Paul Finebaum assesses Dan Mullen's future in wake of 'spiraling' stretch of disappointments
Paul Finebaum watched Dan Mullen’s latest disappointment, Florida’s struggle to beat Samford on Saturday, and the ESPN commentator is now convinced that a firing is a possibility depending on how the final 2 games go.
The Gators travel to Missouri this week, and play Florida State to wrap up the season. But Finebaum suggests that Mullen must keep his name and program out of the national news to have a shot at coaching at Florida in the 2022 season. Finebaum shared these thoughts during his regular weekly appearance on “McElroy and Cubelic In the morning” on WJOX out of Birmingham, Alabama.
“If he finishes the season without any more headlines, what we said a week ago is in play,” Finebaum said. “But should he drop one of these games, I think he’s going to get fired. I just do. Because I don’t think you can argue that he has control of the program. And if you make changes and things get worse, and then you go out and lose another game or 2, which puts you at, I’ve lost track of the record now, you have a .500 record, I don’t really know how you can convince anyone that your program is heading in the right direction. I think it’s that serious, I do.”
However, Finebuam cautioned that a coach’s future should not be judged on 1 or 2 games.
“But in this case, because this thing is spiraling, if it’s spiraling now, and Scott Stricklin and Mullen meet at the end of the season, what is he going to say that would convince you or Scott Stricklin or anyone else that he really has control,” Finebaum said. “Sometimes things just fall apart, and the best thing to do is let it go. It’s not like Dan Mullen couldn’t find a job because he can, and you’re sitting in Dan Mullen’s shoes right now, is that not the better choice. Because he still has capital from a professional standpoint.”