If you’re Nick Saban and you take over at Alabama, then it’s possible to go from seven wins to 12 to a national title in three short years. But if you’re Dan Mullen at Mississippi State, the odds of going from five wins to nine and then on up are a bit longer.
For that reason, this recent comment about his program’s overall rebuilding process may well be true:
“I’ve said all along, this is one of the most important seasons in school history, and we’re battling through that right now. We get ourselves to a bowl game this year, and hopefully a really good bowl game, you know what, we’re going in the right direction we want to go with this program.”
Yes, but fans don’t want to hear that. In a big picture view, if the world looks back in 10 years and sees that Mullen’s record at MSU looked like this — five wins, then nine, then seven, then 10, then eight, then a title — then, sure, this year would be viewed as part of the building process.
But in the here and now, Mullen will have a hard time selling a 1-4 SEC record as progress.