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Mullen or Muschamp: Who’s Seat is Hotter?

Photo Credit: USA Today Sports

Over the last two years, the SEC has replaced over 40% of their head coaches. In the "win now" era of college football, the SEC is no doubt a leader in that sentiment. At the beginning of the season, the popular opinion was that Missouri's Gary Pinkel was the most likely coach to be replaced at the end of the 2013 season. Right now, Missouri is the leader in the SEC East and he's solidified his spot. That leaves two coaches in Florida's Will Muschamp and Mississippi State's Dan Mullen that are now on the hot seat in the SEC.

Let's take a look at some of the numbers behind the coaches….

  Dan Mullen Will Muschamp
Overall Record 33-26 (55.9%) 22-12 (64.7%)
SEC Record 14-22 (38.8%) 13-9 (59.1%)
Record against Top 25 2-18 (10%) 4-9 (30.7%)
Best Season 9-4 in 2010 11-2 in 2012
Current Record 4-4 (1-3 in SEC) 4-4 (3-3 in SEC)

If you look at the raw data, you have to come to the conclusion that Dan Mullen's seat is much hotter than Muschamp's. Mullen has been in place for longer so he should have a better hold on the program as he's playing with only players that he has recruited. He also has a worse record no matter how you stack it up and his record against Top 25 teams is brutal. But, sometimes it's not that easy.

At Mississippi State, there isn't exactly a history of highly successful football. Mullen's 55% winning percentage is the highest of any Bulldogs coach dating all the way back to Darrell Royal (who went 12-8 over a two year stretch from 1954 to 1955). Prior to Mullen taking over, Sylvester Croom had the reigns and he posted just one winning season in five tries. Mullen has had three winning seasons out of four (his only losing season so far was his first year in Starkville). While Mullen is kind of stuck in a rut, he's still better than anything Mississippi State has had in recent memory. 

When you look at Muschamp you also have to look at the history of the Florida program. Recently, the program has been elite. Florida has won three National Championships, eight Conference Championships and twelve Divisional Championships since 1990. With winning comes higher expectations and right now Muschamp's team is not living up to those expectations. Muschamp has also struggled against rival Georgia. Prior to Muschamp's arrival, Florida had won 18 of 21. In the Muschamp era, Florida is now 0-3 against the Dawgs.

It is important to think about other factors when it comes to making a change and injuries have gutted this year's Florida team. In 2012, Florida went 11-2 but the injury bug has hit hard this season. How big of an impact did it have is something Athletic Director Jeremy Foley will have to consider. Another question is if making a change at offensive coordinator would make a difference for the Gators heading into 2014. But would Muschamp make the right decision as his last two hires (Charlie Weis and Brent Pease) leave a lot to be desired.

Verdict:

Dan Mullen- I put Mullen's chance of survival at 60% right now. The Bulldogs are currently 4-4 but have games remaining at Texas A&M and Arkansas and at home against Alabama and Ole Miss. Mullen's job could come down to the Ole Miss game. The Bulldogs will likely enter that game at 5-6 and after losing by 17 to Hugh Freeze last year on the road, Mullen needs a win at home. If Mullen is retained by Mississippi State I wouldn't be surprised to see him take a longer look around in the off-season to see if there might be another landing spot for him.

Will Muschamp- Florida is currently 4-4 and has remaining games with South Carolina and Florida State. No matter how you stack it up, 6-6 just doesn't cut it at Florida. Because of all of the injuries I wouldn't be surprised if Muschamp is retained but the way Florida has played has turned some of the fanbase against Muschamp and the cry to get rid of him might be too loud for Foley to ignore. I put Muschamp's chance of survival at around 33% right now.

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Kevin Causey

About Kevin Causey

dry humorist, beer snob, occasionally unbiased SEC fan, UGA alumni, contributor for The Student Section and founder of College Football Zealots

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