Life is good for Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen.

The Bulldogs are in the midst of their greatest stretch since the early 1940s. Mississippi State is 20-5 in its last 25 games, which is a record only Alabama can match.

But for a less historic college football program, success can also be a curse. It leaves open the possibility of the accomplished coach departing for a more celebrated program. USA Today listed Dan Mullen as a candidate at Southern Cal and mentioned him as a possible candidate at Georgia if Mark Richt is fired.

While Southern Cal and Georgia have premier programs capable of consistently contending for national championships, Mullen might think twice about leaving Mississippi State.

Dan Wolken of USA Today first suggested back in October that Mullen would be considered for high-profiled openings. Wolken listed Mullen as one of the top 10 candidates to replace Steve Sarkisian at USC for multiple reasons.

At Georgia, athletic director Greg McGarity has a high opinion of Mullen from of their time together at Florida from 2005-2008 according to Wolken.

South Carolina is another program that might pursue Mullen in the offseason, though it’s not as alluring as Southern Cal or Georgia.

Mississippi State fans love Mullen, who He well on his way to becoming the most successful coach in school history. Mullen is 53-33 with the Bulldogs with an outside chance at winning an SEC title in 2015.

At Southern Cal or Georgia, fans will never love Mullen like they do at Mississippi State — unless he wins a National Championship. Expectations aren’t so high in Starkville.

The chance to run a program with the prestige of Southern Cal or Georgia would be hard to pass up, and no one could blame Mullen if he left for such an opportunity. But the decision wouldn’t be easy.