After Oklahoma and Lincoln Riley ripped through the Florida Gators, Dan Mullen was full of excuses.
The Sooners ended their season on an eight-game winning streak, and are seen as some as the likely 2021 National Title favorite. With Spencer Rattler, a former No. 1 quarterback recruit, returning as the unquestioned starter, there’s no telling what heights these Sooners will reach next year.
Florida, on the other hand, lost their final three games, two of which came against the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide and the No. 6 Sooners. When tested, Kyle Trask and Florida didn’t play up to their ranking, although they did give Bama their best game to date.
Mullen is convinced this isn’t a significant setback for the Florida program, instead subtly hinting at the number of players missing due to COVID-19 protocol.
Mullen was ready with excuses after getting upstaged at the Cotton Bowl
“I kind of viewed — I don’t know, maybe this is wrong — that wasn’t the 2020 football team that you saw,” Mullen said. “There were 25 guys missing off the 2020 football team out there tonight. That was kind of a kick-start for us for the future, an opportunity for the young guys to play.”
Mullen wasn’t totally off-base. Kadarius Toney, Trevon Grimes, Jacob Copeland and Kyle Pitts were all out. Kyle Trask was throwing to some unfamiliar weapons out there. Still, to lose by 30-plus and give up over 50 points in a bowl game is an embarrassment of sorts, even if Mullen doesn’t want to admit it.
College football fans would tend to agree.
Dan Mullen lobbied to have a full stadium during a pandemic.
He then caught the disease.
He dressed up like Darth Vader.
He lost a game because his player threw a shoe
He lost a championship game
He’s getting blown out in a half assed attempt at a bowl game.
That’s a full season.
— Bunkie Perkins (@BunkiePerkins) December 31, 2020
Florida coach Dan Mullen tonight after getting embarrassed:
“The last game this 2020 team played was 11 days ago.”
“We didn’t have to play.”
“I thought our scout team guys played well.”
Didn’t think it was possible, but his quotes are more embarrassing than his teams play
— TJ Eckert (@TJEckertKTUL) December 31, 2020
Jim McElwain’s staff recruited
Who has offensive genius Dan Mullen recruited? The team we saw tonight? 😬
— Jon Tweets Sports (@jontweetssports) December 31, 2020
The biggest indictment on Dan Mullen tonight was that his team was late out of the locker room after halftime, didn't get to stretch or warmup and the players had to go immediately to kickoff return.
That's culture. That's bad culture.
— Kegan Reneau (@KeganReneau) December 31, 2020
Me, watching that Dan Mullen presser just now… pic.twitter.com/hxRSkJ7k3f
— Ryan McGee (@ESPNMcGee) December 31, 2020
Dan Mullen preparing for his post game interview… pic.twitter.com/2zYjiVCERz
— The Auburn Joker (@AuburnJoker) December 31, 2020
“Why is this guy leading a [Florida] program? He doesn’t seem fit to do so.”
— Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin (@KeyJayandZ) December 31, 2020
With this loss, Dan Mullen drops to 13-38 against ranked teams on his career.
He was 1-3 in such games this season. pic.twitter.com/Ht2LZVZJIp
— Will (@geauxsohard) December 31, 2020
I would like to welcome Florida to the 2014 Dan Mullen Experience
— SixPackSpeak (@sixpackspeak) December 31, 2020
Mullen isn’t wrong with his comments, but being shorthanded due to COVID-19 is nothing new. In fact, it’s something most programs have been forced to deal with this season.
Making such comments takes away from Oklahoma’s accomplishment in a season none of us thought was possible to begin with. It’d be best to keep those opinions internal.