The coaching silly season has kicked into high gear in some SEC towns and one that will be watched closely is Gainesville, Fla., where head coach Will Muschamp is in the market for a new offensive coordinator.
Brent Pease was fired on Sunday after two mediocre seasons with the Gators and likely served as the fall guy for Muschamp—who will be coaching for his own job during the 2014 season.
So where will Florida go for its next offensive coordinator? B/R's Randy Chambers threw out five potential candidates for the Gators on Sunday. Settling on the right coach is very important because that coach will have one year to turn things around. Otherwise, the entire staff could be hitting the unemployment line.
But more important than the hire is the philosophy, and Muschamp has already taken the right steps in that department.
According to the Associated Press' Mark Long, Muschamp will scrap the pro-style offense in favor of a hurry-up, no-huddle attack.
Just heard Gators coach Will Muschamp plans to switch to up-tempo offense in 2014 and is willing to scrap pro-style system— Mark Long (@APMarkLong) December 3, 2013
The reason? Well, aside from the obvious benefits it gives a team like Florida that's loaded with athletes, quarterback Jeff Driskel is better-suited to a different offense.
Real issue for Gators is staff believes QB Jeff Driskel would be more effective in anything other than pro-style system— Mark Long (@APMarkLong) December 3, 2013
Who will that be? Pat Dooley of The Gainesville Sun thinks a hire won't come until after the bowl games.
Talked to Will yesterday. My impression -- he basically knows who he wants to hire but will wait til after bowls.— Pat Dooley (@pat_dooley) December 5, 2013
He implemented a pro-style offense when he was hired at Florida, first with Charlie Weis as his offensive coordinator and then with Pease. His offenses have finished 10th or worse in the SEC in each of those three seasons despite leading the conference in time of possession in each of the last two.
|Florida Offense Under Will Muschamp|
|Yards Per Game||328.7 (10)||334.0 (12)||316.7 (14)|
|Yards Per Play||5.42 (6)||5.25 (12)||4.79 (14)|
|Points Per Game||25.5 (8)||26.5 (10)||18.8 (14)|
|Time of Possession Per Game||28:28.69 (9)||32:26.54 (1)||33:49.00 (1)|
|CFBStats.com (SEC Rank in Parenthesis)|
Running a pro-style offense at Florida in the post-Urban Meyer era always seemed like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, and starting a quarterback who possesses dual-threat capabilities only prolonged that perception.
With one year to turn things around and that same quarterback likely taking the snaps, Muschamp had no choice other than to throw a curveball and change his philosophy.
This 4-8 season may be the best thing that ever happened to the football program, because it forced immediate change.
Change for the better.
With the recruiting base Florida has, the athletes on the roster and the direction college football is moving in, a switch to an uptempo offense will get Florida back to a competitive level in a hurry and will keep the Gators there for a long time.