Mississippi State "On Stage"

HOOVER, Ala. - "I am on stage," Dan Mullen of Mississippi State thumb-typed on his PDA to his Twitter account. Mullen continued his joke at the podium at SEC Media Days by stating that he would only answer questions through "tweets," but there's no joking that the new head coach at Mississippi State is indeed on stage for Bulldog fans.

Mullen, who has won two BCS titles as assistant coach with Florida's Urban Meyer, recognized the task ahead of him. "I want to give the people of the state of Mississippi a program they could be proud of," Mullen said. "I can't wait to get this thing going."

Mullen inherits a Bulldog team that faltered under former coach Sly Croom, going 4-8 (2-6 SEC). Even worse, the offense sputtered, ranking a paltry 113 out of 119 in total offense. Meanwhile, Mullen spent the last four years in Gainesville as offensive coordinator, and with Tim Tebow and Chris Leak the Florida attack has ranked among the tops in the nation.

Coming from two BCS titles at Florida to a 4-8 Mississippi State team, have Mullen's expectations and goals changed? Maybe a little. "Our goal is always going to be - How do we get to Atlanta," Mullen stated. "In this league, if you win the Southeastern Conference Championship, you have the opportunity to play for a national title."

But realistically, the Bulldog program simply isn't at that level right now, and Mullen seemed to acknowledge that. "If you turn on a game film, and all eleven players play with relentless effort ande a passion for football, for sixty minutesw, we'll have a successful team. All eleven guys give everything they have for the guy next to them, every play, for sixty minutes, (and) we'll meet our team goals."

Until the season begins, goals are nothing but numbers and words, though. Mullen reminded us, though that so far, he's at the top of the conference. "I'm the only undefeated coach in the league. I hope I can come back next year here and say the same thing."

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