“The Gators will forever receive the benefit of the doubt.”

Bill Connelly’s preview of Florida is an honest one, which means he isn’t projecting the Gators to Atlanta.

This is an odd time for Florida. Even in 2012, fan interest in Muschampball seemed to wane at times (it’s certainly not particularly pleasant to the eye), and in 2013, when injuries forced him to get creative to avoid disaster, he couldn’t do it. It’s hard to be too pessimistic about a program that was 11-2 just one full season ago, but it’s hard to be particularly optimistic about a team that looked as bad as Florida did for much of last year.

Thanks to recruiting and 2012, in the Football Outsiders Almanac 2014 the Gators get a faithful No. 30 projection, with a likely record of 7-5 (29 percent chance of 8-4 or better, 38 percent chance of 6-6 or worse). That’s as good a starting point as any for expectations, but the odds of another 2012 are small.

And that leads to the $64000 question for Boom.

And will 7-5 be enough to earn Muschamp a fifth year in Gainesville?

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35 Comments

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35 responses to ““The Gators will forever receive the benefit of the doubt.”

  1. I Wanna Red Cup

    I don’t think 8-4 is good enough for Agent M if the wins do not include either UGA or FSU

  2. 3rdandGrantham

    It recently dawned on me that perhaps Muschamp is the head coach equivalent of one Todd Grantham. They both look the part, act the part, and for a certain time period, most people assume that they have “it” and will be really successful. But when it comes down to actual performance and wins/losses over time, suddenly the emperor has no clothes at all.

    With that said, I think this will be his last season at UF, especially if he loses to us yet again while winning less than 10 games. The fact that they are having a tough time selling tickets, along with AD Foley practically begging the students/fans to buy tickets, pretty much tells me he’s done unless he pulls off a miraculous turnaround.

    • charlottedawg

      Muschamp actually beat some worthy opponents in 2012, Grantham got smoked by every decent offense he faced in all four years at Georgia. Big difference.

  3. Spike

    Please don’t let this end..

  4. I hope he is stays at UF as long as CPJ stays at GT!

    • Mayor

      Maybe……when Muschamp gets fired CPJ can take the FU job and then Muschamp can take the Tech job!!!! That’ll be good for another 5 years or so of the same for both schools vis-a-vis the Dawgs!!

  5. siskey

    Because Foley has had a 50% success rate in hiring coaches who win National Championships ( Spurrier and Meyer), I don’t think that he will hesitate in getting rid of Muschamp if they have a bad season this year. With FSU winning big again and having an easier time being nationally relevant because of their league, Muschamp will have a really difficult time staying in the Gator’s good graces if they don’t win 10+ and beat “Us” and/ or FSU. I can foresee him being gone by the time November 1st rolls around. As we’ve seen with defensive coordinators a total change in philosophy means that there will be some difficulties in the first year. I believe that the Senator’s comparison of 2014 Florida with 2007-2008 Auburn will look especially prescient after Florida plays LSU and Alabama back-to-back.

    • UF doesn’t play LSU and Bama back-to-back, but you make some good points.

      I think Foley missed the trend and basically bought stale bread. College football was headed toward the hurry up spread and Florida bet on Saban-style defense.

      I would have been wrong too, though. I would have hired a Muschamp-type over Malzahn or Freeze most days of the week.

      BD

    • Kevin

      Foley hired neither Spurrier nor Meyer. He did hire Zook and Muschamp.

    • Foley didn’t hire Spurrier. Bill Arnsparger did.

      Foley was named UF’s AD in 1992.

      • siskey

        My bad. I guess I got lost in all the “Foley is the best AD” talk when Meyer was killing everybody. I also stand corrected on Florida’s schedule. I agree with Joe about the 2012 team and how that team performed versus its final record. My hope is that he wins enough to stay there as long as that does not include a win over us. I have never thought that Muschamp coached defenses were a big problem for Bobo or Richt. Going back to LSU in 2003 at Baton Rogue we’ve played defenses coached by him and have done pretty well. Going 6-2 with only the 2003 SEC Championship game being a really bad loss. And as I recall watching it on AFN at the Camp Hansen PX if we’d kept throwing screen passes to Tyson Browning we may have made that game a bit more respectable. But that memory may be tainted due to the early AM start and my inability to not scream every time David Greene was pressured or sacked.

  6. I think it’ depends on who is in the seven and who is in the five.

    They aren’t locks, of course, but there are five games where we can reasonably expect an L: Alabama, LSU, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida State.

    Losing to those five only may get him another year (unless there are some Chizik-style-give-up blowouts).

    Not sure how a loss to UT, Vandy or Missouri would go over, but probably not well.

    BD

    • reipar

      I see the schedule much differently. I see them sitting 6-3 with the three swing games being the stretch of LSU, Mizzou, UGA. As all three are home game (I keed, I keed) they could easily go 2 and one in that stretch. That gives them 8 wins at a minimum with one of those over either LSU or UGA (if not both). I think that will get him another year and if he sweeps those three games he definitely gets another year.

      • I’m guessing Florida wins at least 9 games. And I think the game in Jacksonville will be very tough for us to win. Hope we’re healthy and full-strength.
        ~~~

    • dawg

      I don’t think so; if he loses those 5 you mentioned, he’s gone.

  7. Cosmic Dawg

    I don’t think you can be a truly horrible coach and go 11-2 in the SEC. I would not count ACWM out just yet. With the injuries, some new blood on the offensive side, and the baseline talent we know they must have, I would treat a cornered Gatah with much respect this year.

  8. Dog in Fla

    “And that leads to the $64000 question for Boom.”

    Pat Dooley already has an inkling of what the answer might be

    “Far from certain Roper’s offense will be given free rein”

    http://m.gatorsports.com/article/20140724/columnists/140729820/1044?show=single

  9. Whiskeydawg

    I believe he has to win a minimum of 9 games, at least 3 of which have to be signature wins which would include the likes of LSU, Alabama, FSU, and one of which would have to be us. So, it’s with a heavy heart and great memories that I bid Boom a fond farewell.

    • Dog in Fla

      With that scenario, the bad part is that scenario but the good part is a multi-year contract extension prolonging the mission