Now We Find Out What Muschamp Is Made Of

There’s a glass case that contains a nauseating secret in Will Muschamp’s office.

Some call it the metal rod inserted in his leg after badly breaking the bone. Muschamp calls it adversity in a box.

He promised that his team would overcome adversity when faced with it.

Well, the Florida Gators are faced with a Mount Everest of adversity now. Or more accurately, we find out how much pride is left in this Gator team.

The hideous loss to Georgia knocked the Gators out of the SEC East race… so why keep playing? The answer is simple: pride and self-respect.

This senior class has been one of the best to take the field for the Gators. How do they finish? Most importantly, how does Muschamp finish a rocky first year?

Do the Gators wake up, cut the mistakes and win their final five games (bowl game included), or do they continue to play like garbage and lose their last four?

These remaining four games are all tossups. Even Furman (who nearly beat South Carolina last season). But the Gators lost two straight tossup games. Bouncing back and winning all four, and then a bowl game, would be huge. Losing all four could mean the end of Muschamp’s career before next season even begins.

Let’s take a look at the implications of all the possible scenarios.

A win over Vanderbilt and this team is feeling good about itself. They’re no joke this year and by now everybody knows it. As much as we Gator fans are locked in a silly phase of nostalgia, we need to look at the here and now- this is a legitimate team. This win would give us confidence heading into Columbia to take on a weary South Carolina team fresh off a tough game at Arkansas. A loss in the Swamp to Vanderbilt, however, and Muschamp and Florida’s bowl hopes are in trouble.

Getting a win in Columbia will be difficult, because the Gamecocks still have a tenacious defense led by Melvin Ingram and Jadeveon Clowney, and Alshon Jeffrey is always good for a pair of touchdowns. But if Florida can get it done, they’ll be riding high and probably blow Furman out. It’ll also be sweet payback for knocking Florida out of Atlanta last year. (Then we’ll root for Georgia. We’ll get payback on them next year, and we can only get revenge on the Gamecocks this year, so let’s avenge one of two and knock SC out like they did to us). A second loss in a row to South Carolina could kill any hopes of a decent bowl game.

A win against Furman is expected; a loss here and I’m calling for Muschamp’s head. It’s that simple.

If there’s one game I want to win above all others, you guessed it- it’s FSU. It’s not just another game, it’s a final shot at redemption for Muschamp, and more importantly, the seniors. Then there’s the embarrassing blowout the Noles handed the Gators last year, and a Florida victory could really kill FSU’s bowl hopes. Of course, it’s always nice to give our seniors a proper send off in the Swamp. Oh, and there’s a fellow named Stefon Diggs, one of the nation’s top receivers, who will be in attendance for this game, and a good UF showing could lure him into the Swamp.

Winning all four will ressurect the Gators’ season, and maybe get them back into the Top 25, which is always our goal. I’d be really impressed with Florida if they could bounce back and win four straight. It’s definitely something voters would consider for next year’s preseason poll, and would be a great message to fans that Muschamp’s boys never give up.

The season is far from over. Our chances at Atlanta are gone, but we have four mini seasons left to go, and we must win them all to show that we have pride.

What’s left in us, really? I ask you: what is left of our program? Do we fold just because we’ve been eliminated? Or do we play with heart, guts and pride?

I’ll give you my prediction: Florida will lose three of four because they will mercilessly beat themselves.

There, I said it. We’ll beat Furman and lose the other three.

Vanderbilt’s been so close to pulling off numerous signature wins. The reason they didn’t was because the other team made one mistake too few. Arkansas made plenty of errors, but buckled down in crunch time to win. South Carolina made a slew of miscues, but stood up tall when it mattered in the end. Georgia didn’t play perfect, but Vandy couldn’t catch them napping in the end.

Florida is the worst team in the nation with penalties. They haven’t forced a turnover since the Kentucky game. Not only will they not beat Vandy playing like that- they’ll get crushed. If I’m James Franklin, I don’t even play aggressive- I just sit back and watch Florida fumble the ball away, penalize themselves into 3rd and 20 and then drop punts. I really hope I’m wrong, but Vandy’s just been so close so many times and the only thing missing was a late turnover.

South Carolina’s defense excels in forcing turnovers, and Spurrier just needs to run a game-managing offense, one that methodically moves the chains, kills clock and eventually scores. He just needs to wait for Florida to beat themselves. And the way they’re going lately, they will.

Losing to Furman is unthinkable. One thing Florida is very good at is playing tough defense. Not forcing turnovers, but not allowing teams to rumble through them. Furman won’t do much.

FSU isn’t a great team, they’re average. How Florida does against them depends on if they play FSU or Florida. What I mean is, do they play well, or do they play like trash? EJ Manuel is good, not great. Does Florida pressure him or do they take a nap and allow him to beat them? FSU’s defense is good, not great. Does Florida attempt to block them or do they snooze? It’s completely up to them. I believe they’ll beat themselves again.

Here’s my problem with Muschamp, and with Weis. It’s understandable for teams to be committing penalties left and right and miss blocking assignments in the first few weeks of a coach’s tenure. But it’s week 10, and the same issues not only haven’t gone away, they’re worse. This team shows no sign of improvement from week 1, and if anything, regressions. Sure, the competition has gotten better, but we’re supposed to get better as the season goes on. That’s a coach’s job, and Muschamp has not done that. He’s come out and admitted it, which is good, but until I see a big improvement over a two game span, I cannot trust this team.

Do I think Muschamp and Weis can get the Gators back to the top eventually? Yes. They will get guys that suit their systems and we will see an improvement next year. DJ Humphries, Jessamen Dunker and Omari Phillips, three of the nation’s top 15 offensive linemen, are on the way, as are Mike Davis and Matt Jones to install a real physical pro style running attack. Jeff Driskel and Jacoby Brissett will have the summer to improve and learn the complete Charlie Weis offense. So the future looks very good for Florida.

Just be prepared to lose a few more games we shouldn’t first.

2 thoughts on “Now We Find Out What Muschamp Is Made Of

  1. Neil I agree this team just cant be trusted, I also think we will lose to SCAR and FSU. Vandy is a toss up and we should handle Furman. We will be better in the near future we just have to be patient. Something that Gator347 has been preaching for weeks now.

  2. Call me crazy, but now without Marcus Lattimore, I believe Vanderbilt is better than South Carolina. If the teams were to play again Vandy would win. And I think SCAR is better than Florida too… so nervous…

Comments are closed.