Dan Mullen isn't paranoid; he just thinks Ole Miss is out to get him.
Mullen has continued to deny reports that he's close to leaving Mississippi State for Penn State, calling any such banter "irresponsible" but he's never actually refuted the report. Instead he tried to blame the existence of the rumors on "rival institutions."
"I blame it on rival institutions trying to ruin our recruiting which we have dominated in this state over the past three years," Mullen said.
When asked to which rival institutions he was referring, Mullen didn't elaborate.
"You take it from there," he said.
Hmmm, who could Mullen be talking about?
While he doesn't explicitly say Ole Miss is steering the Penn State train, he's definitely implying it. And really, could you blame Ole Miss for taking that tactic?
Not saying it did, just playing the hypothetical card here.
This season's 2-10 record (0-8 in SEC play) and the firing of coach Houston Nutt probably won't help Ole Miss' recruiting, but it will help Mississippi State and Mullen could stand to nab a pretty stellar class if he stays and can capitalize on Ole' Miss' misfortune.
Unless, of course, he's referring to those sabotaging renegades over at Southern Miss.
The only problem with Mullen deflecting the Penn State rumors is that he's not actually denying them, which is why they continue to linger.
But Mississippi State athletic director Scott Sticklin chimed in to try and diffuse the report: "They quoted a source close to the school. I can't imagine who that could be, because I haven't been contacted by Penn State and Dan hasn't been contacted by Penn State. It's not a story, period."