Oct 3, 2020; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators head coach Dan Mullen reacts during a game against South Carolina at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville, Fla. Oct. 3, 2020. Mandatory Credit: Brad McClenny-USA TODAY NETWORK

The Missouri Tigers defeated the Florida Gators 24-23 in overtime on Saturday, dropping the Gators to 5-6 on the season and 2-6 in SEC play. It’s also their fourth-straight SEC loss and comes a week after Florida gave up 52 points to Samford in The Swamp.

All of which is a way to explain why Florida fired head coach Dan Mullen on Sunday.

Mullen was finishing out his fourth season as the Gators coach, is just one year removed from taking the team to the SEC Championship. Still, last year’s 8-4 record was a step back from the first two seasons (10-3, 11-2). Now, the Gators have to beat Florida State next weekend to qualify for a bowl game. If they lose, it will be the first losing season since 2017.

Mullen ends his tenure with a 34-15 record, which, combined with his Mississippi State run, gives him a head coaching record of 103–61. He has a buyout of $12 million and is also owed half of that within 30 days.

The move was not unexpected as Mullen has been on the hot seat for much of the season, other than when the Gators almost pulled off an upset of Alabama. But along with the losses, the head coach stepped in it multiple times as well, making gaffes about recruiting and other topics.

Florida’s running backs coach and special teams coordinator Greg Knox will be the interim coach for the rest of the season.

Florida fans and college football folks had plenty of say about Mullen’s firing and the state of Florida football.

The search now begins for a new coach in Florida where the expectations will be sky-high. That they’ll have to compete with LSU, USC, Washington, and Virginia Tech, not counting what other high-profile jobs become available soon, means it’s going to be a wild head coaching market this offseason.

[Chris Low]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.