It’s a term no head coach ever wants to have their name associated with, but with Saturday’s loss to rival Georgia, Florida head coach Will Muschamp is officially on the “hot seat.”
Saturday’s game, Muschamp’s third straight loss to the Bulldogs, helped serve as a microcosm of his entire tenure as head coach of the Florida Gators football team. The game was full of penalties, undisciplined play and the offense was as inept as ever (at least in the first half).
This has raised some serious questions about Muschamp’s viability as the long-term solution at Florida.
The obvious comparison for those looking to push Muschamp out the door is former Florida head coach Ron Zook. In his three seasons as the Gators’ head coach, Zook had a career record of 23-15. Muschamp currently has a record of 22-12 in his third season. Zook went a combined 5-7 against big-time rivals Georgia, Florida State, Louisiana State and Tennessee. Muschamp has gone 5-6 in those games thus far and is likely to lose to Florida State this year. Former head coach Urban Meyer went 19-5 in those rivalry games.
Much of Muschamp’s problems stem from the Gators’ struggles on offense since his arrival. Muschamp is a defensive mind and hired Brent Pease away from Boise State to run the offense. However, the offense has never ranked higher than 97th in the country and currently ranks last in the SEC in total offense at just 334.6 yards per game. In Muschamp’s defense, Florida has been decimated by injuries this season, including losing its starting quarterback, right tackle and wide receiver.
On top of that, Meyer left the cupboard pretty empty when he resigned in 2011, and it was going to take some time to rebuild the roster no matter whom was hired to be the next head coach. Furthermore, there is no denying Muschamp’s talent as a recruiter. In his three years as head coach he has never had a recruiting class rank below 12th in the country, according to ESPN, and is well on his way to his third straight Top 10 class in 2014. The problem is that the talent has to be developed and that appears to be where Florida is coming up short.
Despite everything, Muschamp should be afforded at least one more year to right the ship. For all of the Gators’ struggles this season, it is easy to forget this is the same coach that finished with an 11-1 record and a trip to the Sugar Bowl just last season. Also, he is nothing like Zook, who just appeared incompetent and out of place at Florida from the get go.
But with a 6-6 record highly possible, or even 5-7 if Florida loses to Vanderbilt this Saturday, Muschamp will have to make some serious changes to his offensive staff this offseason if he hopes to be at Florida for the long-haul.
Read more Florida rumors, news and opinion on our Florida football page