Surprise! Will Muschamp has fired his offensive coordinator Brent Pease and his offensive line coach Tim Davis.
This is an offense that has been Pease poor since Will Muschamp arrived in 2011 (pun intended) and damn it if somebody doesn’t pay for it. This is Florida, after all, the place where Tim Tebow and Danny Wuerffel not that long ago won Heisman trophies for putting up big numbers with the likes of Percy Harvin, Ike Hilliard, Reidel Anthony and Louis Murphy playing the role of sidekick.
The only surprise was that it took so long. After looking downright pathetic in losses to Vanderbilt and Georgia Southern, though, I knew it was only a matter of time. I just wish Muschamp had done something about it when there was still time to save the 2013 season, you know, like maybe after the Miami game for example? It’s clear to me that this was part of the deal that Jeremy Foley made with Will Muschamp when he agreed to keep him. In all three seasons of Muschamp’s tenure, Florida’s offense has been ranked worse than 100th in the nation out of 123 FBS teams.
Make no mistake. Muschamp is still very much on the hot seat in Gainesville. Anything less than a trip to Atlanta in 2014 and I’ve got to believe that his chances of remaining head Gator are very slim. With trips to Alabama and FSU next year, I think I can pardon two losses in the regular season. Florida can lose those two games and if they win the other ten, they’re guaranteed a trip to Atlanta. Any team in the SEC can lose one game to a team from the other division and still be guaranteed to win their division, because that would mean they would have swept the other six teams in their division, giving them each one loss, and would have the tiebreaker over anybody by virtue of beating all of them head to head.
While 10-2 and a berth in the SEC Championship Game seems a little farfetched, that’s too bad. That’s the position Muschamp has put himself in with a 4-8 record this year and a 7-6 record two years ago. Prior to Muschamp taking over the reigns, Florida had not lost six games in one season since 1987; they’ve had two six loss seasons in Muschamp’s three years. So sure, 10-2 and winning the SEC East may be tough goals to reach for a coach who’s fighting for his job, but that’s what you get when you bring a once proud program down to shambles.
At this point, looking good, playing hard and coming close are irrelevant. That’s all well and good for a rookie coach, or even a second year coach. The first two years of head coaching experience are undoubtedly going to be good learning experience, but I draw the line at three. Call me greedy, but now it’s time for some results. It’s time to finally beat Georgia. It’s time to win the SEC East. It’s time to see a little number before Florida’s name on the scoreboard every week of the season. You know, a number like this (13)Florida vs. (4)Alabama or like this (7)Florida vs. (2)FSU and someday, like this (2)Florida vs. (1)Ohio State. Play with the numbers all you like; you get the point.
The difference now is that instead of people saying he should be fired for a bad season, I feel comfortable saying that he will be fired for another bad season, and after the debacles of 2011 and 2013, I’m setting the line at 10 wins and an SEC East Championship. I already think he should be fired, and even went on CBS Tampa Bay 98.7 the Fan radio saying so, but now if Muschamp fails to hit those numbers by the slightest of the margins- if he goes 9-3 and misses out on a trip to Atlanta- I feel pretty confident that he will be fired unless the offense suddenly becomes a juggernaut that Alabama and LSU have trouble stopping.
In any case, Gator fans now prepare for the longest football offseason of this generation. Muschamp now has to replace his offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, and these will easily be his two biggest hires during his time at Florida. I’m not really one to engage in speculation for a coordinator, but I do think Muschamp and Foley will be willing to open up the checkbook for a big name who can really help in recruiting, not to mention making the offense more exciting. But a new coordinator now replaces a new head coach as the one present under the Christmas tree for Gator fans, and once we get one, I’ll sound off on my thoughts.
In the meantime, we just have to wait and see. But I do feel confident in saying that we can kiss Pease poor sub 100 ranked offenses bye bye.