Sports

Florida's Mullen named head coach at Mississippi State

Florida offensive coordinator Dan Mullen will be the new football coach at Mississippi State, moving from the Southeastern Conference champions to one of the league's perennial cellar dwellers.

Mullen arrived in Starkville on Wednesday afternoon and will be introduced at a news conference Thursday morning. He leaves Gainesville as the top-ranked Gators are preparing to play for their second national title in three years.

"A lot of people get in this profession, and when you have head coaching opportunities, they're very rare," Urban Meyer said at news conference. "Head coaching opportunities in the Southeastern Conference at a young age is a great honor. So (Tim Tebow) had the same exact reaction that I did: Doggone it, but we wish you well."

The 36-year-old has been an assistant coach for 14 years and spent the last eight with Urban Meyer at Bowling Green, Utah and Florida.

McCoy, Bradford in the mix

Tim Tebow will go for two against a pair of talented quarterbacks from the Big 12 when the Heisman Trophy is handed out Saturday night.

Sam Bradford from Oklahoma and Colt McCoy from Texas joined Tebow as Heisman finalists announced Wednesday.

Tebow, the junior from Florida, was the first sophomore to win the Heisman last year and is trying to become the second player to win it twice.

Archie Griffin won the Heisman as a junior in 1974 for Ohio State and again in 1975.

Tebow's Gators will play Bradford and the Sooners in the BCS national championship game Jan. 8 in Miami.

Bradford has directed the highest scoring team in major college football history, leading the nation in passer rating (186.3) and TD passes (48) while throwing for 4,464 yards.

McCoy set a major college record with his 77.6 completion percentage, and is the Longhorns' leading rusher with 576 yards and 10 touchdowns. Texas finished 11-1, with a victory against Oklahoma.

SEC awards announced

Florida quarterback Tim Tebow was named SEC offensive player of the year by the league's coaches, while Tennessee safety Eric Berry claimed the award as the top defensive player, the league announced Wednesday. The coach of the year balloting ended in a three-way tie between Alabama's Nick Saban, Mississippi's Houston Nutt and Vanderbilt's Bobby Johnson.

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