There are many reasons to believe Mississippi State will equal or exceed last season's success – 31 reasons, in fact. Here's Reason No. 2.
You only have to be around Dan Mullen a few seconds to feel the energy he exudes. That energy has permeated the program and is present in every aspect of it. It's not just a game day thing.
Energy in and of itself takes you only so far, but Mullen is able to channel it and use it as a tool to keep his players constantly motivated. He tries to infuse competitiveness into every activity, and the players have taken to that approach.
Mullen's not just a motivator. He's a genuinely good coach, and there's ample evidence to support that claim. For starters, there's that work he did with Urban Meyer implementing their version of the spread offense. And he turned MSU's offense from pathetic to potent in almost no time.
A colleague noted recently that MSU might lose to LSU on Sept. 15, but it won't be because the Bulldogs got out-coached. I'd venture to say Mullen will get out-coached very few times this season. He knows how to develop and use personnel and play to its strengths. He's also good at not allowing a win or a loss or anything else affect his approach to preparation.
A lot of coaches can motivate, and many excel at Xs and Os. From what I've seen, Mullen can do both, and that spells success not just this season, but beyond.