Will Muschamp, for the people

Interesting exchange between LSU and Florida beat writer brought something to mind I hadn’t thought of before.  Start with this observation:

On paper, the move to Roper’s scheme seems to be a no-brainer, raising the question of why Muschamp did not do it until now.

That one’s easy – Boom’s a branch off the Saban coaching tree, where fast paced offense is anathema.  Controlling the game is a defensive coach’s mindset.

The better question is why Muschamp is making a dramatic scheme change now.  I’m not sure if this is being offered as an explanation for that, but I can’t help but wonder if something like this is running through the back of his head.

What is the mood toward Will Muschamp? Do Florida fans want him to fix the program or are they ready to move on?

Based on feedback during Will Muschamp’s speaking tour in the spring, Gator fans respect his passion and commitment but want results this season – or else.

Most fans, as well as UF Athletic Director Jeremy Foley, are giving Muschamp a bit of a pass for 2013’s 4-8 finish. Florida’s lost 17 players to season-ending injuries, including quarterback Jeff Driskel and star defensive tackle Dominique Easley  in September.

But the Gators’ struggles on offense have been persistent and created a boring brand of football not seen in Gainesville since the Doug Dickey Era in the 1970s.

Muschamp hired a new offensive coordinator, Duke’s Kurt Roper, and hopes the move from a pro-style offense to a up-tempo, shotgun-centric attack pays immediate dividends. Anything less than than eight wins and a lot more offensive fireworks will lead to calls for Muschamp’s job from all corners.

So a four-game improvement in wins won’t be enough to mollify the fan base and Foley?  There needs to be a little offensive pizzazz in the mix?  Even if it cuts against the grain of Muschamp’s instincts?  Hmmm… this is starting to remind me more than a little of the way Tuberville went through offensive coordinators until he crashed and burned with Tony Franklin.

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12 Comments

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12 responses to “Will Muschamp, for the people

  1. I had the exact same thought, the similarity with Tubbs’ last few years is eerily similar, including a hail mary of completely overhauling the offense in a make or break year. I guess the one big difference is Muschamp doesn’t have a bunch of other offensive assistants who have been around forever and will try to undermine Roper, like the rest of the AU staff did to Franklin. There seems to be buy-in from everyone. We’ll see what the results are.

    If we see AU go from a dismal season to a huge run, then UF do the same back-to-back, I’ll about be ready to toss up my hands and walk away.

    • Cojones

      You mentioned UFlike you don’t know how they would run the board, but by bringing them up you imply that they could. How far does that ambivalent feeling go either way? Many of us just opinionate while your comments seem to be more insightful. Where do you think the FU comeback spirit hits the wall and what happens after that? Still like to hear it even if you consider that it’s opinion.

      • Dawgoholic

        Simple formula for UF, they play no one in the first 3 games and then play Bama, bye, Tennessee, LSU @ home. They also will likely have a very good defense. If they somehow beat Bama, their confidence is through the roof and they could be tough to deal with. If they beat LSU but lose to Bama, they could still be riding pretty high. It’s not like this is a mediocre talent USCe team that went 4-8 last year. UF has more talent than the Auburn team that went 0 for the conference and then went to the big game.

        Still, this year could be tough for them if they can’t pull an upset early as it is doubtful that they can hold it together if they face much adversity.

  2. Dog in Fla

    “The better question is why Muschamp is making a dramatic scheme change now”

    What’s going to be not so great about this for Mr. Roper is that he is being marketed with the same Top Gun and/or an airborne Harry Potter “Chasing #The Standard” zeal deployed last season by, for and about Brent Pease. And for overall body of work, who could ever match Tommy’s march through offensive coordinators. Bravo Zulu, Boom!

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Brent cashed out and is now back at Smurf field. SOD made a huge change shifting to a 3-4 in a make or break year. Either very dumb or extremely savvy. SOD’s buyout was attractive to say the least. And the upside is … no one says his name. SOD per uT fans is ” he who can’t be named.” (Since DIF wanted to go all Harry Potter. ;-))
      This is Red Fox Hound to Orange Pants Leader come in Orange Pants Leader……..
      Rodger that Red Fox Hound… This is Orange Pants Leader… my work here is done. Moving on to Dallas… Over.

      • Dog in Fla

        Excellent radio telephone procedures. When Boom is done, we’ll owe a debt of gratitude to those who can now be named as operatives after their scorched earth work in Knoxvegas and Hogtown

  3. Minor point to pick: Saban’s offenses at Alabama (at least since 2008) have had the ability to go up tempo, no hurry, whatever you want to call it. It’s not exactly the Gus Bus, but the offense can go fast when need be.

    But the “need be” is usually for a drive or two, not the entire game. That’s where the Saban-Muschamp lineage gets interesting. It’s in Gus’ DNA to go fast. All game, all the time – and he usually gets in trouble when he pulls up.

    The Tuberville reference was a good one, but a closer example may be Chizik. Going fast wasn’t in his DNA either and it wound up getting him fahred.

    • Dog in Fla

      Sure, both Tommy and Chiz went through OC’s like BC powders but I thought they got fired because of their failure to deal with Nick. Who can’t remember when Tommy was courteous enough to give Tony Franklin a people-helping opportunity to clear out his desk mid-week in mid-season so he could beat the weekend traffic out of Auburn. For Chiz, everybody knew Football Points was a bad sign

  4. JN

    People constantly talk about Muschamp doing it the same way as Saban, but I’ve never been able to pickup from Saban the disregard for offense that Muschamp has seemed to have? That’s not to say that Saban views building a team the same way as Malzhan, but Bama has always had good offenses. Their ranking (nationally) for scoring offense since 09 (Saban’s 3rd season) is 21, 18, 20, 12, 17. And that’s while playing in the SEC. Those would be a minimum of 3 or 4 spots higher each if Bammer were in another conference. IMO, Saban has always realized the importance of offense because he is a defensive guy.

    • W Cobb Dawg

      You nailed it. And saban isn’t the type to hand over the keys to an OC like other head coaches. That approach comes back to bite the asses of most HCs. Once in a while you get a coordinator like malzahn, BVG or Chavis, who can be trusted with free reign. Thats the exception to the rule. Most of the time you get a Peace or Grantham – guys who need a lot of oversight – guys that leave the HC wondering ‘WTF was I thinking giving this guy autonomy?’

  5. FWIW, hope I’m wrong, but right now I think Florida will be the most improved team in the SEC. Their schedule will likely be too brutal for it many to recognize it, but I look for them to knock off at least one top team, if not two or more.

    I also believe the game in Jacksonville will be a real war, probably the toughest game we’ll play. Our task of beating South Carolina in Columbia could prove to be easier than winning the Party.
    ~~~

    • Dog in Fla

      “but right now I think Florida will be the most improved team in the SEC.”

      Now there’s some good news