October 15, 2012

Monday with Mullen

For only the fourth time in 113 years of playing football Mississippi State has started the season at 6-0.

The 15th ranked Bulldogs are tied with top-ranked Alabama for the lead in the SEC West and are only one of just 12 undefeated teams remaining nationally. Overall MSU has won eight straight contests trailing only Alabama and Oregon in that category.

With all this early success two words have started to float around campus for the first time since 1941 - national championship.

A man that knows a thing or two about achieving that feat is at the helm of the Bulldogs program in Dan Mullen. The fourth year head coach has a pair of national championship rings while serving as the offensive coordinator at Florida in 2006 and 2008. He also served in the same capacity at Utah in 2004 when the Utes went 12-0 and won the Fiesta Bowl.

But Mullen is not ready to start talking about BCS titles just yet at the midway point of the season.

"We bring up the words SEC Championship," Mullen said. "If we win the SEC West and are fortunate enough then you have the opportunity to do something like (winning a national championship). In my coaching career I've only been undefeated once and didn't play for the national title. I have two national championship rings but the time I went undefeated we didn't have an opportunity to play for it. That is completely out of our control. You can't worry about something that you have absolutely no control over. It's useless. We do have control in the SEC West and if we do that I'd imagine great things will happen for us and we'll be rewarded accordingly."

State is building confidence each week and are right on track where Mullen wanted the team to be at this point in the season.

"For our guys this is what a lot of them expected to be in this situation coming into the season," Mullen said. "As a program that's what we drill into our guys to expect. It's fantastic. We are bowl eligible for the third year in a row and winning this game this week gives you your third consecutive winning season."

The Bulldogs became bowl eligible on Saturday with their 41-31 win over Tennessee to improve to 3-0 in conference play. The Volunteers had been averaging 507 yards of offense and 39 points per game but were held to 361 yards including 181 yards below their passing average.

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