Can Cohen Bottle his Year 5 Magic and Give it to Mullen?


They way John Cohen turned around Mississippi State baseball was pretty incredible. From our darkest days to our best days within his first 5 years of being the head coach. Dan Mullen is now in his 5th year as head coach of the football team – can he find similar success?

The situations for each coach were and are different. Cohen basically had to re-dig the footings and pour a new foundation while Croom did leave a decent foundation that allowed Mullen to start building right away without having to totally start from scratch. And MSU baseball can definitely build it’s program at a much faster rate than the football program because of history and tradition. With that being said, I think there is something Cohen found in year 5 that Mullen will need as well.

Team chemistry.

How much more fun was it to watch the last month of the MSU baseball season than the MSU football season this past year? Night and day.

On one hand you have the baseball team dancing around having fun in the dugout; growing beards, walk out songs, the bench mobb, etc. Then you have the football team who is displaying lack of effort and a team that was getting outplayed and out coached.

The 2013 Diamond Dawgs made it all the way to the championship series and finished #2 in the final polls, but they weren’t the second most talented team. Not even close. You could make an argument for top 15, but just top 25 is probably more like it. The three most talented starting pitchers on the team didn’t even pitch most of the year, and none down the stretch run. But what they had was a bunch of guys pulling in the same direction. They were a close-nit group who wanted to win above all else and they did just that.

The 2013 MSU football team needs to find a way to get to that point. They need to band together and do what the baseball team did: get maximum output from their team of solid ball players by focusing on their common goal and working together to achieve it.

I’m not saying I expect State to be in the BCS Title Game. But I do think the chemistry of the team will go a long way in determining how we fare in those swing games: Oklahoma State, Auburn, Arkansas, Ole Miss, etc. If all games were won and lost just based on talent we could go ahead and simulate the season right now. But they aren’t, and that’s what makes it great. Hopefully we’ll see some of what we saw on the diamond this spring on the football field this fall.