It’s no secret that Florida head coach Will Muschamp has lost most, if not all, of his allure in Gainesville. But the 42-year-old has also become an afterthought in the coaching ranks of the state of Florida.
In fact, Muschamp would most likely come in fourth behind Jimbo Fisher (Florida State), Al Golden (Miami) and George O’Leary (UCF).
Thus far, the Rome, Ga., native certainly isn’t doing himself any favors.
Through nine games, Muschamp’s Gators are 4-5 and are losers of four straight. The offense has been nonexistent—No. 107 in scoring (20.6 PPG) and No. 112 in total offense (335.7 YPG)—and the defense that ranked among the nation’s best midway through the year has been a shell of itself as of late.
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Sure, Florida has been ravaged by numerous key injuries; but it’s not like the Gators opened the season looking like a serious threat to win the SEC, losing to Miami 21-16 in Week 2.
Meanwhile, Fisher has the Seminoles poised for an appearance in the BCS title game led by a redshirt freshman at quarterback; Golden has Miami contending for an ACC title again amid the school’s self-imposed sanctions and O’Leary has the Knights on track for their third 10-win season in the last four years.
Heck, even South Florida and Florida Atlantic have notched more wins than Florida over the last month.
Suddenly, a program that was the toast of the Sunshine State for the majority of the last two decades is now its laughingstock. Fans who clamored for Muschamp back in 2010 now want his blood.
The Swamp? More like the frog pond.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this.
Following the departure of Urban Meyer, who brought two BCS titles to the program in his tenure, the Gators were in search of someone who could keep that winning tradition alive. More specifically, the team was looking for someone who could restore Florida’s reputation as a perennial national championship contender.
Muschamp appeared to be that guy.
As the outspoken, aggressive defensive coordinator for Texas (2008-10), Muschamp helped the Longhorns rank No. 3 and No. 6 respectively in total defense in his final two years in Austin, making him the most sought-after coaching candidate in the nation.
Three years and $9 million later, Muschamp is just 22-13 in Gainesville. Furthermore, the Gators seem to be on pace to record their second six-loss season in three years.
How long does Muschamp have in Gainesville?
This is a program that, prior to Muschamp’s arrival, had not lost more than five games in a season since 1987.
Forget being the fourth-best coach in the state. There’s a good chance Muschamp wouldn’t even rank as the fourth-best coach in school history since 1984—a span that consists of just five head coaches (Muschamp, Meyer, Ron Zook, Steve Spurrier and Galen Hall).
Only Zook (2002-04) finished with more losses in his first three seasons (15). And with two games remaining against Top 10 opponents, there’s a good chance Muschamp will match him.
In a season in which his fellow Florida-based head coaches seem to be behind the wheel of a bulldozer, Muschamp is just peddling along on his scooter on a wet surface.
We all know how that story ends.
All stats and rankings used in this article are courtesy of NCAA.com.