Mullen has had great success as a coordinator in the conference and has been a steady leader in maintaining Mississippi State as an annual bowl team, but Urban Meyer's former right-hand man has struggled in beating the top-tier teams in the conference during his Starkville tenure.
Mullen has posted a 36-28 record in five seasons in Starkville, making a bowl every season except for his first year in 2009. Mullen would be higher on the list if he can improve on his 2-21 record versus ranked opponents.
Jones is in the process of laying the bricks in place after probably the worst stretch in Tennessee's football history that includes four consecutive losing seasons.
However, the politics and poor handling of former athletic director Mike Hamilton in regards to Phillip Fulmer, the Lane Kiffin experiment and Hamilton's hiring of Derek Dooley has almost disappeared from Tennessee's rear view mirror.
Jones has already posted a win over Steve Spurrier, something Fulmer only did five times in 17 tries. Jones also has brought in a top-five recruiting class and reunited the Tennessee fan base.
The Vols may have finished a win shy of going bowling last season, but it appears that Jones is building a championship program on Rocky Top, much like he did by winning the MAC twice at Central Michigan and the Big East twice at Cincinnati.
Jones should continue to move up the SEC coaching ranks.