Florida football: 5 realistic replacements for Dan Mullen in Gainesville

Dan Mullen, Florida Gators. (Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Dan Mullen, Florida Gators. (Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Luke Fickell, Cincinnati Bearcats
Luke Fickell, Cincinnati Bearcats. (USA Today) /

4. player. 826. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Head Coach. Jeff Hafley. Boston College Eagles

Jeff Hafley is destined for bigger things than what Chestnut Hill provides

Though he is not the hot head-coaching candidate as he was to start the year, Boston College Eagles head coach Jeff Hafley is one name to keep an eye on. Had the Eagles not lost starting quarterback Phil Jurkovec for the season, maybe B.C. is the team to beat in the ACC Atlantic this year and not Wake Forest? Either way, Hafley is not likely to be sticking in Chestnut Hill forever.

Yes, going from Boston College to Florida is a major step up, but he just might win the interview process if given the opportunity. Factor in his NFL background as a coach, and he could play a big part in player development while he looks to establish a recruiting base in Florida. Again, Hafley is a total dark horse to get the job, but he is a candidate Florida can get to replace Mullen if need be.

3. 830. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Head Coach. Cincinnati Bearcats. Luke Fickell. player

Luke Fickell has so many opportunities ahead of him

Few college football head coaches will have as many interesting opportunities to explore this next head-coaching cycle as Luke Fickell. The Cincinnati Bearcats head coach leads the best team in the Group of Five. While there is a decent chance he stays put with UC eventually heading to the Power Five level with Big 12 expansion, Florida might be a job worth leaving Cincinnati for.

Admittedly, it is going to take a blue-blood Power Five job to get Fickell to leave Ohio. However, there are several jobs of that grade opening up. USC and LSU are open, and he is a candidate at both. He could also be a candidate at places like Michigan State and Penn State if those jobs open up for different reasons. However, the SEC is a totally different animal, and that could be an issue.

Here are two head-coaching candidates that have already proven themselves in the SEC footprint.