I asked you in the facebook group what you thought of Muschamp and a few of you starting accusing me of being a bandwagon fan, which is about as rediculous as saying the Mexicans bombed Pearl Harbor. I am and always will be a Gator fan. Just wanted to clear that up.
So I’m going to take an objective look at Will Muschamp’s job so far.
Is Florida’s 4-3 record due to Muschamp not getting his job done, or is it due to high levels of competition without our full roster?
The short answer is both.
Obviously, Florida was not put into a position to succeed with the top two teams in the country in back to back weeks. Nor were they on the road at the defending national champions without their starting QB and top rusher.
But then there are issues that never existed under Urban Meyer- at least not until his final year where it was more or less Addazio’s show and not to this extent.
Playing Alabama is very tough. They have as nasty of a defense as I’ve ever seen. They’re fast, strong, and don’t mess around- and make tackles in the open field. Then there’s Trent Richardson, my Heisman vote, who I believe is far better than Mark Ingram ever was for the simple reason that he is faster.
LSU on the road is no easier because they have an even faster defense than Alabama does plus a more explosive offense. Spencer Ware and Michael Ford will be playing on Sundays really soon at this rate, not to mention their entire starting defense.
And then the Auburn game, in a packed Jordan Hare Stadium without QB John Brantley and Jeff Demps was a very difficult task as well.
But Muschamp isn’t without some blame, either.
One of Muschamp’s huge pet peeves is adversity and how his teams would overcome it. His other is playing great defense. There was plenty of adversity- and talent- wearing Gator jerseys against Alabama. And indeed, they started out on fire. They built a 10-3 lead- and then choked as Alabama scored 35 unanswered points. It was Alabama with all the adversity to overcome in a packed Swamp, and they did. Go ahead and blame Brantley’s injury, but that doesn’t excuse the Gators getting assaulted in the trenches all night.
How about the adversity against LSU? The Gators were gigantic underdogs in Death Valley, but all wasn’t lost. Chris Rainey was still around. But the offensive line took a nap and allowed him to get swarmed. And the defense, you know, played terrible except for a few stops.
The Auburn game was disgraceful. The same defense that gave up 38 points to Chuckie Keeton gave up a grand total of 6 to Florida. Charlie Weis has so much more talent with his Gators than Utah State even without Brantley and Demps, hey, even without Rainey but you wouldn’t know it from that game.
And the penalties are a sign of a very undisciplined team. Urban’s bunch never got penalized this much. 16 in one game? 15 the next? A huge improvement so that 6 penalties in a game is something to praise?
I do not want Muschamp fired, nor do I want Weis fired. That’s just silly. It’s their first season and they don’t have the personnel needed to play their type of game. But the penalties and fright in the trenches just have to go. For this season, the goal is win 9 games, and Georgia, FSU and a bowl game are three of the games that need to be won
One more thing I want to touch on- Muschamp’s tirade.
He went berserk on an official, as I’m sure you’ve seen since it’s gone global via youtube by now. Sure, I liked it, because I was screaming the same things and worse at my TV screen, but I’m not the coach and Muschamp is. If he keeps doing this, his emotions could work one of two ways- his team plays fired up and better, or they play fired up and too aggressive, meaning making mistakes and playing worse.
It also opens the door for a frame of Muschamp. I was afraid of this a while ago and even more so now. If you weren’t a Gator fan and didn’t follow Florida football at all but you knew that Muschamp was a psycho, and you heard a report that he punched an FSU fan, you’d have to believe it’s true even if it’s blatant BS. All an angry Georgia fan has to do is say “Muschamp spit on me on his way inside the stadium” and Muschamp is in trouble because it’s very believable.
The Gators don’t control their own destiny in the East anymore, which is just as well because our booby prize will be getting clobbered by either Alabama or LSU again- this time with the bowl selection committee watching. We’re better off letting South Carolina take that mauling, or better yet Georgia, since they haven’t played anybody good this year at all and their fans are really obnoxious and cheerfully duck (100% accurate) claims that their schedule is weaker than a sedated mouse.
Right now, Muschamp has time to take a quick break, recharge his batteries and get back to work. Charlie Weis has work to do as well. He needs to figure out how to attack Georgia’s defense (which I will get into soon, since offense is my comfort zone) with an offense that looked worse than Addazio’s blunderful creation a year ago.
I never want a coach fired in his first year. Ever. It doesn’t help. But I’ll be as close to that point as possible if Muschamp loses to Georgia, for the simple reason that Florida has dominated Georgia for the past 20+ years.
It’s a winnable game, and a must win for Muschamp.
It’s also Muschamp’s first test in the area of his creativity with extra time. This game will go far in determining his overall success at Florida.