Florida coach Dan Mullen takes subtle shot at SEC champion Georgia

Georgia was the talk of National Signing Day, hauling in the top class in the nation and establishing itself as more than a one-hit-wonder that caught fire en route to the SEC title and College Football Playoff Championship Game in 2017.

Don't tell first-year Florida coach Dan Mullen, though. He took a subtle shot at his new rival in a National Signing Day meeting with Gator fans and boosters on Wednesday night, according to Thomas Goldkamp of 247Sports.

"Listen, winning one SEC Championship Game doesn't make you a dominant program, you know what I'm saying?" Mullen said. "In two of the last three years, we've been to the SEC Championship Game. So even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while."

It's possible that the blind squirrel was in reference to Florida's two SEC East titles in 2015 and 2016, when they had massive quarterback issues to fight through under former coach Jim McElwain. Or, the more fun -- more "Mullen" -- version is a shot at Georgia, which won its first SEC East title since 2012 last year.

Either way, it's a sign that Mullen's personality came with him to Gainesville after he spent nine years coaching Mississippi State. During his time in Starkville, he didn't mind taking a shot at rival Ole Miss every once in a while, including a reference to "The School Up North" that was used for the better part of his tenure with the program.

If Florida is going to get back on the winning track, it's up to Mullen to fix an offense that his been broken since the Tim Tebow era. The Gators will get star running back Jordan Scarlett back from what amounted to a season-long suspension, along with breakout freshman Malik Davis. He inked dual-threat quarterback Emory Jones during the Early Signing Period to provide some competition with returning starter Feleipe Franks.

The Gators went 4-7 last year, lost to Georgia 42-7 in late October and fired McElwain a day later. 

Whether this was a concerted effort to take a shot at rival Georgia, or Mullen having fun with Gators fans and boosters at an event that is designed to be more of a party than a press conference, his presence in the rivalry will add a little spice to the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.

College Football Writer

Barrett Sallee has been a member of the sports media in various aspects since 2001. He is currently a college football writer for CBS Sports, analyst for CBS Sports HQ and host for the SiriusXM college... Full Bio

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