Dan Mullen and Gus Malzahn: Soon To Be Coaching Elsewhere

Tyler McAdamsContributor IIDecember 1, 2010

South Florida's defeat of Miami last Saturday was the final straw for Randy Shannon.

The Hurricanes had never lost to South Florida before. Perhaps this was Miami hitting rock bottom?

It didn't take long for Shannon to be fired after the embarrassing loss. Now, let the coaching carousel begin.

There has been speculation for several days now that the Canes are close to naming Jon Gruden as their head coach. Gruden would be quite the splash hire, but I'm not believing it until I hear something official.

While I think that Gruden would be a great teacher and hard worker, I wonder how he would respond to recruiting. It would be something entirely different for him. He's never been a head coach at the college level before. Would he be able to deal with 18-year old kids?

We've seen guys go from college to the NFL, wash out and return to the college game. Whose to say that the same wouldn't happen to Gruden? Why would Gruden take less money to come and coach at a university when he can return as a coach in the NFL for more money?

My first thought on who Miami should go after was current Mississippi State Head Coach, Dan Mullen.

I think Mullen would be an excellent hire, perhaps even better than Gruden. That sounds crazy, but Mullen is young and out to prove something. Gruden is already a proven winner as a head coach. I question Gruden's desire to coach at the college level, especially when he has Super Bowl rings. I do not question Mullen's.

In his second season as coach for Mississippi State, he has turned a program that was in shambles before his arrival into an 8-4 team. The Bulldogs are also a Top 25 team and going to a bowl game for just the third time this decade.

For those who say that Mullen would never leave Mississippi State—open your eyes. Why on Earth would he want to stay in Starkville when he could take a job at a school with potential? Mississippi State does not offer potential. It's a dead end job. Mullen never had intentions of staying there long and it has always been a stepping stone for him.

The move is a no-brainer for Mullen if he's offered the job. He's the first Mississippi State head coach to post a record above .500 since Murray Warmath (1954-55, 12-8). That should tell you enough about this job.

Yet, he'll forever be held in disdain by Mississippi State fans when he leaves, but they will likely get over it quickly.

Mullen is the guy. Gruden is the big name. Miami needs to make the correct choice.

Who Will Fill the Void at Mississippi State?

Gus Malzahn.

He won't be going to Vanderbilt or Colorado. No, he'll take the best worst coaching job in the SEC.

I don't know if there's a current assistant coach/coordinator that's more highly regarded right now than Malzahn.

Hopefully, Auburn fans have realized that Malzahn will inevitably leave. It's certainly not going to be Gene and Gus exchanging high fives in Auburn for 10 years. Malzahn is the new Dan Mullen. It was Mullen who was in this position two years ago with Urban Meyer and the Florida Gators.

Consider this: Gus Malzahn's stock will never be higher than after this season. He's a near lock to be a head coach next season. It's also highly probable that Cam Newton will leave after this season, especially if the Tigers win a National Championship. It's the ideal time to move on.

National Championship or not—Gus Malzahn will be gone from Auburn at the end of this season. Mississippi State is a nice starting place, as Mullen has already shown. He's proven that you can, in fact, win in Starkville.

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment box below. You can e-mail me suggestions or questions at jtmcadams@aol.com. Follow me on Twitter @JoeSportswriter.