November 25th, 2013 11:21 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Tags: Gators, Jimbo Fisher, Louisiana Monroe, Ron Zook
According to The Orlando Sentinel, anyone hoping an embarrassing loss to Georgia Southern… of the FCS… in the Swamp… would lead to Will Muschamp’s ouster can forget it. Athletic director Jeremy Foley still stands by his endorsement of the embattled third-year coach, according to Florida senior administrator Steve McClain.
The Gators continue to rack up the injuries, losing more bodies during Saturday’s upset. They’ve now lost six straight games. They won’t be going bowling. And the offense — with a third-string quarterbacks running it — looks completely impotent.
The Gators are coached by the same man who was SEC Coach of the Year last year. Ron Zook — that comparison is getting so very old — never approached an 11-win season or a major bowl game. Which is why Florida is wise not to judge its coach on this year alone. Heck, take it from Muschamp pal Jimbo Fisher, the coach of Florida State and the man most likely to hand Florida its eighth loss of the year on Saturday:
“Will’s a heck of a football coach and a good guy. You have injuries and things that go on. You can’t judge a person on one season. Will’s a heck of a football coach. He’s a great friend, but he’s a heckuva football coach. I’ve coached with him. He does a great job at Florida. I’ll guarantee you this: They’ll be ready to play when we go down there next week. I know that.”
So you’re saying he’s a heck of a football coach?
Yes, it’s a bit self-serving for Fisher to talk up the Gators and Muschamp before he plays them. The man’s in a BCS title race and he doesn’t need people talking down his schedule. But that doesn’t mean he’s wrong about judging a coach on one season alone.
* A team goes 6-6 in its regular season and loses to Louisiana-Monroe at home. The coach? Alabama’s Nick Saban in 2007. We know what he’s done since.
* A coach goes 5-6 and getting crushed by Kentucky 33-0 at home and losing to his team’s three biggest rivals. The coach? Georgia’s Vince Dooley in 1977. Dooley won a national crown three years later.
* A coach opens the season 0-6 (with losses of 25 to LSU, 32 to Auburn, and 28 to Washington State) before finishing 5-6. The coach? Tennessee’s Johnny Majors in 1988. Majors went 29-6-2 and won two SEC titles over the next three seasons.
Good coaches can suffer through bad seasons and bad breaks. The book on Muschamp suggests there is a high side to ability. This season — Gators fans must hope — would be the low side. But Florida is wise to give Muschamp one more year to make that point clear. Even after Saturday’s miserable defeat.
Hiring a four new coaches in a 13-year span is no way to build a stable, successful football program.
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