If Dan Mullen wasn't trying to get fired at Florida you could have fooled a lot of folks.
Gators officials finally tired of what had become a circus atmosphere and decided it was worth $12 million for Mullen to not be coaching in Gainesville.
Exactly what the problem is at Florida is a drama made for cable television documentaries. There shouldn't be any problems as everything is in place to be one of the dominant forces in college football.
Yet, all this goofiness keeps happening.
Back in the 1960's it was Bear Bryant who noted he hoped "they never figure things out in Gainesville" because everything was in place to have a dominant program.
Only Steve Spurrier has done it over the long haul. Others have had occasional great seasons but nothing has been sustained.
Nobody knows what the problem is.
Mullen's problems will be reported by many as simply not winning enough games, but the guess is there's a lot more to it than just that.
It's a problem he created for himself.
During the COVID-shortened 2020 season, Mullen first came under fire for his comments after a Week 3 loss to Texas A&M when he suggested Florida's stadium should return to full capacity amid the pandemic. He was frustrated by the crowd noise created by the Aggies' fanbase.
The Gators experienced a COVID outbreak the following week and had their matchup against LSU postponed.
Mullen tested positive for coronavirus within days of his comments.
The entire 2020 season set the tone for what was to come and, quite frankly, a lot of people were surprised he made it past Florida's Cotton Bowl game against Oklahoma last year.
Mullen was fined $25,000 and was issued a reprimand for violating SEC sportsmanship bylaws after involving himself in a brawl in Florida's game against Missouri and the whole Star Wars stuff. The Tigers got payback on that Saturday, winning in overtime.
Before the end of last season, Mullen was handed a one-year show-cause penalty by the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions for recruiting violations and failing to "promote an atmosphere of compliance."
The news was announced days prior to the loss to Oklahoma, which ended the Gators' season on a three-game losing skid.
But now there's another job on a level with USC and LSU available.
Texas is on the clock with what they are going to do with Steve Sarkisian, who has seen his first year completely collapse this season.
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