Dan Mullen a candidate at Penn State? (rumors so far)

Submitted by M-Wolverine on November 29th, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Black Shoe Diaries, MyFox in Philly, Athlon's and others are all speculating, or saying that Dan Mullen might be a candidate at Penn State.  Not to start daily Meyer to OSU watch (I mean, it's only Penn State), but I thought it was interesting to think how he'd do there. He's from Philly, so he has ties to the State.  It could be a thorn in Meyer's side over in the Leaders division, for obvious reasons. And we had our own not so great exposure to him 11 months ago, and he was considered as a top candidate for the Michigan job by this site.  So, I can see how it would make sense.

Would this be good for Penn State? Good for us in it would give Meyer more competition in his division, and recruiting?  Or bad...would it make the Big Ten tougher?  Just curious what people think of the now still in the rumor stage possibilities.



November 29th, 2011 at 1:54 PM ^

If the rumors are true, he'd be stupid not to take this job.  I couldn't imagine having to compete in the SEC at a school like Missippi State.  Mullen would be a solid hire.


November 29th, 2011 at 1:57 PM ^

Miss. State is probably one of the worst jobs in college football, especially if you consider the competition and the expectations (last coach got fired in pretty ridiculous fashion).  If he's still a hot commodity he won't be after a few more years stuck there.  Now would definitely be the time to take a job like PSU.

Also would continue a nice trend of the Big Ten actually poaching quality head coaches (and two in a row from the ESS EEE SEE!).


November 29th, 2011 at 2:02 PM ^

The upside at Penn St., even though they will be handicapped for much of the near future, is higher than staying at a lower school in the SEC. I think he should take the job if offered. Not to mention I like the big ten better with a good Penn St. team. They could represent good opposition to ohio in that division.


November 29th, 2011 at 1:53 PM ^

It would definitely be interesting. This year was supposedly supposed to be a breakout year for MSU, and once you look beyond the 6-6 record they didn't do too bad. DIdn't get blown out too badly against Alabama/LSU, and aside from Auburn they only lost to the top teams in the division. I think he would be an interesting hire, and it could be easier for him too since not playing LSU and Alabama guaranteed every year helps everyone


November 29th, 2011 at 1:53 PM ^

I would be surprised if PSU were to get anyone considered to be a rising star, since they are likely to be in pick-up-the-pieces mode for a long time. The future at Miss St doesn't look quite as good as it did a year ago, so it's possible that Mullen is worried that people will lose patience with him in a few years. Going to PSU would give him a chance to start over at a school with more resources, but it's probably at least as risky as staying at Miss St at this point. 


November 29th, 2011 at 2:15 PM ^

PSU won't be in pick-up the pieces for long if they completely clean house and get someone from the outside. Like Mullen. Plus it would be kind if entertaining to see Meyer and Mullen go after all the same players on O. But it would also make our schedule much rougher when we get those years with PSU, wisc, and OSU all on the schedule.

MI Expat NY

November 29th, 2011 at 1:55 PM ^

I think it would benefit us to have three of the four Big Ten traditional powers in a spread system.  It would provide, in addition to awesome helmets, a clear distinction between us and OSU/PSU/Neb.


November 29th, 2011 at 1:56 PM ^

But I just don't know how many coaches are actually foaming at the mouth to go coach at PSU right now considering all of the issues there. It will be interesting though to see what direction the program goes in and if anyone from the current staff sticks around or gets a shot to be the head coach (Bradley). I live in the burbs of Philly and it is defintely somethng that is talked about a lot. I personally think they need to completely clean house and start from there.


November 29th, 2011 at 2:27 PM ^

I disagree. This year was, of course, a disaster. But PSU still has a major institutional advantage in terms of fan-base, resources, tradition, etc. And, as things now stand, the program isn't facing any NCAA sanctions. Recruiting will fall off for a year or two -- pity the poor PSU recruiter who hits the trail this season -- but will almost certainly rebound once PSU cleans house and brings in the new guys. (See also: Ohio.) Recruits have short memories, and nothing sells a program like a shiny new coach.

PSU v Miss State? Not even a close call. Ride into town, wave the white hat, play the hero come to restore PSU to glory.


November 29th, 2011 at 1:59 PM ^

If it would make the conference tougher that's not a bad thing.  To be the best, beat the best and all that.  But I'm not so sure it makes the conference that much tougher.  6-6, even in the ess eee see, is 6-6.


November 29th, 2011 at 2:07 PM ^

I disagree, but only because Miss. St. is in the SEC West. I certainly wouldn't be impressed with a 6-6 record in the East, because I don't think Georgia or South Carolina are that good. However, when you consider that Miss. St. had to play LSU, Alabama, Arkansas, and Auburn automatically, 8-4 was probably their ceiling. 6-6 isn't terrible, especially when you consider that they lost their starting QB and defensive coordinator from last season. 


November 29th, 2011 at 2:27 PM ^

I was at the Penn State game last year, and had a lot of conversations with Penn State fans on when they thought JoePa was going to retire and who should replace him.  Dan Mullen was the overwhelming favorite, and I heard that from even the casual fans.  He's a local boy and they're well acquainted with who he is.

no joke its hoke

November 29th, 2011 at 1:59 PM ^

One thing PSU has been lacking for years now is a offense.



                                                 R.I.P. Patrice O'Neal


November 29th, 2011 at 3:32 PM ^

My lord do the ever need a new offense. So the question is: Is Mullen up to the task? Based on his Florida years, yes; based on his MSU years, it's a tough call. God knows MSU ran all over Michigan last year. But then so did every other team. MSU's offense reminds me a little of Florida's offense in recent years: a spread that's grown kind of dated and one-dimensional. 

PSU always thinks defense first. So I wouldn't be surprised if it chooses some pitbull defensive-minded coach over a guy like Mullen. And probably they'll want someone who knows the area. So, given these requirements, who would be the best candidates? Is Schiano still in the mix? 




November 29th, 2011 at 2:01 PM ^

I think its good for PSU because it puts an offensive mind at the helm of a team that has had a terrible offense this season.  Ohio already has plenty of competition in Wisco, this would ad another dimension to the race in the other division.  Also, it makes the conference better.  Just like Urban Meyer, yeah Im not his biggest fan I think he is a compulsive liar and a mercenary, but he makes the Big Ten better and relevant.  That would make 2 SEC coaches coming to our conference.


November 29th, 2011 at 2:16 PM ^

Whether it's Mullen or someone else, I just want PSU to get the best coach possible. A strong PSU is good for Michigan, because a strong PSU eats into Ohio's recruiting base. Michigan and PSU occasionally go head-to-head over top-level recruits -- Zettel, Dunn, etc -- but not nearly as often. Defend your borders, Penn State.


November 29th, 2011 at 2:19 PM ^

Offensive recruiting in OH/PA, OSU and PSU would be going after the same type of players/systems, (QB/Slot/RB) where UM would be going after Pro Style. I know no one's turning away talent but just saying.


November 29th, 2011 at 7:47 PM ^

My thoughts exactly.  

I find it ironic how a few years ago, many analysts liked RR to Michigan because we couldn't out-recruit OSU, USC, and other pro-style offenses.  But if we installed a "gimmick" offense (Georgia Tech was an example), we could get personel that may not be as highly rated, but are perfect for the system.  Looks like the tables have turned.

I have great faith that Hoke will get the right guys and sell the program well...but I certainly won't complain if Urban and Mullen battle each other for recruits, as long as it isn't one sided...and by one sided, I mean I hope its not OSU.


November 29th, 2011 at 2:20 PM ^

Would be a great hire for PSU. Hope he is offered and accepts. B1G needs to get good coaches back up here.

Also, Ron English has been mentioned for the opening at Arizona St. Good for him, would be a great fit there.

oriental andrew

November 29th, 2011 at 2:23 PM ^

Nobody has explicitly mentioned the Urban Meyer link, so here it is - Mullen was an assistant under Meyer at Bowling Green (QB), Utah (QB), and Florida (OC).  It would be very interesting to have Meyer and Mullen facing off annually in the Le...(whatever) division.

This would be a great hire for PSU, imo.


November 29th, 2011 at 2:51 PM ^

they're not going to hire anyone with ties to JoPa or the existing program.  The guy who allegedly has been eyeing the PSU job for ages is Schiano.  Of course, I think he was an Assistant at the same time as Sandusky so that might scratch him from the list of candidates.


November 29th, 2011 at 3:47 PM ^

Charlie Strong seems like a good candidate. Although Louisville's D hasn't exactly been bullet-proof, few would question his chops in terms of defense and recruiting -- two PSU hallmarks; his offense has been, if not explosive, certainly better than PSU's.

But he's got no ties to the area. And, frankly -- sharpen your neg-arrows -- I do wonder whether PSU will hire a black coach. It once had a black basketball coach, I realize. But PSU doesn't care about basketball. I've been there for two M games. While the locals were generally quite friendly, the place has a pretty substantial redneck vibe. It's still a little Deer Hunter-ish. I hope I'm wrong about this. But...


November 29th, 2011 at 4:28 PM ^

PSU's issues are fairly fixable: clean house some more (AD, Prez, and HC are already gone), fire the rest of the staff for good measure(collateral damage), bring in new HC and announce new era on 2 fronts. 

Team will suck for 2-3 years but recruits have short attention spans and they are still PSU with boatloads of tradition.   


November 29th, 2011 at 4:45 PM ^

I wouldn't get too wrapped up in JoePa-successor hot-stove speculation. Given the scope & the severity of the PSU scandal, and how far up the chain-of-command the cover-up apparently went, I would not be completely shocked to see the NCAA shut the program down for two years. I know the NCAA is by and large weak sauce (look no further than Columbus), and I don't think the decision is going to come fast, but given the seriousness of the charges (former FBI director Louis Freeh, who is heading the investigation for PSU, announced he'd be looking into the program for as far back as 1975; see link below), I think it's not outside the realm of possibility that the book gets thrown at the Nittany Lion program and a complete housecleaning comes to pass.

Many of you are too young to remember what happened to SMU (though the ESPN 30 For 30 doc about it is a good catch-up), but the lack of institutional control in Happy Valley has far more serious repercussions than, say, payments to the Pony Express. This is way closer to the kind of situation involving the sexual abuse cases within the Catholic church, and will likely play out in the civil courts for years to come. Depending on what Freeh's investigation turns up, the NCAA may feel the need to get out in front of the imminent legal mushroom cloud in a way that the Vatican never did. 



November 29th, 2011 at 5:26 PM ^

are within the NCAA's purview to my knowledge. I know the NCAA has reached out to Penn State, but as I understand it that was to see whether the corruption at PSU went any further; the failure to report Sandusky is not an NCAA violation.

What have they done that would give the NCAA justification under the bylaws to give them any punishment at all, much less the much-maligned death penalty?