USA Today’s Dan Wolken considers Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen to be the SEC’s second-best coach.
In a piece published Sunday, Wolken breaks down his reasoning for giving Mullen that title, and he makes a compelling argument. Mullen schooled LSU coach Ed Orgeron during the Bulldogs’ 37-7 rout of the Tigers on Saturday night in Starkville. The result made Mississippi State improve to 3-0 with an interesting game at Georgia looming next Saturday.
Check out part of Wolken’s explanation below.
You’ll rarely see a sideline mismatch as dramatic as what took place in Starkville, where Mississippi State de-pantsed No. 11 LSU, 37-7. As longtime NFL scout Chris Landry observed on Twitter, Mississippi State was one step ahead all night long on both sides of the ball while LSU looked like an undisciplined, poorly-coached team with nine penalties for 112 yards (including two defensive players ejected for targeting). In an SEC West where Auburn doesn’t look great, Texas A&M is a mess and Arkansas is yet to find its stride, maybe the Bulldogs are Alabama’s biggest challenger.
Of course, Alabama’s Nick Saban will be considered the SEC’s best coach until he retires. But Mullen has impressed with what the Bulldogs have accomplished in victories against Charleston Southern, Louisiana Tech and LSU this season. There’s nothing to suggest Mississippi State will slide into a major funk soon.
It remains to be seen if Mississippi State is as good as it showed against LSU or if the Tigers are way worse than most thought going into that beat-down in Starkville. But for now, Mullen looks like one of the SEC’s best coaches, certainly.