Alabama Football: Dan Mullen prepping for being 0-10 against Nick Saban

Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports /

Alabama Football: While Dan Mullen prepares the Gators to battle the Tide, he must also prepare a post-game explanation for his 0-for-Saban streak.

Dan Mullen has confidence in his ability to explain. That skill will be needed after Alabama football puts the Gators away. Mullen’s problem is his explanations are not always credible.

Before some Mullen examples, a disclaimer. Based on public knowledge, Dan Mullen is one of the good guys in the SEC. He is smart. He develops quarterbacks well and he is a bright offensive mind. In some bright people, distraction becomes a problem. Mike Leach is another smart guy. Leach appears to drift into obtuse ramblings, as a remedy for boredom. Mullen appears to believe himself to be a spinmaster.

Consider Mullen’s explanation for a game lost due to a thrown shoe.

"I went back to watch the play and he made the tackle. Part of the football move, the kid’s shoe was in his hand and he kinda jumped and celebrated with his teammates so it’s pretty unfortunate in that situation. I don’t think there was any intent to taunt."

Maybe, as part of a ‘football move,’ an opponent’s shoe ends up in a player’s hand. What comes next has nothing to do with a football move. Take a look at the video below.

Gottlieb’s comment is nonsensical. Shoes are thrown off the court in basketball because, in the run of play, someone could trip over an empty shoe. It is a precaution against injury. What happened in Gainesville occurred after the play was over. In an emotional moment, Marco Wilson celebrated by flinging the shoe down the field. What Wilson did qualified for a penalty for excessive celebration. Excessive celebration, as defined by the NCAA includes

"Any delayed, excessive, prolonged or choreographed act by which a player (or players) attempts to focus attention upon himself (or themselves)."

What Marco Wilson did was stupid. Dan Mullen knows it, and no amount of spin will hide the fact. Standing up for a player is commendable. Mullen should have found a better way.

Alabama football fans can imagine had the show-thrower been a Tide player, Nick Saban would have simply admitted it was a lack of discipline. There would have been hell-to-pay later.

Dan Mullen deserves a pass for the comment. Other things he and his players have said since, can only be called foolish. ‘How to be a Head Coach 101’ includes the warning to never give an opponent inflammatory material. Dan Mullen missed that lesson. Don’t disparage opponents. Do just the opposite and give glowing, expansive reviews. Mullen blew that rule this week by characterizing Mac Jones as a ‘Manager.’ Jones’ classy response was calling the label accurate. Despite what Mac said, any Alabama football knows Jones, his offensive teammates and coaches detested Mullen’s remark.

If a coach does not know what ‘not’ to say, how can his players be expected to know? The Gators have been loudly proclaiming ‘shoe-thrower’ Wilson will shutdown DeVonta Smith. Shake your head, but they are not kidding and think such a claim fuels their cause.

Florida’s star receiver, Kyle Pitts was asked on Monday about his recruitment and choosing the Gators over the Tide.

"I feel like I’m not a country boy. I mean, I got an offer from Alabama, but that was something I didn’t really consider."

Whether Tuscaloosa or Gainesville is the more cosmopolitan college town is not material. Even if T-Town was the worst rat-hole in the SEC (and it isn’t) what Pitts said was stupid. Don’t blame Pitts, without blaming Mullen.

Dan Mullen has a tough task in Atlanta. It is not beating Alabama. The Gators will fail to do so. Afterward, Mullen will have to use his ‘explaining’ talent to deflect why he is 0-for-Saban, as in 0-10 against the GOAT. Three years ago, we posed this question, If Dan Mullen is so good, how come he can’t beat Alabama football and Nick Saban?

We are still asking.

What to expect in the Early Signing Period. dark. Next

Dan Mullen has a good offensive system. The Gators have talented players. Still, it will be a shock if the final score is inside a two-touchdown margin.