The college football coaching carousel was in full gear this year. Ole Miss and Southern Miss both made coaching changes following the 2007 season, and Houston Nutt and Larry Fedora set out to turn the Rebs and Eagles around in their first year. Then late in '08, Sylvester Croom resigned at Mississippi State, and that opened the door for Dan Mullen to take over in Starkville.
All of these changes at the top meant that the new coaches had to make the rounds in Mississippi and let fans know how they were going to make their teams better, and all three coaches made appearances in Meridian in 2008.
In the Spring Larry Fedora was at Northwood Country Club for the Eagle Club Golf Tournament. Fedora met with USM fans who wanted to know whether he would be able to shoulder the burden of replacing Jeff Bower.
About a month before the season began Houston Nutt spoke in front of a packed house at the Frank Cochran Center. Nutt told fans how excited he was to be in the state and how he hoped to grab a bowl berth for the seniors on the team.
Finally it was Dan Mullen who came to the Queen City. Less than 24 hours after his inaugural press conference earlier this month, Mullen spoke to a throng of Bulldog supporters at MSU Meridian.
The common thread running through all of these stories is the excitement these new hires brought to football fans in Meridian. In the case of Fedora and Nutt, new leadership brought about positive change to the football program, and Mississippi State fans are hoping that Dan Mullen's arrival can bring about the same kind of success in Starkville.