Florida fans have every right to feel differently about head coach Will Muschamp than they did just a few months ago. It hasn't been long since he was considered a top coach in the SEC and the guy the program must do everything it could to keep. But now, especially after a 36-17 loss to Missouri, it's fair to ask the following question: Should Muschamp be on the hot seat?
Yes, but to a certain extent.
Florida is now 4-3 on the season and has lost two games in a row. Players are dropping like flies, the defense isn't as dominant as it once was and the offense makes you wish you had an ice pick beside your comfy couch. The players are frustrated and the fans are feeling a little uneasy, which means the coaching staff should be feeling some sort of pressure.
After all, this is Florida. Losing this ugly and digging a hole in the SEC East race isn't going to sit well. Expectations are high, and they won't change for anyone. When a coach can't win ballgames and keeps putting a sloppy product onto the field, he's going to be thrown onto the hot seat. It happened with Lane Kiffin, it's happening to Mack Brown, and Muschamp certainly isn't exempt.
But before everybody jumps on the hot-seat bandwagon, it's important to note that the entire sky isn't dark and gloomy. In fact, the majority of the issues lie with the offense. And this is where offensive coordinator Brent Pease may be the first to be shown the door.
Are we going to start hearing rumblings of Muschamp firing Brent Pease? Would it matter?— Saturday Down South (@SDS) October 19, 2013
Florida came into this game averaging just 367 yards and 21.8 points per game. Both are near the bottom of the SEC. In Saturday's loss, Florida's offense produced just 151 total yards, including just 59 yards on the ground.
The offense also struggled last season under Pease—and it doesn't seem to make a difference who plays quarterback or how many trick plays are called.
The offensive line gets dominated on a consistent basis, the wide receivers can't create separation, and the quarterbacks...well, let's just say the days of Tim Tebow and Chris Leak are long gone. It's a train wreck. And once you think it can't get any worse, it does.
Should Will Muschamp be on the hot seat?
If anybody is going to get the ax, it would be Pease. There's no reason that Florida, a program that has no problem recruiting elite athletes on both sides of the ball, can't get anything going offensively. It's insane, mind-blogging and should be driving Gators fans mad.
With that said, Muschamp isn't out of the woods just yet. Once one coach is on the verge of unemployment, everybody's job can become up for grabs. If Pease is let go somewhere down the line, it isn't far-fetched to believe that Muschamp could be soon to follow if another ugly loss takes place to Vanderbilt or rival Florida State.
Yes, he's done a fabulous job in recruiting, but this is Florida. Chewbacca could become the next head coach and players would still line up across the state border to become a Gator. Just ask Ron Zook.
It's not how many great players you can recruit, it's what you can do with the talent you get. Right now, Florida has taken a backseat in the SEC, and last year's success is looking more and more like a fluke.
The first step is admitting there is a problem, which Muschamp did after Saturday's loss, according to Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post:
UF coach Will Muschamp: "We're just not a very good football team. That falls on me."— Jason Lieser (@PBPjasonlieser) October 19, 2013
It's good that he's able to be honest with his evaluations. Now, the tough part is fixing the issues.
Muschamp still has time to turn things around and shouldn't be pushed out of the door just yet. Still, for the first time as head coach of Florida, his seat should turn up a few degrees.