The past couple of weeks have presented plenty of news, gossip and speculation in Gainesville. At one point there were at least five different coaches named the next head coach at Florida, meanwhile, no one was even close, including myself.
Will Muschamp’s name came out of left field. No one expected the coach-in-waiting at Texas to leave his post to become the next head coach at the University of Florida. If you’re like me, you probably thought Muschamp was the next coach at the University of Georgia, instead Muschamp fooled us all.
We were all in the dark regarding his Gainesville connection, which, in the end proved to be one of the determining factors in his decision.
When Muschamp stood at the podium last Tuesday and told the story of him and his brothers watching games at Florida Field and dropping names like Tony Lilly and Wayne Peace, everyone in Gator Nation perked up in their seats.
Muschamp was a Gator before he was a Bulldog?
He tried to walk-on at Florida before going to Georgia?
These were very shocking revelations for a fan base that was slightly on the fence regarding the Muschamp hire. A lot of people questioned the hire since he has no head coaching experience. A lot of people questioned a defensive coach. However, after the forty minutes he spent at the podium, all doubts came to pass.
What Gator Nation saw was a positive and very confident coach. Muschamp delivered a clear and precise plan on how he plans to win at Florida. He spoke about offensive and defensive schemes, and even discussed special team strategies. He referred to himself in the third person, called his wife momma, and said “alright” after almost every sentence, just to make sure you’re still keeping up.
Gator Nation has its own tradition, maybe not as profound as Notre Dame or Alabama, but in the last twenty years no team has built a better program in college football than the University of Florida. Complete with Heisman Trophies and National Championships, the University of Florida has been out in front of college football.
So when the hottest coach in the country confesses he grew up a Gator fan, and chooses the University of Florida over the University of Texas, Gator Nation picks up yet another win in the college football world.
Only time will tell if Muschamp will be successful in Gainesville. I remember a lot of people very skeptical of Urban Meyer in the beginning. Six years and two national championships later, I think he turned out pretty decent.
Whatever side of the argument you lean towards, the reality is the University of Florida was once again out in front. Out in front of Texas and out in front of college football.