Is Will Muschamp coaching for his job?
There have been mumbles across the Interwebs suggesting that the Gators’ poor showing in 2013 has put Muschamp on the hot seat — most notably Mike Bianchi’s piece in the Orlando Sentinel from Thursday, “UF’s Muschamp is now officially coaching for his job.”
To be fair, Bianchi did write that he doesn’t think Muschamp will really be in danger until next season. But those who glance at the headline — or those who have reached their maximum amount of articles viewed on the Sentinel’s site — shake their head and move on. The takeaway is that Muschamp’s job is in trouble.
Is it possible that the man who led the Gators to an 11-win season in 2012 is already in danger less than a year later? This is a guy who got a standing ovation when he was shown on the screen at a Gator basketball game I attended last season.
Are people turning on him now that the offense’s dismal season has finally become too much to overcome?
Are people pointing to last year as a fluke? The games against Bowling Green, Texas A&M, LSU, and Missouri felt like they could have easily gone the other way at one point or another.
The fact is, though, the Gators got it done. Until they were creamed by Louisville in the Sugar Bowl, their defense was suffocating and their offense did just enough to win.
Sure, things have fallen apart somewhat this season. And college football is a results-driven business. But I think Muschamp gets a pass thanks to the incredible amount of injuries to guys in key positions.*
*By the way, it was announced toward the beginning of the bye week that Jeremi Powell would miss the rest of the year with an ACL tear, the eighth Gator to go down with a season-ending injury. Muschamp considered Powell a special teams star for Florida in his redshirt freshman season.
Next year, if the Gators struggle with a full, healthy squad, maybe that’s when the mumbling should start. Putting Muschamp on the hot seat after two bad losses in a row is a little bit premature.
And Bianchi, in the Sentinel article, talks about fans needing “to be entertained” in order to keep showing up to games. Let’s all calm down for a second. Attendance is not an issue. The Gators will sell out often, regardless of the team’s record because they are a top-20 program in the country.
And before we send Muschamp out on the plank, let’s remember that his first recruiting class is entering its fourth year next season. The Gators’ success during the next couple of years will truly determine how well he has recruited.
One thing. While I don’t think Muschamp is in danger, offensive coordinator Brent Pease better watch his back. The offense has been stagnant (and frankly, downright terrible under his tenure), and he will probably be the first one to go from the coaching staff if heads start to roll.
Muschamp is not in danger, though. People need to take a deep breath, readjust their expectations, and enjoy the rest of the season. There is still plenty of football to be played.