It wasn’t Steve Spurrier-like, but the Florida Gators won the first round of SEC Media Days Monday afternoon. Coach Will Muschamp and his three players walked into Alabama with their chests poked out and showed no signs of last season lingering around.
It’s a new day for Florida.
Muschamp doesn’t want to hear about your hot-seat comments and is tired of being reminded about last year’s four victories. He plans on attacking the criticism the best way he knows how and just about the only positive way he can.
Muschamp directly addresses hot seat rumors; says the easiest way to quiet that is to win football games.— Cody Pace (@CodyPace) July 14, 2014
In Muschamp’s first season, the Gators finished 7-6, which included a stretch where they lost four straight games. People were questioning then if he was the right man for the job, but he silenced any concerns the following year with an 11-2 record and a trip to a BCS bowl game.
While 2013 may be the worst season young Florida fans have ever experienced, it will be a forgotten memory if another double-digit win total is posted.
Judging by what Muschamp said next, it isn’t far-fetched to think 10 or more wins is in the cards:
Muschamp: "I don't think 11 wins was a hoax. I think that's who we are."— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) July 14, 2014
"This will be the most complete team we've had at Florida, as far as offense, defense, special teams." -Muschamp #Gators— Chris Harry (@GatorZoneChris) July 14, 2014
There’s really no turning back after those comments, as folks who were watching are sure to have added a couple more wins to Florida’s projected win total. Muschamp was a bounce or two away from playing for a national championship a couple of seasons ago. If this is the most complete team he’s had in Gainesville, well, the possibilities are endless.
Muschamp is feeling a little bit like Superman, and your negative comments just bounce right off him:
Will Muschamp joked this spring Nike developed a new line of apparel for him. “See this shirt. It’s bullet proof"— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) July 14, 2014
Other guys were also feeling a little big and bad when the questions were flying throughout the day:
Fowler: "My expectation for Dante Fowler is to be a leader, put my team on my back and get this team to the SEC Championship."— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) July 14, 2014
However, the most shocking statement of the day may have come from cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III. Quarterback Jeff Driskel's struggles have been well documented, but the star corner wasn’t holding his tongue for anybody and came to the defense of his offensive leader. Brace yourselves:
VH3 on Driskel: I think he’s the best QB in college football.— Richard Johnson (@RagjUF) July 14, 2014
Driskel, your thoughts?
Driskel: "I think I have a chance to have a good season and be one of the better QBs in the SEC."— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) July 14, 2014
Because, you know, why not?
Can Florida reach the SEC Championship Game this season?
Most of the country is probably going to laugh at these comments. After all, Florida couldn’t move the ball the length of a dinner table on offense and lost to Georgia Southern among other teams. However, this is the type of stuff you want to hear if you’re a Florida fan.
Never mind sitting around and moping about what happened last season. It’s a new day, new season and the possibility for a complete turnaround.
Just ask Auburn, a team that won three games in 2012 and found itself just seconds away from winning the national championship the very next season. That doesn’t happen without believing in yourself first. Nothing great is accomplished by anybody without confidence.
Why not Florida?
The team took the step forward during media day.