Who knew, Will Muschamp? Who knew?

Mr. Conventional Wisdom tries to explain why Will Muschamp’s first season in Gainesville didn’t go swimmingly.

He inherited a team built to run the spread offense under Urban Meyer, who won two BCS titles (2006, 2008) in five seasons. But when he got the job, Muschamp made it clear Florida would move to a more power-based offense, a la Alabama. He didn’t have the personnel to do it.

… When all the smoke had cleared, Muschamp’s first Florida team was 7-6 and five of those losses had come against No. 1 Alabama (12-1, national champions), No. 2 LSU (13-1), No. 9 South Carolina (11-2), No. 19 Georgia (10-4, SEC East champs), and No. 23 Florida State (9-4).

I know Barnhart is just being Barnhart, friend to all, with this, but are we really supposed to be surprised by any of it?  It’s not like it was that hard to see what was coming, was it?  I mean, I’m just your typical blogging doofus, but even I was able to take note of the dark clouds on the horizon before the 2011 season got underway.

The somewhat scary part of this, if you’re a Gator fan, is that Muschamp sounds like he was surprised a little:  “But I still felt we’d be OK as long as [quarterback] John Brantley didn’t get hurt…”

Take that for what it’s worth.  And along those lines, wait to see if this year’s delusional program is in Knoxville.

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27 Comments

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27 responses to “Who knew, Will Muschamp? Who knew?

  1. To me, it wasn’t that Muschamp had a bad season because of personnel, a new scheme and a difficult schedule, we all expected that as you pointed out Senator.. but he looked so inept and surprised throughout it all. His antics on the sideline made him seem absolutely idiotic and out of control (I’m not sure a little of that is a bad thing at all, but it was happening on every bad play).

    Contrast that with Lane Kiffin, who maintained that it was ‘all part of the plan’, calm cool and collected under all adversity. He parlayed that into a major raise at his ‘dream job’. Muschamp has endured some pretty intense scrutiny already for his coaching ability, not just his record. Which approach is more effective? I know there are some inequities in that comparison.. namely that one team had more talent than the other.. but my point is their first year records aren’t that far apart yet one is under more scrutiny than the other was, from what I can tell.

  2. charlottedawg

    I might be in the minority on this one but I hope that Muschamp pulls a Muschamp and does well against everyone in the SEC, except Georgia. IF Georgia gets their shit together they could start that trend this year. Personally, i think the Gators will be much improved and their D will be solid.

  3. Otto

    Charlottedawg, Agreed I’d like Muschamp to do well against everyone but UGA returning the WLOCP back itsd natural order. However I don’t see Coach Boom turning into a good HC, he doesn’t have any tact. UF has not had the patience other schools have had for him to learn how to be a HC.

    UT delusional? They are returning the most starters in the SEC and if they had any sort of QB they would have beaten SCar. I think their realistic goal is making the Outback or CapOne.

  4. J

    “Along those lines…” Really? Comparing trying to run an Alabama type offense when you have a team built for the spread is like switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4? I know you love ripping on UT, but are you truly a UGA delusional fan or do you just play one on a blog? UT is scary this year, and if you don’t see it, perhaps you should stop writing about football.

    • Bryant Denny

      Scary in a good way or scary in a bad way?

    • Thanks for the advice.

      Assuming you’re serious, I’ll just point out that if you think changing from a 4-3 to a 3-4 scheme doesn’t involve significant personnel issues (as well as getting kids to learn a very different scheme) which can be problematic, you may want to ask any of us about how things went in Grantham’s first season as the DC in Athens. Or, for that matter, you could ask Sunseri how Saban’s first season at Alabama went.

      • Bryant Denny

        Sunseri has been very positive about how practice is going. Granted, he didn’t have much exposure to the media for the last several year so I don’t know if that’s his disposition in general, but…his comments lead me to believe he’s taking the “oh crap we’re in trouble so I need to be positive” mode.

        We’ll see I guess.

      • J

        The problems on offense involve learning a new scheme plus multiple personnel issues. The most important one being QB. The problem on defense involves learning a new scheme plus really only one personnel issue, that being nose tackle. Which situation is more difficult to deal with? Especially if your spread QB is the farthest thing from a pro style QB? Further, there is a big difference between learning a new system that puts points on the board as opposed to keeping points off the board.

        But seriously, your assessment of the SEC East is enjoyable, only because you seem content with being a stereotypical UGA fan with a bigger soapbox. You seem unable to take an unbiased look at any SEC team, specifically who they played last year, how they did against that competition, who was hurt last year, and who is coming back this year. But hey, I expect nothing less from a UGA fan. Perhaps the most entertaining fans to listen to mid January through August.

        • AthensHomerDawg

          There is nothing scary about your 1-7 mediocre team. Yes, now in SOD’s third season it is an experienced team but still a mediocre team. Want to change that perception? Just win baby! Win 9 games this season …. then start the talk. Right now it is conjecture. Your WR is a head case and future T.O. Your qb is not a leader and is still a kid. Your coaching staff is in flux with new faces and new schemes. Your HC…. is still a
          relatively unproven coach with a big last name. No number of orange ceramic dogs strategically placed on the practice field or any metaphors about bamboo growth cycles changes any of that. Finally, ” but are you truly a UGA delusional fan or do you just play one on a blog? ” Really? You’re a guest here on this Georgia Dog blog. Act like one. ” I hate rude behavior in a man…. won’t tolerate it!”

          • Cojones

            Sic’em AHD! Plus, we all know how The Senator varies the content and appeals to all fans’s input on many issues. He writes some articles to invite acidic comments,; others he may give love and invite more. If you tried to place a general hat on Blutarsky, you would still miss. He’s much too complicated and wisened to let his spleen dictate his remarks. I can’t say that for many people who blog here and certainly don’t count myself faintly near that small group, but he sure does put up with a lot of dumbass shit from day to day that warrants consideration for a Peabody Award borne of patience.

            J, those remarks go for the horse you rode in on as well.

        • Dawgfan Will

          We’re not nearly as entertaining from mid January through August as trolling UT fans who think they’ll have more than 7 wins next December. By all means, though, keep Dooley around for a while longer.

          • Mayor of Dawgtown

            +1. We should all want SOD to be HC at UT permanently.Every school in the SEC East should.

        • The problem on defense involves learning a new scheme plus really only one personnel issue, that being nose tackle.

          More like the entire front seven, actually. Again, we lived through watching former defensive ends try to figure out how to play in pass coverage and the play of undersized ILBs because they understood the scheme better, but what do we know? Don’t let me stop your superior insight… you’re obviously on a roll.

          As for my assessment of this year’s SEC East, I haven’t done one yet.

          • CharlotteDawg

            I think I remember Lakatos saying that even coverages in the secondary are a little bit different in a 3-4 rather than a 4-3, so it’s all 11 guys not just the front 7. If I recall correctly, the premise was since in a 3-4 pressure could theoretically come from any one of the line backers, that influences which of the linebackers drop into coverage which affects how the secondary covers. I’ll need a fact check though as I’m wading into waters way over my head.

        • 81Dog

          ROCKYYYYYYYYYYYYYY TOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPPP!!! (belch) We gon whup ever one them sombeeches. Ah reckon aint none uv em gon know whut hit em. (belch)

        • DavetheDawg

          If, within the realm of the 3-4, SOD can legally implement 15 defensive players…then I think Tennessee may just be onto something. It (almost) worked once…

  5. D.N. Nation

    Big Fat Tony wasn’t the only one. I spent all summer explaining to a few Florida-fluffing friends of mine that the Gators would look a lot better than they were by virtue of an easy early schedule, and that it’d all come crashing to earth.

    Their excuse after was that oh, if only Brantley didn’t get hurt. To say absolutely nothing of their abysmal OL and complete lack of reliable playmakers on offense.

  6. Spike

    Recall when Boom was cryin’ to the refs in the WLOCP because the Gators had a delay of game penalty? What was that about? The Gators can have him.

  7. Cojones

    Mike, where the heck are you when we need your input?

    Last year was too easy to compare FU and UGA. It was obvious from the start that Muschamp would have to dig out fast from what was left by a fleeing Myers. But Boom dug deeper instead of out. As soon as his “Guarantee” hit, many of us knew he was pissing into the wind and things were worse at FU than we could read or understand. Program puffery propping proved profane proficiency problems for Muschamp last year. He is not only quieter this year, but many of us know his team will be better this year than last and so will Georgia’s. Both will continue an upward trend because their basic schemes are changing and proficiency at them takes time. And our curve is ahead of his curve until after this season, after which all bets are off.

  8. AthensHomerDawg

    “And our curve is ahead of his curve until after this season, after which all bets are off.”
    Interesting. So are we lead to believe that Muschamp’s growth&improvement continues at a rate that not only trends upward…. but at a rate that blows by CMR’s new and improved growth/improvement rate and leaves UGa behind? I am not convinced.

    • Uglydawg

      The SEC East will be better from the bottom to the top this year. Georgia will be the best team in the East, but not by as much as we’re hoping for. UF, TN and SC will all be improved as will Vandy. As for Missouri, I can’t venture a guess, but with the defensive backfield woes, it may be a huge feat for the Dawgs to overcome. I can imagine Murray coming out and setting the woods on fire early. If he does…..if the Dawg offense goes on a killiing spree…..the sky’s the limit.

  9. E dawg

    J: please go to the AJC blog.