The Florida Gators (4-5, 3-4 SEC) are on the verge of losing out on a bowl bid for the first time in 23 seasons.
And while much of the program's faults can be attributed to a slew of season-ending injuries, there is no sugarcoating Florida's shortcomings on offense for the third consecutive year under coach Will Muschamp.
A lack of offensive ingenuity and an overwhelming reliance on a depleted run game has the Gators ranked No. 111 in the country in total offense. If the season runs its course, Florida will finish as one of the nation's 20 worst offenses for the third season in a row after finishing No. 105 in 2012 and No. 104 in 2011.
With Muschamp vowing to bring changes to a seemingly predictable offense, according to Scott Carter of GatorZone.com, we examine possible offensive coordinator replacements for 2014.
Co-offensive coordinator/Quarterbacks coach, Texas A&M
Florida's lack of success and stability at the quarterback position leads me to believe Spavital can be an intriguing option in 2014.
And Spavital's track record suggests he can groom a college quarterback or two.
Before earning a gig at Texas A&M as co-offensive coordinator, Spavital worked steadily under offensive guru Dana Holgorsen at Houston and West Virginia. He's coached the likes of Case Keenum, Brandon Weeden and Geno Smith—two of whom went on to become first-round picks in the NFL draft. The Aggies rank No. 6 in the country in total offense, averaging 379.2 yards per game.
As co-offensive coordinator under Kevin Sumlin, Spavital has steadied Texas A&M's ship despite Kliff Kingsbury's departure to Texas Tech.
Not coincidentally, quarterback Johnny Manziel is having a better season statistically in 2013 than the year before.
Johnny Manziel has 3,313 passing yards and 31 touchdowns after 10 games, 533 yards and 13 TD more than last year. #Heisman— Drew Roberts (@DrewSDS) November 12, 2013
Although Spavital is steeped in the Air Raid offensive philosophy, it's hard to imagine Florida not adapting to an offensive style conducive to winning football games—contrary to Muschamp's conservative style.
And a quarterback coach who's familiar with SEC defenses could be the answer to Florida's offensive woes.
Offensive Coordinator, UCLA
An old-school football guy, Mazzone has experienced a wealth of success as offensive coordinator at UCLA.
No off coordinator has done more with injuries and young players this year than ucla's Noel Mazzone. Watch last week's game @TaylorMazzone1— Sean Salisbury (@SeanUnfiltered) November 13, 2013
The Bruins are averaging 463.6 yards and 37.2 points per game. And despite multiple injuries to the offense, Mazzone has proven his ability to improvise on a whim, as told by Chris Foster of the Los Angeles Times.
Mazzone borrowed defensive linemen Cassius Marsh, Eddie Vanderdoes, Kenny Clark, Keenan Graham and Jordan Zumwalt, who were used in an inverted wishbone formation with Jack as a deep back. Mazzone constantly eyeballs defensive players to supplement the offense.
His unique ability to adapt to offensive constraints could certainly raise an eyebrow.
Head Coach, Western Kentucky
After being relinquished of his duties as head coach of Arkansas following an ugly turn of events involving a motorcycle crash and an inappropriate relationship with a staff member, Petrino has led a less-than-glorious Western Kentucky team to a 6-4 record.
And the first-year coach has continued his trek of offensive excellence.
Through 10 games, Petrino's offense ranks 33rd in passing offense (273.3 yards per game), and the Hilltoppers have posted 30-plus points in eight of their 10 games.
Petrino posted back-to-back double-digit-win seasons in 2010 and 2011. And versus SEC defenses, the Razorbacks are averaging more than 438.5 yards per game of offense.
Bobby Petrino and Charlie Strong both already contacted by University of Florida? My source in SEC says yes— MHver3 (@MHver3) November 11, 2013
Clearly, Petrino's return to the SEC is not a question of if but when. And if Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley can look beyond Petrino's off-field issues, the Gators may land a standout play-caller.