There’s a big list of coaches who are or were great but never won a national championship. Florida football coach Dan Mullen won’t be on it for long.
Bias aside, if there is one coach in line to win a national championship in short order, it’s Florida football coach Dan Mullen.
I know, I know. What else am I supposed to say as a Florida fan, right?
But there is some validity to the prospect of Mullen hoisting a trophy in the immediate future — if not next season.
I think we can all agree that Mullen and Co. have done a solid job with bringing recruits in who can put the Gators in a title game.
I want to focus on the immediate.
Stacking Florida football this season
In two short years, Mullen has helped Florida football reach new heights we didn’t think we’d see five years ago.
Two straight big-time bowl berths — and wins — two straight 10-win seasons.
It would all seem like a dream if we remember back to the end of Will Muschamp or Jim McElwain, right?
Next season — when it actually starts — will feature a strong returning cast of players led by Kyle Trask, Kyle Pitts, Kadarius Toney and what we hope will be a more experienced and set offensive line.
The bottom line here is that Mullen has all the pieces in place to make a serious run at not only an SEC title but a national championship.
A favorable schedule
We all know that the path to the SEC title game — and the national championship — will run through Jacksonville and the Georgia Bulldogs.
Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs have been a thorn in the Gators’ side for several seasons now.
But even before that, Florida football has a favorable schedule to be undefeated by the time they have to roll to the East Coast.
Getting Kentucky, South Carolina and LSU at The Swamp certainly helps. Tennessee in Knoxville could be a trap game if the Gators aren’t careful, but I don’t see Tennessee being a consistent force in the SEC East for at least a season or two.
There’s nothing really standing out about Ole Miss next season either.
So, barring a complete disaster, there are really few reasons why Florida football can’t or won’t be unbeaten when they take on the Bulldogs.
A win in Jacksonville would all-but secure the Gators a spot in the SEC title game.
After Georgia, Florida has Vanderbilt away and Missouri on the road to cap the SEC schedule. However, to be considered for the national championship, they would have to get through Florida State in the final game of the regular season to be undefeated. (Sorry, I’m not glazing over New Mexico State, but really?)
Between what’s coming back this season and the schedule, only a serious upheaval would prevent Florida football from being a national title contender.
And I think it all lines up nicely for Mullen to take his name off the list of “great coaches who never won a national championship.”