With Dan Mullen off to Gainesville for the Florida coaching gig, Mississippi State is in the market for a head coach for the first time since 2008. It should come as little surprise that Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead is rumored to be a candidate, per USA Today’s Dan Wolken.
SOURCES: A new name has emerged in the Mississippi State search. Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead is in the mix, @usatodaysports has learned.— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) November 28, 2017
According to Wolken’s report, the Bulldogs are also interested in Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt (shoutout Max Lerner!), Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables, and UAB head man Bill Clark. Mississippi State’s SBNation blog, For Whom The Cowbell Tolls, also mentions Appalachian State head coach Scott Satterfield as a potential candidate, too.
Have heard tonight that #PennState OC Joe Moorhead is a strong candidate for the #MissState HC vacancy (as Dan Wolken's reported). Source says that #Bama DC Jeremy Pruitt, ##Toledo HC Jason Candle, #Michigan asst Pep Hamilton & #Miami DC Manny Diaz among those also in the mix.— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) November 28, 2017
On the surface, Mississippi State doesn’t seem to be a great match with Joe Moorhead from a cultural standpoint (read: he’s not a southerner), but good coaching is good coaching. Dan Mullen wasn’t your typical SEC head coach either — he’s originally from Pennsylvania — but that worked out pretty well for those in Starkville.
While Mississippi State isn’t the most desirable job in the country, Moorhead could do a lot worse. Mullen didn’t leave the cupboards bare at all, so the chance to jump in and win right away is there. Toss in that Nick Fitzgerald is a terrific fit at quarterback for Moorhead’s system, and it could be an intriguing option for both parties.