While his counterpart Hugh Freeze might be trouble, things have been going well for Dan Mullen.
Mullen, heading into his ninth season, received a four-year contract extension from Mississippi State in late February. Mullen’s name has been linked to a number of jobs over the years, such as Georgia in 2015 and Oregon in 2016. This extension quells rumors for the time being.
“We just want to continue going in that same direction,” Mullen said about the extension. “We’re always striving to be better, striving to win a championship here at Mississippi State. It’s great for me, and I’m excited to be here for many years to come.”
Mullen appears to have found the heir apparent to quarterback Dak Prescott as Nick Fitzgerald shined last year and expects to take another leap forward in 2017. And Mullen also has his quarterback of the future in 2018 4-star quarterback Jalen Mayden. The Bulldogs have the No. 5 recruiting class in the SEC per 247Sports’ 2018 recruiting rankings and have the No. 1 player in the state of Mississippi in 4-star WR Malik Heath.
And in the Bulldogs’ spring game, Mullen’s new-look defense, led by former Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, had a strong performance, as the unit had 5 interceptions. One analyst called Mullen the second-best coach in the SEC, behind Nick Saban.
Mullen’s chief rival, Freeze, meanwhile is being sued by Houston Nutt after Nutt alleged Freeze spread a false narrative regarding the NCAA’s investigation into Ole Misses.
In the previous SEC Country approval poll, Mullen had an 90.4 percent approval rating, good for third in the SEC. Only Saban and LSU’s Ed Orgeron came in with higher ratings.
Mullen’s contract extension bumped his salary to $4.5 million per year. The Bulldogs open the 2017 campaign against Charleston Southern on Sept. 2.
Vote on Dan Mullen’s approval rating
The SEC Country approval rating poll is designed to give an indication of fan happiness over a period of time.
Our formula is based on the percentage of respondents that select each answer. We multiply that percentage by the following factors: 1 (strongly approve), 0.67 (approve), 0.33 (disapprove) and 0.0 (strongly disapprove). In other words, if 50 percent of respondents select “strongly approve” and 50 percent select “approve,” the formula would be (50 x 1) + (50 x 0.67) = 83.5% approval rating.