Today I had the chance to interview Gatorzone.com’s senior writer Scott Carter on the future of head coach Will Muschamp and the future of Florida football. I’m very grateful to him for taking the time out of his day to talk to me.
Hope you guys enjoy……
Me: What was the locker room (players and coaches) like after the Missouri loss?
Scott: Not a good locker room. You had a devastating loss on homecoming, just what you would expect after a blowout like that, a quiet post game locker room. No one was speaking to each other, just quiet. I guess exactly what was to be expected.
Me: What was the sentiment amongst those around the athletic department (outside of the players and coaches) after the Missouri loss?
Scott: The program was 3-3, fans calling for change. It ramps up tension in the program. I saw a determined UAA that knew Muschamp had to win a game. No one was hanging their heads, though. No one was pushing the panic button. Jeremy Foley said after that loss that the program was going to be closely evaluated.
Me: Do others outside the locker room (other than players and coaches) feel that Muschamp can lead this program to a National Championship?
Scott: Muschamp was a well-respected coach at Texas. Foley made the hire and wants him to succeed. I personally think it was a good hire, but that is me. The culture has changed so much since Muschamp was hired. I’ve seen it myself, and I cannot emphasize that enough. There is accountability now amongst players they never had before. Muschamp is extremely likeable and everyone around here wants him to succeed. I believe he can lead this team to a title and fans might not, but people around here do. I think Muschamp is a very good football coach. Does he have all the answers? No. They are 4-3 right now. But big picture? I think absolutely, he can do great things with this program.
Me: Were the results of the Georgia game in direct correlation with how much these players and this team loves Muschamp and has his back?
Scott: The backdrop of this game was” Muschamp’s future.” Just from being around the program I know there is a general like for Muschamp from his players. He is a “player’s coach” as the old cliché says. The team didn’t play “harder” I don’t think, they played better for sure, they played to their ability. The team has never quit on him.
Me: There has been a ton of speculation regarding the results this team needs the rest of the season that will keep Muschamp around for next season… do you have any idea what Jeremy Foley and the boosters are thinking the results need to be?
Scott: I go back to what he (Jeremy Foley) said, he wanted to see improvement. Results are not as crucial as performance. I have never heard him list a win/loss total that was needed. I’m sure wins are number one for the boosters, because that is all they see. The more wins the Gators have obviously it’s going to be better for him. I will say this, Gator football is at an interesting place right now. You can’t really compare it to anything in recent history. I can’t remember a more important final 4 games ever in a coach’s career or in Gator football history then these 4 games probably are.
Me: I have spoken to several former Gator players in the last few months or so about if they think Muschamp should remain at Florida no matter what his record is when he finishes this season. An overwhelming majority said, “Anything short of a trip to Atlanta should end his career.” Do you feel they are justified in saying or feeling that way?
Scott: They have a right to feel anyway they want, they know the game of football and the history of this program. So I know they would want change and can understand. Everyone has an opinion on this team, especially when the team is losing. It’s a week by week thing here this year. I know that many questions still remain and many people outside the program want the answers, and that is understandable.
Me: Thanks for your time Scott.
Scott: No problem, anytime Joe.