.

In the press box in Columbia, S.C., a few weeks ago, Stricklin and I talked about Mullen. His admiration for the man as a football coach, organizer and motivator came gushing out of his mouth. He felt he almost needed to step back because he knew Mullen too well.

“I talked to a lot of people,” Stricklin said. “We had a lot of names, but we focused on very few. Once I came to Florida and got away from Dan, I admired even more what he was doing.”

So finally on Friday, he made the call. By Sunday, he had his man.

For some Gator fans, it was a cringe-worthy choice. It’s hard to understand why, except that Mullen was a bit aloof when he was at Florida and that was a time when winning wasn’t enough.

You remember. The good old days.

But I have sensed that as it has sunk in and the reality has enveloped the Gator Nation, they’re getting it more with every passing hour.

Florida’s new head coach knows the school, the fans, the traditions. He knows offense. He has nine years as a head coach in the toughest league and the toughest division in America.

He has a bunch of rings. He considers Tim Tebow a member of his family. He came off the plane chomping like a Rowdy Reptile.

Stop me when you quit checking off the boxes in your head.

More than anything, Dan Mullen wants to be here. Really bad.

That’s kind of a big deal.

It was a winning news conference Monday at UF with former players scattered throughout the crowd. He’s 0-0 as a Florida head coach, but let’s count Monday’s early victories:

  1. He didn’t mention his dog or claim it could run his offense. (The Mullen dog, for the record, is named Heisman and started his career in Gainesville. So it’s a homecoming for Heisman, too.)
  2. He gets that Florida’s strength and conditioning needs some strengthening and conditioning.

“I told (the players)  to rest up in the month of December, because it’s probably going to be something like they’ve never experienced in their life with our offseason conditioning program,” Mullen said.

  1. He’s willing to open up some practices to the fans, especially in the spring. (He will also let freshmen talk once they have played in a game).
  2. He does a pretty good Steve Spurrier impression.

Now, if he can only do a really good Steve Spurrier impression calling ball plays.

  1. Everything he said about developing a quarterback and adapting to his strengths made sense. And yet, “You just can’t wave a wand and fix anybody,” might have been the smartest thing he said.

In the end, Florida did not go for the low-hanging fruit from the Nick Saban tree and instead went for the Urban Meyer branches. And what they have is a coach who has been weathered at the ripe young age of 45 by the battles of SEC football.

“I left here nine years ago, we did all the media, the press, you know, the introductions, all of these things. I walked in my office, sat down in the chair and I went, ‘What do I do now?’ “ Mullen said. ”There’s nothing that can prepare you for that responsibility of sitting in that chair and being the head coach.”

This time, the chair felt like a much better fit.

You don’t like his losing SEC record at Mississippi State? Don’t blame you. You love the fact that Florida’s two highest scoring offenses in school history came when he was calling plays? It’s a great point.

But what you think and what I think and what your neighbor thinks really are irrelevant. What the rest of the SEC East thinks doesn’t matter. (In Knoxville, here’s what they think — “When did Florida hire a new coach?”)

The only thing that matters is that Florida has a new coach. Whether or not it was a home run, well, we’re still watching from the dugout.

And it will be a long time before it comes down.

Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at pat.dooley@gvillesun.com. And follow at Twitter.com/Pat_Dooley.

 

100 COMMENTS

  1. Dan Mullen will do well here. It finally feels good to be able to say “It’s great to be a Florida Gator”.
    Welcome back Coach Mullen.

  2. Mullen is a great choice. No Gator fan I know “cringed” at finding out Mullen had been hired, notwithstanding the handful who expressed their dismay on this and other boards. His record in SEC games at MSU reflects the most success any coach has had at Mississippi State in over 60 years (more SEC wins than any MSU coach other than Jackie Sherrill though his winning percentage was higher than Sherrill’s) as does his overall winning percentage (.605 at a place where few have broken .500).

    If he takes us back to complaining because we only finished 15th in the country in yards per play when we had enough talent to finish 1st…bless you Dan Mullen.

  3. 98% of the Gator fans are patient enough to give Dan the time he needs to turn this mess around. Its the 2% that make the most noise that gets the press headlines that for better or worst defines Gator Fans as “lunatic fringe”.
    Any way welcome back to Gainesville Dan. Go Gators!!

  4. I always thought he would be the right pick. He knows the expectations of the Gator fans, he knows the SEC, he recruits well, and he is a proven offensive minded coach who has gotten results. The key in my opinion is to get the best possible defensive coordinator out there. Urban Meyer had a great offense and a great defense as did our 1996 championship team.

  5. We Gators need to back this guy, and support him over the next several rebuilding years. There should be no noise in the system next year for any reason. Coach Dan is inheriting a real mess, if a bare cupboard could be messy. It is not going to be pretty at first, but it will be an improving trend, whis is something we haven’t seen since ‘09. There will be more effort, more intensity, more intelligence, more creativity, and more fun! Rather than trying to push some half-ass condiment on the fans, this guy is going to be serious about his business. Great hire AD Stricklin, welcome back Coach Mullen!

  6. “Everything he said about developing a quarterback and adapting to his strengths made sense.” This is the most telling point about Dan Mullen’s ability at coaching offense and QBs. Their first year here (Urban and him), was about this amazing spread/option attack, but the QB here didn’t fit the mold. What did Mullen do…molded the offense to the QB, and it worked like a charm by the end. After Mullen left for Miss. St., and Tebow graduated, once again we had a QB that didn’t fit the offense…what was done then…Meyer and Addazio instead made the QB fit the offense, and it just didn’t ever work. Don’t forget that Dan Mullen beat Urban’s Gators at the Swamp!!!

  7. What he got was $6M a year. Nothing more than a mercenary who went to the highest bidder.

    What we got was a coach who has the following qualifications:
    Sub .500 record against SEC foes.
    Worst winning percentage against ranked teams when his team is ranked (<14%)
    Not a single recruiting class in the Top 30 in his 9 years @ MSU
    One season with 9 wins in his 9 season @ MSU
    Loses to South Alabama @ home in season opener just last year.
    Additional loses to Kentucky and BYU with only a 1 point win again Miami of Ohio just last year.
    Has signed 3 5* recruits in his entire 9 years @ MSU
    Has only won 60% of his games in 8 seasons @ MSU (Urban had won 90%+ prior to coming to UF) This is a horrible winning percentage for a $6M/year coach.
    2 Seasons out of 9 he has had a winning record in the SEC

    • There you go again c the numbers! (insert smiley face here) All kidding aside, Mike, at least I know where you’re coming from this time…..we just differ on the inferences drawn from those numbers is all.

    • Mike, where are you getting some of your numbers from? According to 247 Sports, Mullen had top 30 classes in six of his nine seasons at MSU. And he won 9 or more games in 2010, 2014 (when he won 10), and 2015. And it cannot be said enough–that’s a major accomplishment in a place like Starkville.
      The $6M/year is for his anticipated future at UF, not the past.

    • First of all Mike you have some lies but you always post the most negative stuff so I don’t want to steal your thunder of being a downer. Mullen has more wins, bowl wins, and wins against top 5 teams at MSU than UF had during that same span, yeah crazy to think but it is true. Mullen has developed guys everywhere he has been, hell Alex Smith is STILL in the league. The coach could have been Chip Kelly and you still would have had something negative to say, this guy did all the above at arguably the worst job in the SEC West… who the hell wants to go to Starksville? The guy knows the expectations here and is ready for it, I will leave you to be negative again since that is what makes your day better, Mike.

      • And why are stats negative? They are what they are. If you like those #’s, they are positive. I am just putting the TRUTH about this man’s record as a HC out there because all anyone wants to talk about is his time as UF OC when we had a different HC. And yes, our record during the same time has been worse…..that is why we were looking for a new coach. Again, the numbers are what they are. You can view them as positive or negative. I am just sharing them.

        • Check out MSU’s records before he got there. Take a trip to Starkville sometime to fully understand how hard it is to recruit there. You act like MSU is some blue blood program that top recruits just flock to. He just went toe to toe with Bama and almost beat them with as you say “not a single recruiting class in the top 30”. Anyone who can win 69 games at MSU while playing in the SEC West with the lack of talent he had is a damn good coach if you know anything about football, which you clearly do not. You can throw out numbers all you want, but the fact of the matter is those are pretty great numbers when you factor in where he’s coaching and in what division. You put him at UCF or USF or any of those other lower tier programs and I guarantee you those numbers go through the roof. It’s easy though, you don’t like the hire then jump on a more successful team’s bandwagon and let the real fans enjoy the ride that’s just getting started. It’s all the negative “fans” like yourself that are the reason the first two coaching options said no thanks.

    • Mike, the numbers dont lie, I get it and he wasnt my 1st choice. But as for me, now that he is here and hired he will get my full support for a few years while he turns the ship around. I dont expect championships next year or even for a few. Next year i expect to go better than 500, then at least 750 the year after that, then we will see.

    • Try recruiting a 5 star to come to Starkville. That would take a great selling job. Most people could not find Starkville on the map. If a kid is interested in academics as well as football he sure is not going to go to Starkville. Mississippi St. would have beat the gators by 30 in the swamp this year. Quit complaining and give this guy a chance, and it will take several years. The gators lack of talent is unbelievable. People keep talking about all the talent on this team, it is not there! give the guy a chance. Go gators

        • First of all, FSU is not “up the road to”, it’s “over to”. Secondly, he is a Gator, actually a graduate of Florida. That’s just his take is all, and as I recently came to understand myself, he’s a “numbers guy”. Period. All he really is, is wrong about this. Let’s not tear ourselves to shreds, we’re all Gators here.

    • Very gratified to see that I am not the only one who is not impressed with this choice. I understand if Frost was not interested, but we had an opportunity to take a young talented coach and start completely anew. What was wrong with at least talking to Mike Norvell, Willie Taggert or the offensive coordinator for Clemson. I only hope that this isn’t the next link in the chain of: Muschamp>Mac>Mullen(?)

      • It’s simple, none of those other coaches you named have the experience of having coached in the SEC for 13 years. The Gators have gone the route of hiring coaches from lower tier programs who failed miserably. Hell they just got rid of one. Not any coach can make the jump from that level to the pressure cooker of the SEC, especially when it’s the one program in the SEC with the most impossible to please fans. Here’s a perfect example of what happens when a coach jumps from a lower tier program to a power 5. Look at Justin Fuente who put up huge numbers offensively at Memphis and those numbers dropped at VT. He had a successful first year winning 10 games, but Beamer left him a lot of talent. They regressed and won less games this season. Mullen has experience with this fan base and knows the impossible to please expectations and has had success in the most difficult division in college football. He’s been recruiting in the SEC for 13 years, 4 of which were at UF. Some of the most productive offenses in UF history were run by him. I’m not sure how anyone could not want him over the inexperience of those names you listed. They certainly didn’t need to hire another coach with no HC experience. Just watch Mullen get off that plane yesterday and look at the smile on his face and the enthusiasm he has while Gator chomping. There wasn’t a better hire for this program. Kelly’s first words after seeing all the commotion at his press conference was boy there must not be much going on around here. It wasn’t even close to the same excitement Mullen had. UCLA will be looking for a new coach in 3 years.

      • Carmelo, that’s exactly what we just did (take a young, talented coach and start completely anew). Scott Frost is 42 years old, Dan Mullen is 45. I’ll agree c you all day long that Frost probably has a great career ahead of him, we’ll see in the long run, but of these two guys who are only three years apart in age, which one has the best resume by far?

    • Mike Black JuJu Winter:

      Get a grip and get back to the real readon you locked yourself in your Mom’s basement, which everyone here knows has nothing to with football, you clown college troll.

      Sincerely
      Gator Nation

    • MIKE:
      You wrote:
      “What he got was $6M a year. Nothing more than a mercenary who went to the highest bidder.
      What we got was a coach who has the following qualifications:
      Sub .500 record against SEC foes.
      Worst winning percentage against ranked teams when his team is ranked (<14%)
      Not a single recruiting class in the Top 30 in his 9 years @ MSU
      One season with 9 wins in his 9 season @ MSU
      Loses to South Alabama @ home in season opener just last year.
      Additional loses to Kentucky and BYU with only a 1 point win again Miami of Ohio just last year.
      Has signed 3 5* recruits in his entire 9 years @ MSU
      Has only won 60% of his games in 8 seasons @ MSU (Urban had won 90%+ prior to coming to UF) This is a horrible winning percentage for a $6M/year coach.
      2 Seasons out of 9 he has had a winning record in the SEC"

      THAT WAS at MISSISSIPPI STATE! Prior to Mullen, MSU was an after thought! Heck, no one knew where Starkville was. MULLEN IS NOW AT THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA where he helped win two SEC Championships and two National Championships and where he groomed a Heisman Trophy winner.

      Mullen will do just fine at the University of Florida. He will have us back in Atlanta and in the top five very soon.

  8. Anyone who dosen’t get that he wants to be here, gets the culture, embraces the expectations and will work his tail off is ignorant of what it takes at UF to be successful. Add to the fact he likes tradition and will consult with one of the best coaches in American College football history Coach Spurrier. Give him a little time. Coach Mullen will get it done!!!!!!!

  9. Welcome back Coach Mullen and family and many, many thanks for accepting to lead the Gator Nation football program. You have the full support of all former players and we are excited as to what lies ahead. We know there are no guarantees. We can only expect your dedication and passion for the student athletes and the program. Nothing short of excellence should be our standard. LET’S GET TO WORK!!

  10. This is a call out to all of the Gator Nation.
    First I would like to say this is a excellent hire and believe Mullin will do great things for this program. Second this is to all of the fans that in my opinion need to step up and get on board. The reason for this is quite simple with the advent of social media everything becomes public and when some of the fan base and you know who you are put negative press out their is can and does have an impact on who we get as recruits and thus making it more difficult for the coach to recruit quality players. As well as the mounting pressure it puts on the program and the players and coaches. I for one thing that the die hard gators out their need to step up with support of the program, cheer as loud as we can, and ultimately will this programs success. In all kinds of weather?
    Go Gators and go Coach Mullin welcome back to the family.

  11. Glad to see some positive Gators posting. I am so excited we didn’t get a coach that doesn’t really want to be in Gainesville, who doesn’t really get what being a Gator is all about, who hasn’t coached in the SEC, and who hasn’t recruited the South! Oh, and Mullen was the OC during the time when Florida was feared for both its offense and defense and he has developed some pretty good QBs. He also calls the plays and adjusts his offense to match his players. So, who does he sound like? Maybe some guy that won the Heisman at UF and coached UF to its first national championship along with a few SEC Championships. Time to support Coach Mullen and the team! Go Gators!

  12. I’m excited about Coach Mullen. It’s maybe (3) years too late. We could have avoided McElfail. For me, the most important box to check was the “Wants to be here” box. The trepidation I had about Kelly and Frost were commitment. I think both of them are better off somewhere else. UF is a career/lifer job. Anybody who sees it as a stepping stone needs to keep stepping down the road. Dan Mullen will be more than alright for us. I am already looking forward to next season. But I do hope that Charlie Strong was considered as well.

    • Yeah if he stayed in Starkville for 9 years, he should be here till he retires as long as he’s successful. I don’t see him having NFL aspirations.

  13. I’m excited to have Dan back in Gainesville as our coach. Best hire for us and for him. I loved seeing him get off the plane with his family.

  14. I didn’t think Chip Kelly or Scott Frost would be good hires. Frost has one successful season as a head coach. While he may be a great coach, one year isn’t a track record. Chip Kelly never felt like a long term solution. Chip Kelly felt like if he came to Florida it was just to have a job, not to have a long career. Chip Kelly never seemed like he would be here for the long term. We needed someone closer to Steve Spurrier than Urban Meyer. Championships are great but, we also need consistency. For Dan Mullen it seems like Florida is where he wants to be. He’s well aware of the history and the expectations and from the press conference, it sounds like he learned somethings from Urban Meyer. I think he’s a great fit for UF and even if he doesn’t win us a championship, hopefully he can be our coach for the next 10+ years. Go Gators.

  15. If I never hear “and yet” again it will be too soon. I hope our new coach never says it again if he actually was foolish enough to have said it once. I am happy to give him a reasonable time to improve, some aspects won’t be taking long.

  16. I think Mullen is a great (and smart) choice for head coach of the Gators. His exuberance at the introductory press conference resonated with the fans. You’re right, Pat. He really wants to be our coach, and haven’t we realized by now how important that is? I think he will bring dedication, energy and professionalism to the job. Strong leadership is what we need to succeed. I think his strong relationship with Stricklin is a major bonus.

  17. 1.) Not having a top 30 class in Starkvegas is understandable and more reason to think he’ll flourish here.

    2.) Not just about $$. If it was he would have entertained Tenn and possibly A & M

    3.) Pat, why did you have to bring up that “lateral move” question during his presser? Let it go!

  18. Welcome Dan and the best of luck here. An overwhelming number of the fan base is in your corner and hope and anticipate for you to succeed. Coach up a decent QB and make the games enjoyable……it’s the frustration with the past product that feeds the lunatic fringe.

  19. Great article.

    And Thank You to AD Stricklin for getting Coach Mullen.

    He, indeed, is the perfect Coach for the Florida Gators.

  20. 1st a positive about Dan’s presser: I loved his SPEAKING ABILITY, and he made no references about his ”dog playing Q.B.”. Negative, that’s only fair and it’s for Pat & the patience preachers: THE GATOR NATION HAS BEEN PATIENT! NEARLY 9 YEARS OF PATIENCE! And that isn’t Dan’s fault, but he did sign-up knowing the long term problems here in Hogtown! So please stop preaching about ”patience”, as that is all we’ve (Gator fans) been! And, truthfully, it’s all we can be! We have NO CHOICE! So please show us success Scott & Dan and Co.! Go Gators!

  21. If nothing else… Mullen played Saban’s team hard and lost close games, all with inferior talent to Bama for the most part. That stands out in contrast to UF being blown out by Bama in recent years. Yeah, he is a good offensive mind, but what I like best is the toughness he got from his years at MSU… that is what UF needs right now, and neither Kelly or Frost would have brought that.

  22. I have to applaud Scott Strickland for getting the best choice of available coaches. I was so happy when UCLA nabbed Kelly, he is a west coast guy and would have been terrible in dealing with all of the off field duties of the HC of Florida. I really would have liked to see Scott Frost, but as we all know, he is destined to return to Lincoln and restore that school to some of it’s former glory. Dan Mullen has been a solid coach in the SEC West. Tough division when you consider all factors. Mullen has proven he can create good solid offenses and understands the defensive side of the game too! A good friend of mine who is a football coach said the best defensive minds are offensive coordinators, because they have to break down every defense they face and they learn a lo about defensive schemes. I was happy to hear he is going to up grade the off-season strength and conditioning program. It was evident most of the season that as the game went on, we got weaker. The most important thing Mullen has to do is get a true evaluation of the current players on the roster and then see what offensive and defensive systems he can put in place to be competitive as quickly as possible. No matter the road he takes, this has to be a re-build on the fly. He’ll have to recruit and find the bodies he will need to fill out the weak areas of this roster using the current systems that are in place. If he is going to go to his spread offense, he will definitely need at least one year to recruit those players and teach the current players how to run that offense. I wish him luck and we all want to see him succeed out the gate!

  23. I really didn’t want Mullen to start, but after he got off the Plane doing the Chomp, and his Press Conf. was Great Not Promising Crazy stuff Like Mac saying you are gonna love my Offense which didn’t happen and Mac saying we were gonna clean up all the Penalties which didn’t happen and You know the rest. I’ve been a Hard Core GATOR FAN since the late 60’s and I will Pull hard For Mullen to Turn this Program around, Which I Believe he will. GO GATORS.

  24. we can all argue about the choice, its been made. I doubted mullen would come back, but I was wrong. but I do not doubt he is a great coach. now, heres some reality, not about mullen but about where the team stands.
    1. QB. I for one think we have a real qb, kadarius toney. but mac didn’t, neither did randy Shannon or many others. if I’m wrong, it will take at least a year longer for us to get to being a winning team. I didn’t say 10 wins, or sec east competitive, I said over .500. sorry to lower expectations.
    2. linebacker. we were once linebacker u, but we really seem to struggle here. not sure why. could be fixable, but it may be a while. I guess the game has evolved to where they have to be really fast and able to hit really hard. to me it will take a couple of years
    3. O line, well, it was supposed to be better but it couldn’t handle the blitz, so that is one area that a coaching upgrade may do the trick. I sure hope so.
    4. credit card group – I heard mullen indicate they will get a chance at redemption, but I’m not counting on any of these guys doing much. i might be harsh, maybe one guy or something, but that’s a 2-3 year recruiting hole.
    5. tight end – meyer brought in a guy to coach i forget his name but he had some success but now this is going just like lb. even if we upgrade this will take time to be championship level.

    my thoughts are this is a 3 year wait before we compete for the SEC east championship. after that i like where we are headed. plus by then i think saban will be sliding backwards. i promise to be patient but losing games to Muschamp or orgeron really cause me to lose faith. i hate losing to Georgia, and i still am uncomfortable with teams that don’t belong in the SEC like Missouri, TAMU, ARKy and USCeast being on the schedule, its like playing Georgia southern, all downside.id prefer to play real rivals like Miami, Georgia tech, and at least one of UCF, USF, FAL, FIU instead. my prediction
    y1 6-6 y2 7-5 y3 8-4 y4 11-2, and then a string of 10 game win seasons. 2-3 sec championships and thus final 4 trips and at least one natl champion. frost will do similarly at wherever he goes, none of the rest of this years new coaches will do as well. 15 years from now we will be looking for a replacement, my dream would be to promote tebow from within, but that’s like anything else 15 years out. the nfl will offer mullen money but i don’t think they appeal to him.
    we should be happy…a lot of money is going to be spent on other coaches elsewhere that do less. I’m happy, optimistic long term, realistic about whats ahead.

    • I’m thinking more like 8-4, 9-3, 10-2, but even if I’m wrong, mveal, and you’re right…..I’m OK because I know we’ll get there sooner than we would have otherwise.

    • I don’t think it will take that long to return to our winning ways, next year 8 -4 and better beyond that
      There is no way Frost will be that successful at Nebraska that program is not what it used to be and will never draw better than OSU, Michigan PSU and even Wiskey.
      Has Tebow ever expressed a desire to coach? Not to my knowledge but maybe you know better

  25. Great hire.
    UF gets known real good SEC HC.
    There are no guarantees that any HC will produce NC.
    Not even Saban. I am betting against Kelly or Frost coaching a NC team in the next 5 years.
    DM looks to be HC that will produce 9+ wins a year.
    Good job AD

  26. When I think of Chip Kelly, why do I keep getting this vision of Charlie Weis in my head? I am glad we are not relying on him for a long term solution. Go make the Gators great again!

  27. Oh, and for all of the negative nancies out there, I suggest you check out Jacob Copeland’s twitter feed. He retweeted a post from another site showing Coach Mullen getting off the plane.

    This is in addition to a positive post when the news broke last week. Here’s to hoping Coach Mullen (and Matt Corral) can reel him back in.

  28. I posted this when it broke we were think about hiring Mullen and I was crucified for not drinking the Kool-Aid.

    I love how the people on this board call you a troll if you give them fact’s that substantiate your belief that this hire was a total cluster and only made out of desperation. Gilmore and the rest of you dolts probably have never attended a game unless you were able to get someone to cover your shift at the burger joint you work at. As a 1990 graduate who also has a daughter who graduated from UF in 2015 and a son that is a junior @ UF who also owns 4 season tickets and has since 1992, I have just as much right (if not more based on the amount of money I have give this university) to make my opinion known. With a degree in engineer, I deal with facts, not hope. I can’t design a building hoping it will withstand hurricane force winds when all the #’s say it won’t. So, when all the numbers say we made a REALLY, REALLY bad decision on our head coach, that is what I am going to believe and what formulates my opinion. Obviously, many of you don’t have to deal with factual data in the decision making processes of your life. You make decision on “culture”, “fit”, “potential”, and other esoteric concepts fed to you by the company people (Tebow, SOS, Danny, etc). What do you expect them to say? They must toe the company line. The reality is we hired a coach with a 14% winning percentage against ranked opponents and a 45% winning percentage against SEC opponents. He has never had a recruiting class in the Top 30 and has singed exactly 2 5* recruits since 2012 (1 – 2013, 1 – 2016). He has had one 9 win season, his best season as a head coach. He has lost 21 times to unranked opponents @ home including South Alabama to open the season last year and Kentucky…the same Kentucky team we have beat like 30 times in a row (something like that). Those are the facts. If you were building a program to win NC’s, you would look at those stats and say, this isn’t going to get it done. And if that makes me a troll….so be it. At least I am not delusional.

    As will conclude this with the following invite to Albert that I extended to Rick Gillmore as well. Please feel free to meet me at the mezzanine area at the top of the stairs to Section 221 @ the Orange and Blue game. I will be wearing a long sleeve white shirt and a blue Gator cap. This will be your opportunity to be as brave in your name calling in person as you are on social media. I also will invite everyone else to come and watch Albert and Rick (one at a time please) maintain their bravado in person that they have here.

    • Oh hell, I’ll be there too Mike. I’ll be the one wearing the Groucho Marx glasses and nose. Rick and Albert will probably be the two guys in gorilla suits, but I ain’t sure yet.

      • you know we are good Gator. I am just sick of the attacks on me when I try to engage in an argument that is metrics based. Hope you have a great holiday season Gator and l am always up to meeting fellow Gators so please stop by and let’s shake hands and root on our team together.

        • I just might fly out next year for the O&B. Would love to chew the fat over numbers and their meanings, plus get a chance to go see my FSU cousin and lord it over him! Especially if Jimbo actually does bolt, which I doubt he will, but c what’s left for those guys to pick from by then may be a very sad situation out there.

    • Mikey
      1- degree in engineer??????????????????
      2- calling out internet posters to a physical confrontation?
      3- numbers and statistics can be manipulated to prove the point you are trying to make
      4- this is not science or “engineer” that deals with absolutes, you have to take those numbers in perspective. Did they come from a MAC program or from the SEC west? The same numbers tell a different story depending where they come from.

      • Previously you called Mullen a “mercenary” who “went to the highest bidder” and when you say stupid things like this is when people can mistake you for a troll and if not a troll then someone who says stupid things. Going from MSU to Florida alone is normal and anyone would do it. Getting a pay raise to boot is just icing on top. Again anyone would do it. A mercenary would have been Mike Gundy if he had left OSU to go to UT there he would have gone from a good, winning program to a dumpster fire and he would have done that solely for the $. Don’t say stupid things if you don’t want to be called a troll or worse.

        • You do realize that Tommy Tuberville was the first to label college football coaches as mercenaries? It was further used by Bobby Petrino at a news conference when he took over Louisville. If you wish to deflect (common approach of the undereducated and overwhelmed) the statistics provided on our new coach because I used a “possessive” punctuation on the word facts and my phone autocorrected engineering to engineer then so be it. Just because the truth in analytical form conflicts with your innate desire to be right does not make my position of standing in support of the statistics and record of our new HC “stupid” or make me a “troll”. Sometimes you have to meet someone face to face to see just how much they believe in the insults they launch at you and the level of courage they can muster to support those insult when confronted in person.

    • “Cover your shift at the burger joint you work at.”

      Project much?

      I’m a season ticket holder from 81-95 when I moved out of state. As for working at a burger joint, no I went to UF not the clown college, where I believe fast food is a major course of study, probably more popular than the clown curriculum.

      No thank you Mikey, I think I will pass on the fries.

      Threats of physical violence…the last resort of those with caverns between their ears.

      Have a nice day…

  29. I woke up this morning to a beautiful sun rise and realized I’m not a UT person in football hell with no way out or a Semi-hole waiting for the final word on A&M Jimbo. Praise the Lord for being a Gator with hope. I’ve been down on the UF process and now retreat to hope for the program. I believe Dan will be successful. Can he get us beyond the thresh whole of MSU W/Ls?

    I have a feeling Jimbo maybe thinking this is the time for BIG $$$ (+$7mil/yr, go for it). If he waits another year, you never know what might happen. The A&M Bird in Hand looks pretty good.

    • Tell you what DeWayne, if he goes to College Station to be close to the best medical care for his son, more power to him, good man. If he goes because he thinks it’ll be a great job, then I don’t know what to say about it other than he’s probably going to wind up disappointed. Living here in Texas only an hour and a half way from TAMU, being an SEC guy to the core and as such a fan of the Aggies except for when they’re playing Florida, I still say that.

  30. I think most of us agree this guy needs three years to bring us “back”. But if he doesn’t there’s not much likelihood a fourth, fifth, or sixth season will get us there. Isn’t his contract for six years?

    • You know, I’ve been trying to think that through too, Black Dahlia. Now here’s the rub: I think if he holds this current class together and maybe even adds a little to it, we’ll be knocking on the door inside of 3 years and be very consistent thereafter. But if the on-hand talent is as bad as a lot of people think, and the recycle back is longer than that…..well, I hate to think of him being nipped in the bud before he gets the full, allotted contract time in. At least A&M gave Kevin Sumlin that, and despite everything negative said about him he’s a pretty damn good coach but one who just couldn’t get it done in the time frame he had. Dunno, maybe I’m off base c all that, but A&M has nearly about as dysfunctional an athletic department as the Vols do, and I’d sure hate for us to fall into that mold as well.

  31. I was a bit disappointed at first as I wanted Frost. But now thinking it through, Mullen has the history here, knows this place, knows what he is getting into (again) and has 9 years of HBC experience at MSU. All good things, but the kicker was his thoughts and actions on Day 1 with the dedicated speech, Gator Chomp at the airport, wearing the 2009 Natty Championship ring (probably first time in forever). The guy WANTS TO BE HERE and showed it on Monday. I’m not disappointed anymore. This man is 10X the coach that Mac-in-the-Crack is. He knows football. He’s our Head Gator, he’s our Man, he GETS IT, we will have more trophies in the case because of him. GO GATORS!!!

  32. Pat, I know it’s a moot point, and maybe I’m just being anal, but the two highest scoring offenses in Gator history were not Mullen’s. They may have scored the most total points, but they were not the highest scoring in terms of points/game. From ’06 forward teams have played an extra game, so Mullen’s ’07 and ’08 Gator teams had added opportunity to score more total points. Mullen’s highest scoring team, the ’08 team at 43.6 points/game, is actually fourth all time behind Spurrier’s ’96 (46.6), ’95 (44.5), and ’01 (43.8) teams. Mullen’s Gator teams are still in great company and were far better than we’ve had since he left, but give the HBC his due.

      • Yes, I’ve “plaid” a little, albeit high school, and watched a lot. I concede that Mullen’s UF offenses were way better than we’ve had the last 8 years, I’m just partial to SOS. However, I don’t think it’s “faithless” to be concerned that MSU’s passing offense is currently averaging fewer yards/game than UF with Franks at QB. That’s not encouraging to me.

  33. There should be some discussion of how we got here, and how drastic of a measure it was to short-circuit the season by firing the coach. I don’t see why it couldn’t have waited until the end of the season, to give the players the best chance to succeed. That’s done.

    Dan Mullen should have been offered the job three years ago. He was then, and is even more so now, the ideal head coaching candidate. No one will out work Dan Mullen. He’s a direct connection to a period of Gator greatness.

    His history with developing Gator QBs and an offense for them is enough to get him the Florida job. Chris Leak, Tim Tebow and Cam Newton are all on his resume. We’ve drifted in and out of different offensive schemes since he left Florida. He’s got a handful to sort out in the off-season.

    You know and I know, and especially Dan Mullen knows, fans are not patient. They weren’t patient for any Gator head coach, not even Steve Spurrier or Urban Meyer who delivered national championships. They won’t be patient for him.

  34. I am excited by the change that will occur for the Gator Nation as we watch Coach Mullen rebuild our team from the ground up. Coach Mullen is a high caliber very focused HC who knows what changes are needed to return the Gators to the Top 10. He brings with him some fine coordinators, one of whom was our receivers coach during the Urban Meyer Era. His DC rescued the MSU Bulldog defense, reversing course in a single year from not being ranked in the top 100 to being ranked # 10. I have full faith and confidence in Coach Mullen. I agree with Dooley – we must give him time – you cannot fix a dysfunctional team overnight. There is plenty of talent already on the team, and DM and his staff will add more for next year. I predict 2-3 years and UF will be playing for the SEC title (remember that UGA has a jump on us right now). I predict that in 4-5 years UF will be in the national playoffs. DM could prove me wrong by doing it sooner! College football has become highly competitive and there are a lot of really good coaches and teams. GO GATORS!!!

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