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Monday, 27 October 2014

What Happens Now For the Florida Gators?

A wise man and sports writer who now works for the four-letter network told me once that the head coach who replaces a legend is not the one who will inherit success. It is the coach who replaces the coach who replaces the legend that finds success and a winning record.

The Florida Gators program and the Gator Nation hope that is the recipe that awaits them after this season.

While Will Muschamp has not been fired and will be evaluated at the end of the season by Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley, there is nothing to do but make the final cut and count the losses.

Unless …

No one here in Florida has spoken about this, but what if the Gators turn it around starting this week?

It may sound ridiculous, and a prayer that will never happen, but what if? Could the Gators start out the rest of the season with a win against Georgia and play out the string, beating the Dawgs, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Eastern Kentucky and then possibly beating FSU (stranger things have happened)?

There would be joy in Gainesville that the Gators finished 8-3 after a disastrous 4-8 record last year. And if that does happen, what happens to Muschamp?

There has been so much minutiae on campus associated with the team, but not with the field of play. Much of it centers on a change at the head coaching positon, but what does that mean for the remainder of the staff – especially offensive coordinator Kurt Roper and the much maligned quarterback, Jeff Driskel.

This week, speculation was put to rest when Muschamp named Harris his starter against Georgia – one week early in preparation for the game. It was the smartest move he could have made all season. That alone could be the biggest play of the Florida-Georgia game.

But there is more as well. The coaching decision still lingers and new names continue to pop up in newspapers, on radio, through the media and of course, the Gator Nation.

In a report by the Star-Ledger in New Jersey, there is some speculation the front runner for the job is Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. The former Oregon head man would be ideal for the Gator fans who are used to seeing Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer sling the ball around the field.

Spurrier’s name has also been thrown around as well. The Ol’ Ball Coach coming home to finish what he started would be the story of the century in Gator Land.

Dan Mullen appears to be the popular choice of fans and some media types. But Foley (according to sources) is not willing to hire someone from the Urban Meyer tenure on campus and to be honest, until this season, the Mississippi State program has been a solid 8-5 program at best.

So all of this is going on and the biggest game of the Gators schedule is upon us again. The off week has allowed the team to get some more work in with a new man behind center. But the reality is there is still a lot of football to play, a lot of decisions to be made and a lot of good things “could” still happen. Realistically, they probably won’t – but it’s nice to dream.

And while this is all going on, the college football season is forgotten in a sense since we are more worried about seeing what happens after Florida’s season than we are during its season.


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