This season isn’t going to end well for the Gators – and I’m not just talking about losing games. It’s going to end ugly.
The drum beat grows louder each day about firing Coach Will Muschamp. His supporters will point out he led the Gators to an 11-2 record in just his second season. His critics will point out Florida was the luckiest --and worst -- 11-win team in history and that the two losses were to Georgia, a bitter rival the Gators had dominated for two decades, to the Louisville, an underdog who dominated the uninspired Gators in the Sugar Bowl.
The pressure grows louder each day for Muschamp to shake up his staff by firing offensive coordinator Brent Pease, among others. The offense has been a joke and an embarrassment. Muschamp supporters will say firing Pease and hiring a better play-caller will solve the problem. Muschamp critics will say he’s the boss and Pease is only following orders and, besides, Muschamp is already 0-for-2 in hiring OCs. (Remember Charlie Weiss?)
The rumors grow louder each about a riff between the players: offense against defense. If true, that’s Muschamp’s biggest problem because that mean losing control of the locker room. Few head coaches have ever survived that problem.
The drum beat, the pressure and rumors will only get louder if the Gators lose to Georgia. They’ll grow to monster size if Vandy goes into Gainesville and beats the Gators. They’ll be out of control if Florida’s trip to South Carolina turns out to be as ugly as some expect.
If those losses happen – even if it’s two out of three -- Muschamp might not even be around by the time the Gators play host to FSU.
That’s life for head coaches in big-time college football, especially at a school like Florida where there’s an abundance of resources and expectations. The rewards are great --- multi-million-dollars contracts and plenty of tools to work with – but patience are no longer considered a virtue. There’s too much to lose by having a coach dangling in the wind of uncertainly for even a year, much less two.
It really doesn’t matter whose fault it is. It’s not a matter of being fair. That’s just the way it is.
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