Scott Stricklin had a hand in hiring Dan Mullen at Mississippi State. He then hired him again at Florida. The two men have a history built up together over the years. According to a report from Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel on Wednesday, there’s “sweat equity” there.

But the Gators are in a tailspin. Losers of 4 of their last 5 games and 8 of their last 10 against Power 5 competition, things supposedly came to a head last Saturday when South Carolina shocked Florida 40-17 in Columbia.

Thamel, in a larger piece on the state of college football’s coaching carousel, wrote that performance opened the door for a real conversation on Mullen’s job status.

“There has already been significant staff changes at Florida with the ouster of DC Todd Grantham and OL coach John Hevesy. The future of Dan Mullen could well be tied to how the program responds to those over the next 3 games–Samford, at Missouri, and Florida State,” Thamel wrote. “AD Scott Stricklin hired Mullen at Florida and was part of the staff that hired him at Mississippi State, so there’s a lot of sweat equity built up there between the two of them. The tenor of the loss to South Carolina opened up the conversation for firing Mullen. Mullen’s struggles have been uncharacteristic the past year – penalties, punitive turnovers, and Florida beating itself at times. Mullen knows these things need to change, as Florida started Mullen’s tenure 29-6 and has been 4-8 since. Reviving the team from the first 2-and-a-half years is paramount and showing a plan to get it there will likely give him the opportunity to return.”

On Monday, Mullen said the decision to fire Grantham and Hevesy was his and not mandated to him. He said Stricklin is confident in Mullen’s ability to right the ship.