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Coaching Carousel: Dan Mullen is “the most frequently discussed name” for the Tennessee Job

Could Mullen hop over to the SEC East?

NCAA Football: SEC Media Days Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve been careful not to go into full blown coaching search mode just yet. Butch Jones still has a job at Tennessee, but his days are numbered. Tennessee AD John Currie seems content with letting him ride this season out. As many people have said, it’s a matter of when — not if at this point.

SBNation’s own Steven Godfrey reported on Butch’s job status on Monday.

With Week 10’s win over Southern Miss, Butch Jones’ job security is technically alive, albeit on life support. The message inside the program is that UT needs to win out and keep its recruiting class intact through December’s early signing period.

Tennessee likely isn’t winning out. Potential coaches and agents know what is coming and the rumor mill is already churning. So far we’ve seen a couple of names linked with Tennessee more frequently and consistently than others: Jon Gruden and Dan Mullen.

By now you know all about Gruden. If you need a refresher, click here. The Tennessee search will likely start with Gruden, just like it reportedly did in 2012. But the options after him are where things get interesting.

As Godfrey reports, Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen is “the most frequently discussed name” for the Tennessee gig.

At other schools, coaches and agents are treating Tennessee like an open job. Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen is the most frequently discussed name (that isn’t Jon Gruden). Multiple coaching sources confirm Mullen would “fit” with new athletic director John Currie.

Mullen currently has Mississippi State 7-2 as we head into week 11 of the college football season. He’s 68-44 overall and 32-37 in SEC play through nine seasons in Starkville.

He was immediately linked with the Florida job when it opened last week, but their search seems to have narrowed to Scott Frost and Willie Taggart. We’ve heard his name pop up in the coaching rumors yearly. Is this finally the cycle that he gets out of Starkville? Or is this just Jimmy Sexton doing Jimmy Sexton things?

What are your thoughts on Mullen potentially landing in Knoxville? Let us know below.