Texas Football: 5 Reasons Will Muschamp Never Should Have Left the Longhorns
Despite a season which saw the Texas Longhorns finish with an ugly 5-7 record and reeked of underachievement on both sides of the ball, former defensive coordinator Will Muschamp was hired on as the head coach of the Florida Gators.
While there are many great benefits Muschamp will get out of this move, we'll go over a few reasons why he might regret the decision.
Muschamp is known throughout the nation for both his elite defensive prowess and the energy he brings to the football team. Florida is thrilled to have his services in the wake of Urban Meyer's departure, but it's possible the Longhorns will miss him down the road.
He might miss the Longhorns, too. Here are five reasons why.
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In addition to being the defensive coordinator for Texas, Will Muschamp was the Longhorns' head coach-in-waiting behind Mack Brown.
Normally, it doesn't get much better than head coach of the Florida Gators. But let's be real—one of the few positions even more highly regarded is head coach of the Texas Longhorns, and in reality, Muschamp may not have had to wait as long as most think.
2010 was far and away Brown's worst season since taking over the Texas program, and while the Longhorns figure to improve significantly in 2011, they'll still have enough question marks that if just a few things don't go their way, they could finish a second consecutive season below-par.
Texas fans have come to expect so much out of the program (with good reason) that if the Longhorns were to suffer through another season, calls for Brown's axing would rapidly increase.
Were Brown to lose his job, Muschamp would have been the unquestioned choice for head coach, and fans would be refreshed with his energized approach.
Muschamp chose the immediate head coaching job over the future one, and he may end up wishing he hadn't bolted for the SEC.
Big 12 vs. SEC
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Speaking of the SEC, Will Muschamp took a considerable step up in competition when he took the job with the Gators.
While Florida has been a perennial power in the nation's strongest conference, they've since taken a bit of a downturn while teams like Alabama, LSU, South Carolina and Arkansas seem to be on the upswing. Muschamp will be charged with bringing Florida back to the top, but the fact of the matter is, he'll never be without seriously deep competition in the SEC.
Had Muschamp stayed with Texas and ended up being handed the reigns, his competition likely would have been considerably lighter.
Now that Nebraska has left the conference (though the Longhorns rarely lost to the Cornhuskers), Texas' only perennial challenger will be the Oklahoma Sooners. While teams like Missouri, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and Kansas State have their years, the overall quality and depth of the Big 12 doesn't measure up to the SEC.
In other words, had Muschamp hung with the Longhorns, he might have had many more opportunities for Big 12 and national championships.
Texas Recruiting Is Unparalleled
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Don't get me wrong folks—Will Muschamp will benefit from fantastic recruiting with the Gators. Florida is a fertile recruiting ground, and lately the Gators have been beating out even the Florida State Seminoles and Miami Hurricanes for some of the best prospects.
With that being said, there is nothing like high school football in Texas, and since the Longhorns are the premier team in the state, most of the top recruits have heavy interest in the program.
Year after year the Longhorns rake in one of the top classes in the country, and while some other teams come and go, Texas is consistently rated among the top three to five in recruiting. When Muschamp left that, he left a phenomenal opportunity to form a tremendous amount of talent into a team that contends for a national title year after year.
He could conceivably do the same with Florida, but the fact remains, the Texas Longhorns' recruiting program is unparalleled.
The Texas Longhorns Fan Base
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Love 'em or hate 'em, the Texas fan base is one of the most loyal in college football. While they have their bandwagoners (what perennial power doesn't?) and bad apples, the fans as a whole are some of the most passionate and football savvy.
But with that passion comes expectations, especially considering the program's rich history (Texas is the second-winningest college football team ever, for example). As I said before, if Will Muschamp had stayed and the Longhorns struggled at all in 2011, he may have been given the title of head coach.
Since he was head coach-in-waiting, it wouldn't have mattered whether the fans wanted him or not. He would've been the pick regardless. But it just so happens he was a fan favorite.
Muschamp's energy and passion was a fantastic representation of the fanbase itself, and the fans would have been delighted to see him in control of the program.
And because the Texas fanbase spreads far and wide, Muschamp may have had a following larger than he'll ever get in Florida.
The Longhorn Network
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Recently, the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas A&M Aggies have raised a stink about the Longhorn Network, which has given Texas an obvious recruiting advantage in the Big 12.
Apparently the Big 12 drama isn't over despite Nebraska's exit from the conference. Regardless of your opinion on the matter, though, the fact is Texas has taken advantage of the situation and will be recruiting even better and making even more money whether they stay in the Big 12 or not.
Had Will Muschamp stayed with Texas, he'd be reaping the benefits of the network whether he'd been dubbed head coach or not.
Nobody really knows what'll happen with the whole mess, but no matter what, Texas is a premier football team and is only rising higher.
Muschamp will be hard pressed to duplicate at Florida the kind of success he could've had at Texas. It's possible he could be hired back in the future when Mack Brown retires (or is fired), but for now he'll have to make do with Florida.
That's hardly a depressing thing, and there are many good arguments that suggest the move was a very positive one for the defensive guru.
Still, you have to wonder if he ever thinks about what could have been with one of the most successful programs in college football history.