I’ll break down the x’s and o’s of Florida-Georgia tomorrow (we also have a podcast previewing the game I’m currently working to put up late tonight), but first, I wanted to share my thoughts on Will Muschamp’s job security one more time. Not what I want to happen, mind you, but what I believe will happen.
Everybody agrees with one thing. There’s no more hiding the fact, no more ducking questions about it, no more skirting around the subject with his family, and no more pretending he doesn’t pay any attention to it.
One of the game’s biggest rivalries will be on display at 3:30 on CBS this Saturday. And if embattled coach Will Muschamp doesn’t finally taste victory in it, I doubt he even makes it to the Vanderbilt game without at least being told in private that he won’t be back in 2015.
I totally get that you’ve seen this exact type of article before. I said precisely the same thing before the Missouri game, too (thanks so much for that brilliant performance for all the proud UF alumni to witness in person on homecoming, by the way, Muschamp). Yet despite the abhorrent performance by Muschamp’s Gators, he still has a job. But the stakes this week feel different. I’ll be honest; I can’t really offer a solid explanation as to why losing to a top ten Georgia team on a neutral field would get Muschamp axed on the spot while getting annihilated in the Swamp by an unranked Missouri team didn’t… except for one thing. This is the rivalry game in the SEC. And in three years, Muschamp’s ineptitude has erased two decades of unbelievable Gator dominance (thanks for that too).
Does a win in Jacksonville save Muschamp’s job? No. At least, not by itself. He’s still clinging to a splintering board; a win basically means the board doesn’t snap in half. Nothing happens to his job security on Sunday if the Gators win on Saturday. But should he run the table- and that includes a bowl game- he very well may be back in 2015. And so he has to realize that thanks to Jeremy Foley’s unbelievable level of stubbornness, he still has a chance to coach his way back to Gainesville next year.
The thing is, winning out is very doable if the Gators play their best game each of the next five weeks. The other thing is, the Gators almost never do play their best game when they need to under Muschamp. In any case, if Florida can get past Georgia, the rest of the remaining games (@Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Eastern Kentucky and @Florida State) looks surprisingly soft. The only game after Saturday I have a bad feeling about is against a 7-0 FSU team that reeks of suspicion to me. The Noles’ best win on the year was over a Notre Dame team that scored the winning touchdown only to have it erased on a 50/50 call that’s almost always ignored by referees. Their next best win was over Big 12 also-ran Oklahoma State (5-3 right now). I don’t think beating them is impossible.
If the Gators can win this game on Saturday, a lot of doors open up. Suddenly, 9-3 (including a bowl win) seems very plausible. Considering how much Foley loves Muschamp, that would certainly bring him back. Personally, I’d be appalled to see him back regardless of what happens. I don’t know what I’d do if I had to deal with one more year of Muschampian screw ups, but the bottom line is that I’m almost certain he’d get that year because I don’t make these decisions, and the man who does trusts him more than anybody.
Then we’d get into the discussion (that I desperately want to avoid) about whether or not we’d want him back (and you know my thoughts; absolutely not, because it’s not the win loss record, it’s the deplorable style of football he employs). That would be one hell of a debate throughout the offseason, and one I’d try my hardest to stay out of.
So here we go. The system for Muschamp is something like twelve million strikes and you’re out, and he’s got 11,999,999 right now (slight exaggeration, but you get the point). Beating Georgia doesn’t erase the strikes he’s accumulated. It merely gives him a pass until next week.
What’s it gonna be, Muschamp? 1-7 in the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party sound good to you?