Chizik, Kiffin or Mullen?

The folks at recently had a roundtable discussion about which new football coach would have “the biggest immediate impact on the SEC” – Auburn’s Gene Chizik, Tennessee’s Lane Kiffin or Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen. The majority opinion favored Kiffin, the loose-lipped whippersnapper.

I’m not inclined to disagree with that, since the question is who will have the biggest impact on the SEC, not on his particular team. If the latter were the case, you could argue that Kiffin and Mullen are neck-and-neck given how both have drastically changed their team cultures. But Kiffin’s already impacted the SEC in a big way with his mouth and with his recruiting. He landed the No. 1 running back in the land, Bryce Brown. People might mock him, but Kiffin has so far come out the winner in all this.

The question is, how will the drama translate to the field of play? Whatever happens at Tennessee, good or bad, it’s going to be spectacular. MSU has the most room for improvement, so one could argue that Mullen’s new offense could help State double its win total.

A better question is, Who will have the biggest long-term impact? And by long term, I mean three years. That’s a toss-up, because I think it’s quite possible that MSU can be as good as Tennessee by that point. Crazy talk? Maybe, but that’s something Kiffin knows all about.

• In tomorrow’s Journal will be a story examining how the athletic departments at MSU, Ole Miss and Southern Miss are trying to keep down costs while still generating revenue during this down economy. My head’s still swimming from all those numbers.

Today’s Random Link: Mocking the expectations cast upon one can’t-miss baseball prospect.

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