Gators’ Risky Business…Going Bad

Posted: October 31, 2011 in Florida Gators, Florida Gators
Tags: , , , ,

Gator fans, yeah it’s time be to be worried.

I’m not just talking about Saturday’s loss to Georgia. I’m not just taking about this season.

I’m talking about the direction of your football program, and that means I’m talking about your young rookie head coach, Will Muschamp. Obviously it is much too early to pass judgment on Muschamp as a head coach, but it is impossible to ignore the bad vibes he’s created.

The Gators have now lost four straight. In doing so they’ve looked more like Vanderbilt than Florida. Losses to Alabama and LSU can be explained. They may be the two best teams in the country. But it’s how they lost, not being competitive, that jumps out. Losing at Auburn is acceptable but worrisome. Losing to Georgia is cause for alarm.

What all the losses have in common is how the Gators have lacked discipline, lacked composure and looked ill prepared. For the record, the Gators are not THAT void of talent.

The Gators were flagged for 14 penalties against Georgia to increase their lead as the nation’s most penalized team. There was apparent miscommunication numerous times. Receivers went one way, the ball went the other. Blocking assignments were missed. There were delay of game penalties. Players lined up incorrectly. The use of timeouts was laughable – if you were wearing red and black. Best example: Gators lined up as if they’re going for it on 4th down. Then they called timeout. Then they lined up and tried to draw the Bulldogs offside to no avail. Then they punted, which is obviously what they intended to do all along. It looked liked Larry, Curly, Moe and Will.

To those problems you can throw in a handful of physical errors. Chris Rainey had two throws go right through his hands. Quarterback John Brantley, clearly not fully recovered from a lower leg injury, repeatedly misfired, particularly in the second half.

The head coach has to be held accountable for many of the problems.

The hiring of Muschamp was a risky move by Athletic Director Jeremy Foley. Although he’d earned a stellar reputation as a defensive coach and was the Texas head-coach-in-waiting, he’d never been a head coach. Certainly the Florida program “isn’t too big to fail” — to put a different spin on a Wall Street slogan – but it does seem big enough where it doesn’t have to allow on-the-job training for its CEO.

Foley was following the current trend with the hiring of Muschamp. Schools are going more than ever for the young, ultra intense coaches who can better relate to the athletes and have the energy to recruit 24-7/365.

Muschamp was in demand. He reportedly said no to Tennessee. Texas wanted to keep him so badly it gave him a huge raise and the coach-in-waiting title. Reportedly, his alma mater, Georgia, let him know if he was patient he’d be in line to replace Mark Richt, who’ll likely be gone after this season.

The Florida offer, understandably, was too good to turn down. So a risky move was made by Florida. The risk looks greater now, and more than just this season is at stake. If Muschamp turns out to be a bad hire, the Gators will be paying the price for another two or three years, maybe longer.

Yeah, Gator fans, you should be worried.

  1. Tampa Jack says:

    Foley is slick. He knows Boom isn’t the long term solution. Look for him to hire Bob Stoops at the end of next season. Stoops didn’t take the job last year because he thought he could win possibly 2 more national titles at oklahoma before he retired to Gainesville to finish out his career.

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