Sink or swim in Gainesville.

Now, while we’ve come to love the hire of Agent Muschamp, you do have to wonder what Jeremy Foley was thinking, because it cut against the grain of what’s been successful at Florida.

While it’s easy to criticize with the benefit of hindsight, the hiring of Muschamp really never fit the image of Florida football in the first place. Florida made its name as an innovative program among major colleges, with the Fun ‘n’ Gun and spread option giving the program a defined identity. In between Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer, Florida failed by hiring Ron Zook, a defensive coach and accomplished recruiter who has flamed out as a gameday coach, and now, for the last three years, the reins have been in the hands of Muschamp, the former Texas defensive coordinator who probably would have fit best a Woody Hayes staff. A good head coach is a good head coach, and a good defensive coach could succeed at Florida, in theory. Still, it’s an odd shift in direction, given that the fan base came of age with Florida on the cutting edge of offensive football. It just makes it easier for fans to grow disenchanted with the direction of the program, sooner rather than later.

At this point, Florida’s pinning its hopes on the hire of another Duke offensive guru in Roper.  The catch is that while Spurrier was his own man, Roper was managing the Blue Devils offense under the direction of David Cutcliffe, a top-notch offensive mind in his own right.  Who’s to say Roper’s ready for what he’s taking on at Florida?  It’s not like the Gators haven’t talked a good game before about opening up the offense.

There was a revealing moment in last season’s Florida-Tennessee game, when the one-loss Gators still had delusions of grandeur. Driskel had just been knocked out, and inexperienced Tyler Murphy (who will suit up for Boston College next season) took over. In the midst of one of the season’s sloppiest games, Florida hurried to the line, and CBS play-by-play man Verne Lundquist took note, saying, “Here’s a little bit of that hurry-up,” adding that Florida had said it would use it against the Vols. The next thing he said was that there were five seconds left on the play clock.

It’s one thing to say a philosophy is changing, quite another to put it into practice.

If Roper isn’t the man, let’s hope Foley doesn’t learn from history.

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13 Comments

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13 responses to “Sink or swim in Gainesville.

  1. The other Doug

    How much time will Agent Muschamp be given next year? I’m afraid he might be coaching for his job in Jacksonville or worse he might already be canned.

    FLORIDA 2014 Schedule
    Aug 30: IDAHO
    Sep 6: EASTERN MICHIGAN
    Sep 13: KENTUCKY
    Sep 20: at Alabama
    Oct 4: at Tennessee
    Oct 11: LSU
    Oct 18: MISSOURI
    Nov 1: vs Georgia
    Nov 8: at Vanderbilt
    Nov 15: SOUTH CAROLINA
    Nov 22: EASTERN KENTUCKY
    Nov 29: at Florida State

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Yep. I only see 4-5 wins for FU on that schedule and a likely 4 game FU losing streak coming into the WLOCP.

  2. I Wanna Red Cup

    The best I can see the Gators coming into the WLOCP is 5-2, but most likely 4-3. I don’t think he can survive losing to us and FSU unless the overall record is 10-2 which is unlikely.

  3. Moe Pritchett

    the schedule Gods live on Milledge.

  4. McTyre

    Common thread: few proven coaches want to be the guy following The Guy … especially so at a CFB power.

    • He definitely hasn’t been able to win the hearts of the fans. Even at the points where Richt has struggled the most, while many people have doubted him, you’d be hard pressed to find many who didn’t want him to be the guy that got us back on track. A lot just didn’t think he had it in him.

      For Muschamp, most of their fans don’t think he has it in him, and don’t seem to particularly want him to be the guy that gets them on track. They just don’t care for his style of football.

  5. Spike

    I can’t understand why the jort wearers don’t cotton to him. He is just such a warm lovable human being.

  6. MGW

    The last three years have been delightful.

  7. fatman48

    I think that Muschump should find a less stressful employ, for the last three seasons I have feared for his health, is he going to have a Stroke, Heart Attack, or just EXPLODE on the sidelines. you know I’ve never seen anyone that shade of RED before, have you ?

    • Reservoir Dawg

      The Ginger Ninja used to color up to nice shade of purple. I for one hope the Agent Muschamp prospers just enough to have a good long career at Hogtown. Not gonna happen but a boy can dream, can’t he?