Gators look to salvage the season against Gamecocks

Following the 42-13 beatdown at the hands of Missouri, this program was left for dead.

Chants of “Fire Muschamp” rang out throughout the Swamp. The quarterback situation was a mess. The team was 3-3, and 2-3 in the SEC. It looked like the Gators were on their way to their second bowl-less season.

Don’t get me wrong. Two straight wins have hardly changed my opinion about Will Muschamp, and I’ll get to that at a more appropriate time. But those two straight wins have seemed to give this program a new life. And a third would accomplish several different things.

First, the Gators will be back in a bowl game. That’s nothing to celebrate, as the 2008 Kentucky team that Florida manhandled 63-5 went to a bowl game on the back of four weak non conference wins. But it’s a piece of tangible evidence that this team is better than it was a year ago, despite several signs on the field.

Second, a win over the Gamecocks would give the Gators just their second winning record in the SEC since Tim Tebow’s playing days. Can you believe that? The Gators have been just 17-15 in SEC play since Tebow left after the 2009 season. (The lone winning SEC season came in 2012, when the Gators slogged their way through the year at 7-1, with one very ugly loss to Georgia.)

Third, Muschamp would have a legitimate argument to stay on as head coach if Treon Harris guides the Gators to a win over South Carolina. They say the third time’s a charm, and three’s a trend. Well, Harris is 2-0 as a starting QB for Florida, and if he gets this third win in a row, Muschamp can go up to Jeremy Foley and say, “I know we’ve had problems in the past, but we have the future of the program here. Let me stay and develop him”. Of course, I would not be thrilled if Muschamp came back if the Gators don’t win out (meaning, beat FSU and win a bowl game), but objectively speaking, that’s a very compelling argument.

Finally, a win could potentially get the Gators into the SEC Championship Game. They need Auburn to beat Georgia (fairly likely) and then they need Tennessee and either Texas A&M or Arkansas to beat Missouri. But it could happen.

The bottom line is that not all is lost for this team. There’s still a lot they can accomplish. OK, so maybe Gator fans will survive the long offseason simply by remembering the Georgia game and nothing else, but we’re not in the offseason yet. Forget wrecking FSU’s season for now; there’s still lots to play for against South Carolina alone, including securing a winning SEC record for just the second time since 2009.

Just four short weeks after getting hammered by Missouri, this same Florida team can see a light at the end of the tunnel.

8 thoughts on “Gators look to salvage the season against Gamecocks

  1. Neil:

    Y’all want Muschamp gone in the worst way but who would replace him? Be careful what you wish for.

    I want the slop and chippy play gone and I want us to play sharp. You must admit, our Defense has been very good and we have developed talent.

    But do you want to go through this for another 3 years and what IF the next coach gives us the same?

    I’d take Kerwin Bell because he is a legacy and he is tearing it up at JU with nothing talent. So it’s coaching. The only negative is they don’t recruit.

    1. I have had a list ready for awhile now. It was set to publish the Monday after the Georgia game, but we won that game so it didn’t really make any sense. But you’re asking two different questions: who do I want, and who do I think realistically will take the job?

    2. I understand the appeal of Bell but he does not have anywhere near the experience. Yeah he is legacy but the last time Florida chose inexperienced legacy at a position of leadership it was a train wreck.

      One of the better options would be Mark Hudspeth. He has been a winner at every level. He has conference experience. He strives for exciting balance on offense. And, most important of all, his philosophy is in line with the types of athletes he would have access to. In other words, his scheme emphasizes speed, playmaking and getting the ball to people in space, NOT trying to turn speed demons into maulers.

  2. Wait wait this would be our second winning season in the SEC since 2009? I knew Muschamp was bad but I didn’t know that’s what we were playing with. Man I’m sick of Muschamp. I long for the days when we were competing for the East every single year. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

  3. C’mon Neil… time to ratchet down the “fire muschamp” speak for a bit. You’ve made it abundantly clear you want him gone. We get it. Yay.
    You are entitled to your opinion of him, of course. But, to now stipulate the requirement that he must still beat FSU as a condition of continued employment is irresponsible to you as a person that posts opinion pieces for people to read.
    If Florida can beat South Carolina, then of course drub cupcake U next weekend, the FSU game should not be paramount when it comes to the W or L. Assuming UF goes to Tallahassee on a 4-game W streak and a 7-3 record, whether you like it or not Will Muschamp’s job is going to be safe – and deservedly so.
    Back off just a little more. That’s all I’m asking you. You’ve done a good job of putting out different viewpoints of the Gators program, and I appreciate that. But, I have a feeling I’m not the only one reading your pieces that is growing tired of your incessant crusade to send Coach Muschamp out on a rail. Thanks.

    1. Fair enough. But I am backing off, albeit slowly. I can’t just do a 180 from “Fire Muschamp” to “Now he can stay.” And I did say that if he beat FSU, he’d have a compelling argument. But I’m not writing another “Fire Muschamp” piece until Florida loses again unless they really give FSU a fight.

  4. To shift gears and piggy back on that a bit, I fully expect Florida to put up one hell of a fight in Tallahassee. They have the defense to stay close, and as long as the O doesn’t implode, it’ll be a nail-biter most of the game. Because FSU likes to play catch-up, it would not surprise me if UF holds a lead for a good portion of the game, too.
    Looking forward to your next piece.

    1. Thanks!

      And if that’s what happens- if UF loses a nailbiter- I may reconsider. My loyalty is reason, and as a reasonable person, I reserve the right to change my opinion when presented with new information that alters my perspective. Right now, reason tells me that Florida is going to lose by double digits to FSU. Then again, I may not. But let’s see that happen before we talk hypotheticals.

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