Wednesday July 18th, 2012

Dan Mullen doesn't think Mississippi State is far away from contending for a national title. (AP)

HOOVER, Ala. -- It may surprise you to learn Dan Mullen did not take the stage at SEC Media Days pulling a derogatory billboard behind him in a little red wagon! Highlights from Mississippi State's Q&A:

• How important is that first game against Auburn? "That first conference game is critical. It sets the tone for the season, no matter who you're playing."

• Any more trollsome billboard plans for fall? Not trying to disguise his glee: "I'm sure there are!" Mullen said he receives miniature versions of the billboards the marketing department comes up with. We imagine him moving them around like battleships on his desks.

• Mullen: "We're not that far from a national title." Indeed, we can drive from Starkville to Tuscaloosa in less than an hour and a half. (There may have been some tangents in there.)

• Finally, somebody asking Dan Mullen the hard questions: "What level of success do you expect Urban Meyer to have at Ohio State?" • "Starkville, Mississippi is the best college town in the country." Hell, just slap that on the next Oxford-baiting billboard, coach. Who needs a marketing department?

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